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Warriors vs. Suns Preview: Golden State looking to get hot

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The Warriors will face the Suns in an early-evening matchup.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

  • When: Sunday, November 13 at 5:00 p.m.(!!!) Pacific time
  • Where: Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA
  • Coverage: Television - CSN Bay Area | Radio - 95.7 The Game
  • Blog Buddy: Bright Side of the Sun

TEAM LEADERS

GSW

PTS: Durant (27.6)

REB: Green (10.4)

AST: Green (6.7)

PHX

PTS: Booker (21.5)

REB: Chandler (13.3)

AST: Bledsoe (4.9)

Get ready for an early evening game, as the Golden State Warriors (7-2) take on the Phoenix Suns (3-7) at 5 p.m. PST on Sunday.

The Suns probably are not looking forward to this first game of their six-game road trip. After falling to the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night, they come into the game with one of the worst-shooting back courts in the league. The Warriors, on the other hand, should be accurate, well-rested and ready to continue to build on their recent success after their 125-101 trouncing of the Denver Nuggets in their best game of the season.

This will be a fun, fast-paced game with lots of scoring since both team will be looking to run and score quickly; fitting then that the Warriors will be wearing their new alternate “crossover” jerseys that are a nod to the halcyon Run TMC era.

Warriors starting to click

After a somewhat shaky start, the Warriors are starting to find their footing and look to extend their win streak to four straight games with a win in Phoenix. During the current three-game streak Curry, Klay, Green and Durant are making threes at a combined 55.6% and behind this (expected) hot shooting, the new Warriors offense appears to finally be clicking. Klay Thompson in particular has finally emerged from his early struggles

Looking at the Suns

The Suns are starting to figure it out as well. After starting 0-4, they’ve managed to win three of their last five games (before facing Brooklyn) behind the NBA’s eighth best offense and strong rebounding, where the team ranks second in the NBA. The absence of Tyson Chandler and his 13.3 rebounds will be acutely missed as Chandler is expected to be out for this game following the death of his mother. Alex Len will be the starting center instead, and we should see rookie Marquese Chriss get a few minutes at the five to go with his starting power forward role (remind you of anyone?). Len is just one of many intriguing players on the Suns, even though when you think of them, you generally are talking about their young backcourt.

How tough should this game be?

Given that the Suns should be willing to run, and given their subpar defense, it should be only a matter of time before the Warriors hang one of their patented brutal 12-2 runs on them and manage to pull away. As long as the Warriors can control the turnovers and keep their ke only a matter of time before the Warriors are able to string together on of their brutal y players out of foul trouble they should be in good shape to come away with the win. This isn’t unexpected, even before coming into this game, it’s clear that these two franchises are at different stages of the process. The Suns are one of the youngest teams in the entire league, so are looking to establish good habit and develop their young players. The absence of Chandler does hurt, but given the powerhouse Warriors offense heading their way, it was going to be very difficult for this Suns team to keep pace regardless.

What to look for beyond the score

The Warriors should be able to punish the Suns 21st ranked defense early, so hopefully we will get an extended look at our own promising young players. Patrick McCaw has returned from an early season ankle injury and mmediately stepped back into the rotation. It will behoove Ian Clark to begin to capitalize on his time on court if he is hoping to stay on the uphill side of the bench. In the front court we will be looking to see if Kevon Looney can be effective in extended minutes, and working with Javale McGee to determine the maximum lobs per second rate that we can achieve. We had a pretty good debate after McGee’s last showing about exactly how effective he really can be. Given his career history (both statistical and Shaqtin a Fool-esque) it’s easy to discount his impact. But as coach Steve Kerr has said, it is McGee’s ability to add “vertical spacing” that may result in a bit of a synergy for him and the team right now. Especially against a young bold team like the Suns, a few timely blocks from a guy with his chin at rim height can make them think twice on the decisions they make while penetrating off the dribble.

Who’s next?

Following the game, the Warriors have a couple of days off before departing on a six day, four game road trip to the east coast, starting with the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday the 13th.