The Phoenix Suns lost a tank battle to the Nets tonight out in Brooklyn and set an NBA record in the process. They started rookies Tyler Ulis, Marquese Chriss, and Derrick Jones Jr., as well as fourth-year player Alex Len and sophomore Devin Booker. Len is the elder statesman of the bunch at 23, while Chriss and Jones were each born in 1997. The average age of the five starters is two weeks above 21 years old and the group comprised the youngest starting lineup in NBA history.
Fittingly, they got roasted by the Nets. The Suns are in a tank-off with the Lakers at the bottom of the standings and with ten games left in the season, they are 1.5 games “behind” L.A. for the second-worst record in the league. Given the impressive tankjob the Lakers are in the midst of, the Suns likely will not catch them, but they sure are trying. They shut down Eric Bledsoe last week and played Ulis, who is one of the smallest players in the league, 45 minutes tonight.
To put the Suns’ lineup of babies in perspective, it was younger than all but one of the NCAA teams who played tonight.
If teenage center Dragan Bender was healthy, he could have taken Len’s spot and lowered the average age by another year or so.