Despite winning game 2 of the NBA Finals over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Phoenix Suns saw reserve forward Torrey Craig exit the game late in the third quarter and not return. With backup center Dario Saric out for the rest of the series with an ACL injury, Monty Williams can’t afford any more losses to his frontcourt rotation.
The Suns are currently 2-0 up in the series after a pair of home wins but will head on the road for Game 3 on Saturday night. It is still unknown if Craig will return for that contest after it was announced he had suffered a right knee contusion and would undergo an MRI on Friday.
How Torrey Craig’s absence could affect the Phoenix Suns in their NBA Finals series against Milwaukee Bucks
Torrey Craig will have been reluctant to exit Game 2 on Thursday night after hitting a pair of threes in his seven minutes on the court prior to taking a charge from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The small forward has provided valuable minutes off the bench for the Phoenix Suns in these playoffs and can be utilized in a small-ball lineup or as a backup forward.
He has shot extremely consistently, at 44% from the field and 45% from downtown in the postseason, averaging 4.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in 18 contests. Therefore, Craig’s potential absence from the Phoenix Suns roster could be a big blow with Saric out too.
If Torrey Craig is out for multiple games this series, the Phoenix Suns may have to force their starting forwards into playing even more minutes or get creative with lineups. Monty Williams will now likely have to look to utilize Frank Kaminsky and Abdel Nader – both of whom have seen limited court time so far in the 2021 NBA postseason – if Craig is sidelined.
Although they have managed to avoid injuries to key players throughout the season and into the playoffs, losing key members of your rotation is always crucial to any team trying to win a title. With Craig on the floor, he had a +/- of 2.1 and provides additional support in the paint against the Milwaukee Bucks physical frontcourt.
Oddly enough, Torrey Craig was traded to the Phoenix Suns from the Milwaukee Bucks halfway through the season for cash considerations, which has now proven to be yet another inspired deal made by the Suns front office.
He is in a difficult position whereby he will be an NBA champion regardless of this series result having played 18 games before his switch. Although perhaps this has helped him relax and not worry about the occasion knowing he will pick up a ring either way.
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