With Eric Bledsoe out back in January the Suns turned to Leandro Barbosa to provide a little offensive spark to the second unit. He’s done that somewhat when he’s been healthy, but a series of nagging injuries have slowed him.
Now he could be out for a while — Barbosa suffered a fractured left hand when trying to take a charge from the Clippers Chris Paul on Tuesday night, the team has announced.
The good news is it will not require surgery.
The bad news is there is no timetable for his return. Which means expect to see a lot more Ish Smith in the lineup for Phoenix. And Gerald Green’s minutes may jump as well.
With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).
Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.
It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.
The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).
Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.
Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.
His swagger certainly remains intact.