The Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns have been the top two teams in the Western Conference for most of the season but the latest injuries and the emergence of the Memphis Grizzlies may mix things up by the end of the regular season.
Golden State Warriors
After a couple of disappointing seasons, the Warriors are back among the top teams in the league. Steph Curry had a terrific season before he went down with a leg injury last week. In the game against the Boston Celtics, Curry jumped on the floor fighting for the ball with the Celtics guard Marcus Smart which didn’t go well for him.
Curry, who became the all-time leader in made three-pointers this season, is averaging 25.5 points per game, which ranks him 12th in the league, 6.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds on 38% from deep.
One of the reasons for Golden State’s successful season so far is Klay Thompson who returned to court after more than 2 years of recovering from injuries. Thompson is still not as consistent as he used to be but the team is more confident with him on the floor. Given the fact that he is a “catch and shoot” guy, he will be able to have a huge impact on Warriors’ offense when playoff time comes.
Draymond Green also struggled with injuries this season and when he returned to the floor before Curry got hurt, it was the first time in more than 1.000 days the Warriors to have their big three on the court.
But the Splash brothers and Green are not the only reason why the Warriors are dangerous this season. Andrew Wiggins has finally shown why he was a top draft pick and became an All-Star for the first time in his career.
Jordan Poole is another player who is having a huge impact night in and night out. The guard is providing 17.4 points per game off the bench and is one of the frontrunners for both the Sixth Man of the Year award and the Most Improved Player Award.
The Warriors are currently third in the Western Conference with a 48-25 record. They are coming off a 118-114 win over the Miami Heat which got their three-game losing streak snapped.
After almost winning the championship trophy last season, the Phoenix Suns are the top contender to win the title as they have the best record in the league so far.
This season, the Suns went on to their longest winning streak in franchise history with 18 consecutive wins.
It all seemed perfect until veteran point guard Chris Paul went down with an injury and will not return by the end of the regular season. Before the injury, Paul played extremly well averaging 14.9 points and league-best 10.7 assists.
Devin Booker has emerged as one of the best scorers in the league, averaging 25.9 points per game and often being literally unstoppable on the offensive end.
Center Deandre Ayton has become a regular double-double provider and young Mikel Bridges has proved that the Suns front office did a great deal this summer, signing him on a $90 million extension.
The Suns have won the last 6 games, most recently125-116 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Our tip for the Warriors vs. Suns game
The Golden State Warriors have won 2 of the 3 games against the Suns this season proving that they can be competitive in a potential series but that was with Steph Curry on the floor. In a situation with their top star being sidelined, the Warriors are simply not the same team.
The same can be said about the Suns since Chris Paul is playing a major role in their success. Anyway, this will be an interesting game to see how both teams play without their starting point guards.
The difference is that the Suns will have their top scorer available with Devin Booker being ready while that will not be the case for the Warriors. Golden State is one of the best home teams in the league but this one will slip away.