PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Grayson Allen out for Game 3 after re-injuring ankle vs. T-Wolves

Apr 26, 2024, 6:48 PM | Updated: 7:09 pm

Grayson Allen #8 of the Phoenix Suns dribbles the ball during the second half in game one of the We...

Grayson Allen #8 of the Phoenix Suns dribbles the ball during the second half in game one of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center on April 20, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns guard Grayson Allen is out for Game 3 against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday after re-injuring his right ankle in Tuesday’s loss.

Head coach Frank Vogel said pregame that Allen was struggling to move laterally before he heard work of how Allen’s pregame warmup went.

Royce O’Neale will start in Allen’s place.

With Allen out, it forces Eric Gordon and O’Neale to play more minutes, as well as head coach Frank Vogel figuring out who the new eighth guy in the rotation. Candidates include Bol Bol and Josh Okogie, two players who offer different skillsets but not the well-roundedness and shooting of Allen.

Allen sprained his right ankle in the Game 1 defeat and played through the injury in Game 2. In the early third quarter, Allen tweaked it again and was ruled out for the rest of the contest.

A re-aggravation of any injury can often lead to a longer absence than the initial injury forced. Allen, however, said after the game that re-spraining an ankle is more painful but that area already being more stretched out can potentially have a player avoid making it worse.

Having an awkward landing on a collision back-to-back games with the same foot has to be frustrating.

“It’s really unlucky to be the same thing two games in a row,” Allen said Tuesday. “Been going a whole season really without it happening. It sucks.”

As you can imagine, this would bring on a glass-half-empty mindset on Allen’s chances of playing on Friday.

He said after practice on Thursday the ankle feels good.

“Better than I thought,” Allen said, noting he expected to be in more pain now than he is.

He’s benefitted from an extra day between games following each injury, the only time those breaks exist on the series schedule.

Allen played much better on Tuesday than he did in Game 1, which was aided greatly by Phoenix’s flow on offense improving as well.

While he hasn’t been able to get up many shots, taking five total in 42 minutes, his screen-setting and the tight coverage it forces from a defender was a boost in Game 2 for maximizing spacing. In addition, his defense has been solid all year and he was a part of the growth there for Game 2, too.

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