Playing the NBA’s number-one team is tough enough, let alone doing so minus your second-best shooter and third-leading scorer.
Yet that is what the Suns face Monday when they host the 29-8 Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I just think right now it wouldn’t be in the best interest of the team for me to go tonight,” Jared Dudley said following shoot-around Monday.
Dudley did not play Saturday at Chicago after hurting his right wrist the game before at Brooklyn. He got a finger stuck inside Nets guard Joe Johnson’s jersey, causing some swelling on top of the hand.
Dudley said the swelling has gone down some allowing him to rotate his wrist more, but he still can’t bend it all the way back.
“It’s just more when I put pressure, dribbling the ball, shooting (the ball) from long distance (the hand) hurts,” he said.
“If I think I could help the team be effective I would be out there. I think today, if I was open in the corner not being able to shoot 3s and it hurting, I wouldn’t want to put my team in jeopardy.”
With Dudley sidelined, Shannon Brown will make his second straight start at shooting guard.
“Another day of rest,” Dudley said, “and then we don’t play until Thursday so I can get two days of practice and strength stuff and hopefully more time to heal.”
Dudley, averaging 12.1 points shooting 48.5 percent, did not appear to be missed when the Suns beat the Bulls to end their five-game losing streak.
“Never not worried,” he said with a smile, “because I’m always the top cheerleader on the team.”