Preview: Suns at Warriors 12-27-2013

Christian Petersen

Suns due for an eclipse.

Phoenix Suns (17-10) at Golden State Warriors (17-13)

7:30 p.m. PT

Roaracle Arena - Oakland, CA

TV: CSNBA/HD| Radio: KTCT 1050

Buddy blog: Bright Side of the Sun

It's peculiar, it is. This Suns team, I mean.

At the beginning of the season, Phoenix was considered a lock for the basement of the Pacific, and contending for Worst Team in The Association. One third of the way through, they're riding high - and the Warriors need to catch them. With the Suns winning eight of their last nine games, it might not be that easy for the Dubs to do. When last these teams played Andre Iguodala was out, and the Suns pulled out the win. Will @andre (and home court) be enough to make the difference this time?

The point: Since the last meeting, Goran Dragic hasn't made a three-point shot. Over the last 3 games, Stephen Curry has shot under 40%. We can expect  both of those to change tonight. Despite his slight shooting slump, Steph has been playing like the top-5 player that he is for the last month. Phoenix often runs with both Eric Bledsoe and Dragic playing together, and they're each averaging about 6 assists per game while leading the Suns in scoring.

On the wing: Gerald Green is shooting the 3-ball with success, averaging 5 per game over the last 3 games. Klay Thompson may have broken out of his slump on Christmas. PJ Tucker (perhaps the most "who is that?" starter in the league) is kind of like the Phoenix version of Iguodala, only not as good. If Klay and Harrison Barnes play decently, this should be an advantage for Golden State. Speaking of HB, did he forget how to drive or something? His decision-making is slow, he's telegraphing his offensive moves, and overall seems to have regressed. Maybe we can chalk that up to a sophomore slump, but from what I see his fellow-soph Draymond Green is usually outplaying him.

Up front: Andrew Bogut and David Lee have been on a rebounding tear of late, and both are averaging 10+ per game. Only the Clippers also have two players averaging double-digit boards. Miles Plumlee leads the Suns, averaging 9.1, then Markieff Morris at a little under 7. Rebounding should be a clear Warrior advantage. The Morri, Channing Frye, and Plumlee all average 9-12 points per game, and none average more than 30 minutes per game.  (Side note: if Bogut and Lee both grab 10+ rebounds tonight,  they'd be 1st teammates to do it for 11 straight games since Dave Cowens and Paul Silas in 1975. This is what we visualized, right?)

Overall, rookie coach Jeff Hornacek has done a great job so far with this roster. Look forward to another tough game, with a Warrior win.

Predictions

  • Warriors by 7
  • Curry 34-4-15
  • An announcer confuses the Morris twins because he forgot to look at their shoes.
  • The teams unite at center court for a special holiday greeting to Blake Griffin, screaming "Stop Flopping" in unison.
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