Stephen A. Smith Turns Heads With Kevin Durant-Suns Prediction at LeBron’s Expense

Since being acquired at the NBA’s trade deadline, Kevin Durant has showcased just how dangerous this Phoenix Suns team can be when healthy. That’s just why Phoenix fans are so anxious to get their superstar forward back on the court.

Durant has played in three games for the Suns since being traded from the Brooklyn Nets. In those three games, the Suns have gone 3-0, with an average win margin of 13 points.

Appearing on First Take, analyst Stephen A. Smith was asked about which NBA superstar would have a bigger impact returning to their team. The choices were Durant and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

“I’m only rolling with KD because I got Phoenix going to the Finals if KD is healthy. It’s just that simple to me. If Kevin Durant is healthy, I believe he’s the best on the planet. And I believe that Kevin Durant, one of the most efficient superstars this game has ever seen, I know what I see in Devin Booker. I believe that if Kevin Durant is healthy, the Phoenix Suns are going to the NBA Finals…I’m not trying to act like LeBron isn’t still impactful, LeBron is still phenomenal and great…”

“I got [the Phoenix Suns] going to the Finals if KD is healthy.”

👀 @stephenasmith pic.twitter.com/Ui3gtARq8v

— First Take (@FirstTake) March 24, 2023

Suns Attempt to Maintain Playoff Seeding With Kevin Durant Out

The Suns went 3-0 with Durant on the court. After a pregame incident that saw Durant roll his ankle before a March 8 showdown against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix has gone 2-5.

Phoenix has just ten games remaining in the regular season. The Western Conference standings have never been closer. As of now, the Suns find themselves in fourth place in the West. But they remain only two games up of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who find themselves as the seven seed.

Durant hasn’t been the only key player out of the starting lineup. Big man Deandre Ayton has missed Phoenix’s last two games after suffering a right hit contusion in the fourth quarter of the March 16 game against the Orlando Magic.

Ayton was coming off a five game stretch that saw him averaging 18.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game while shooting 55.4% from the field and 91.7% from the free-throw line.

Phoenix Looks to Bounce Back Against Sacramento Kings

The Suns are preparing to take on the Sacramento Kings on Friday, March 24. It will be the last game of their three-game road trip. Phoenix is coming off two disappointing losses, including Wednesday night’s 122-111 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Problems with fouling have become an alarming trend for the Suns, something that had head coach Monty Williams frustrated in his latest postgame press conference. While star guard Devin Booker has been outstanding as of late, the Suns will need to get help from their contributing pieces while shorthanded. Devin Booker spoke to AZCentral.com’s Duane Rankin, stressing they know how important each game is moving forward.

“Every game is must-win mentality,” Booker said. “Just going out there trying to get after it, competing at the highest level.”

Williams was aggressive with his rotation, giving a number of players extended minutes against the Lakers as he looked for a spark. With a matchup tonight against the red hot Kings, Williams could look to lean on his veteran players to attempt to pick up a crucial win.

After tonight’s game, the Suns will have a quick turnaround. They are set to take on Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers at home on Saturday. Phoenix knows that the time is running out and rival teams behind them in the standings are hot in pursuit. If they don’t get back on track quickly, they could experience a quick fall down the standings.

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