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Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker poses for a photo, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, during the NBA team's media day in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Suns pick Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker as backcourt starters

PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson is a strong believer in defined roles, and he wasted little time declaring his guard rotation following the conclusion of training camp.

Eric Bledsoe will start at the point.

Devin Booker will be the 2.

Brandon Knight will come off the bench and back up both spots.

Watson set the rotation as the Suns prepare to play their preseason opener against the San Antonio Spurs at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Monday night.

“The main thing we want to emphasize is that what’s best for the team is best for us,” Watson said. “The family is first. What’s best for our family? A lot of times, the guy that sacrifices the most is the most important part of the family. That piece is important. We understand whoever comes off the bench, which is the real question, has a chance to win Sixth Man of the Year.

“We have to embrace that, uplift that and empower that.”

Bledsoe was off to the best start of his career as the leader of the Suns’ offense last season, averaging 20.4 points and 6.1 assists in the first 31 games before suffering a knee injury in December that cost him the rest of the season.

He was the obvious choice at point guard.

Booker stepped into premium playing time when Bledsoe, then Knight, went out with injury and delivered. He averaged 13.8 points a game during the season, but those numbers improved to 18.5 points over the final 44 games after he permanently joined the starting lineup on Jan. 8.

Booker was the go-to guy the last several months of the season, and Watson compared him to Kobe Bryant.

Knight, who missed 28 games because of a sports hernia, opened last season as the starter at off guard and averaged a career-high 19.6 points a game in 52 contests.

“There is going to be a lot of making each better other together,” Bledsoe said. “If you can’t handle that, you don’t need to be here.”

T.J. Warren, Jared Dudley and Tyson Chandler round out the starting five.

Suns pick Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker as backcourt starters

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