When: 7:00 PM AZ / Pacific time
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Watch: Bally Sports Arizona, ESPN
Listen: 98.7 FM
Betting Line: DraftKings has the Suns as only a 4.5 point favorite.
The Phoenix Suns, already crowned as kings of the Western Conference, will seek their 9th straight victory and 8th consecutive road win Wednesday night against a Golden State Warriors team trying to prevent a slide to the bottom of the playoff picture.
The Suns haven’t lost on the road since March 6th at Milwaukee, and the stellar scoring of Devin Booker has propelled them to as dominant a month as you could ask for as they’ve lost only twice since February came to a close.
The Warriors, meanwhile, began the season blazing hot and established themselves as top contenders...but have struggled the past two months. They’ve now lost six of their last seven contests and with six games remaining are in serious danger of dropping to unfavorable playoff position. Losing star PG Steph Curry to a foot injury has not helped. Only 3 games separates them from the 6th-place Denver Nuggets.
Probable Starting Lineups:
- Chris Paul - PG
- Devin Booker - SG
- Mikal Bridges - SF
- Jae Crowder - PF
- Deandre Ayton - C
- Jordan Poole - SG
- Klay Thompson - SG
- Andrew Wiggins - SF
- Draymond Green - PF
- Kevon Looney- C
The Warriors have used a grab bag of different lineups lately. This is the one they used March 22, which strikes me as their best starting five given their available players.
The Suns clearly have the edge here, as the Warriors are missing their best player in Stephen Curry while the Suns have their ideal starting lineup available. The Warriors rested Thompson and Green in their most recent game, but neither is listed as out on the team’s injury report.
Suns: Cameron Johnson (thigh) is listed as out but reports say he could be available because he did get in a full practice. JaVale McGee (non-COVID illness) is listed as day-to-day, as is Gabriel Lundberg. Dario and Frank are still out.
Warriors: Curry (foot) remains out for this game, but he hopes to return this regular season. James Wiseman (knee) is out for the year.
The Warriors need some wins here down the stretch, but they also need need to keep their aged roster (Steph, Klay, and Dray are all 32 or older) rested to make some noise in the playoffs. A home matchup against Denver, which is their opening round season as of now, looks a lot better than a road series against Dallas or Utah. The Warriors manage to play good team basketball even when their roster looks like a bunch of role players (despite the fact that they have two future Hall of Fame players AND a 2022 All-Star starter still in their lineup, but I digress), which is a credit to their coaching and team culture. That said, on paper, they are not close to a match for the Suns without Curry.
What can I say about our Suns at this late date in the season? This team is great. They win with defense, they win with offense. They just win, baby. Booker is a legitimate MVP candidate, whether the final voting tally reflects it or not. Monty should be an easy choice for coach of the year.
Interviews with Suns players have indicated the team has no intention of taking it easy the last few contests, as they should cruise comfortably to the best record in the history of the franchise. I still expect the minutes of the top players to come down a bit in the last week, but not by enough to give games away.
The bottom line for the Suns is that their only goal at this point is an NBA title. Everything needs to be in service of that objective. They have nothing left to prove in the regular season. It’s been proven and then some.
Suns win again. The 7.5 point line feels about right to me. The Warriors will play hard and make the most of their talent with their best player, but the Suns are simply a better team and won’t be taking it easy by all accounts.