With vets shut down, Suns use youngest starting lineup in NBA history
Phoenix is taking the idea of a youth movement to its logical extreme
There’s something to be said for going all-in. If you have the courage of your convictions, then half-measures seem silly. In that sense, what the Phoenix Suns are doing is admirable. With their dreams of making the playoffs dashed long ago, guard Brandon Knight and center Tyson Chandler haven’t played a minute since the All-Star break. Guard Eric Bledsoe was shut down in mid-March, too. With 23-year-old forward T.J. Warren out of the lineup because of a foot injury on Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets, the Suns made history with the youngest starting five the NBA has ever seen.
According to Elias Sports, the lineup of Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Derrick Jones, Jr., Marquese Chriss and Alex Len was younger than all but one of the teams playing in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on Thursday. Their average age: 21 years, 15 days.
The baby Suns lost 126-98 in Brooklyn, extending their losing streak to six games and helping them chase lottery balls. The most ridiculous part of all this: they could be even younger. Phoenix employs the youngest player in the NBA, Dragan Bender, but he is out of the lineup because he’s recovering from ankle surgery. If Bender returns before the end of the regular season, perhaps the Suns will make history again.
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