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Five can’t-miss games in the first quarter of the season

If you can only watch five games of the first 20, check these ones out.

NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ok, fellow Phoenix Suns fans. Another season is dawning and the Suns know their full schedule. It’s always nice to be able to watch EVERY Suns game, right? But the reality is that not everyone has time to watch them all. Life gets in the way.

That’s why I’m here with this handy guide to help you circle a few especially good ones early in the season to be sure you see the games you really should see.

@ Golden State Warriors, Oct. 24.

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Opening night! The Warriors are a well-established but aging juggernaut of the past decade, and they have played many tough ones with our Suns the past few years. This year has the added intrigue of former Sun Chris Paul matching up with the Suns right out of the gate.

The Warriors are brutally tough to beat at home, compiling a record of 33-8 on their home court last season compared to an 11-30 mark on the road. A win for the Suns would be a nice start to the year.

vs. San Antonio Spurs, Oct. 31.

San Antonio Spurs v Phoenix Suns Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

I know, I know, it interferes with you Halloween party plans. Sorry.

This matchup with a hated rival is worth watching for a look at Victor Wembanyama, the super-highly touted rookie who most seem to already be penciling in for Rookie of the Year honors and who is being acclaimed by some as the most impressive young talent since Lebron. Seems like we hear that every other year these days though (See Doncic, Luka and Williamson, Zion).

The Spurs have laid enough heartache on Suns fans over the years that any opportunity to hang an “L” on them is satisfying for me. They’ll play again Nov. 2, though, if you do miss the Halloween madness.

vs. Los Angeles Lakers, Nov. 10.

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

This isn’t the season’s first meeting between the Suns and Lakers, but it is the first meeting in Phoenix. But that’s not why it’s on this list. This is one of the designated “tournament nights” for the NBA’s new in-season tournament.

Fan opinion on the tournament seems fairly split, but it’s a chance for the players to earn more glory and prize money, so I think they’re taking it seriously. We don’t want the Lakers getting more hardware, do we?

@ Memphis Grizzlies, Nov. 24

Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Feast on leftover turkey while you take in this afternoon contest, which is another of the designated in-season tournament games. The Grizzlies are always a tough matchup, and even without the suspended Ja Morant they could still be pretty good and present a formidable challenge to the Suns...especially on their home floor.

vs. Denver Nuggets, Dec. 1.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns Photo by Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images

Yeah, this one is pretty obligatory. Revenge game after being eliminated from the playoffs by this team? Check. Home of the reigning MVP? Check. Important early season measuring stick against the defending champions who are expected to contend again? Check.

When last the Suns saw the Nuggets, our guys just weren’t a team that had gelled after a serious roster overhaul. The game plan broke down into continuous isos for Booker and Durant, and the defensive intensity was lacking.

This one should be fun, and I personally can’t wait to see a full-strength Suns that has had time to gel together under a new head coach preaching toughness and defense test themselves and Nikola Jokic and his talented supporting cast from the Mile High City.

So there you go, my friends, a handy little guide for those who, like me, may struggle to catch 82 games in full each year.

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