The Phoenix Suns won Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Bucks on Tuesday night, but it came with a price; forward/center Dario Saric sustained a torn ACL in his right knee, the team announced on Wednesday.
Saric, 27, will miss the rest of the series. The fourth-year player injured his right knee in the first quarter of Game 1.
“It’s just one of those situations that literally breaks your heart,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said on Wednesday. “Dario is a guy that I’ve been with twice. I coached him in Philly, and to get a chance to be with him here, he’s what Suns basketball is about. Hard worker, unbelievable guy, and he was so looking forward to playing in these Finals. And to play a few minutes and have that kind of injury, it was a tough thing to hear this morning when I talked to the staff, and they told me what was going on.
“I spoke with him, and obviously, he was shocked and just felt pretty bad. So I just told the team today to check on him and Karla. He’s got a road ahead of him, but he’s a diligent worker, and we know he’ll be back and better. But it was a shock to see him go down like that.”
Devin Booker added on Saric: “It hurts. It hurt our whole group. Dario is our guy. He’s our energy in the locker room that you guys don’t get to see, but we love him, and we are here with him. Obviously an unfortunate turn of events, but we’re going to reach out to him; we’re going to make sure he’s mentally right and that he’s in the right spirit, and we’re on the road to recovery. As far as the court goes, obviously, we’re going to be missing his presence and the things that he does out there, but everybody is going to have to give a little bit more.”
Saric averaged 8.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest in the regular season.
Without Saric, Frank Kaminsky will get more time, but this is a blow for the Suns. Hopefully, for Saric, he can get himself right for next season.