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Warriors vs Suns Preview: Deandre Ayton’s first meeting with the champs

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This will be the Dubs’ first chance to take a look at the Suns’ big man phenom. Additionally, both Draymond Green and Devin Booker will miss a battle between the best passing team in basketball vs the worst.

NBA: NBA Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Game information

Who: Golden State Warriors (1-1) vs. Phoenix Suns (0-2)

When: 7:30pm PST - Monday, October 8th 2018

Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California

How to watch: NBAtv, CSNBA

How to listen: 95.7 The Game

Best Blog in Phoenix Basketball History: Bright Side of the Sun

Injuries

Warriors: Draymond Green (sore left knee) day-to-day.

Suns: Devin Booker (hand) out.

The world champion Golden State Warriors will welcome the Phoenix Suns for a tune-up in the Town.

Stephen Curry has returned from a one game absence and looks to be up to some new tricks, judging from this video from yesterday’s open practice.

Curry will be rejoining the red hot Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. That pairing is fresh off of annihilating the Sacramento Kings in Seattle. The three have come out of the summer primed for a strong campaign, and they have paced the Warriors efficient offense.

CBS Sports 10/7/2018

Draymond Green is steadily recovering from knee soreness issues that caused him to miss the last contest.

Green has been dealing with a sore knee since Tuesday, and although his MRI came back negative, the Warriors will hold him out of Monday’s preseason action. Coach Steve Kerr is optimistic that Green will go through shootaround Monday and if all goes well, he could return to the court Wednesday against the Lakers.

CBS Sports

Obviously, there’s no need to rush him back preemptively for exhibitions that hold little meaning for a player of his Olympic stature.

On the other hand, Suns’ prodigy Devin Booker should miss this contest while recovering from a hand injury. In the meantime, the Suns will lean heavily on rookie giant, Deandre Ayton.

Per the Bright Side of the Sun:

Defensively, Ayton also is developing a knack for using his body’s dimensions to his advantage. He’s not flailing his body around when contact arrives, absorbing it up instead.

Ayton could have done more damage if he was given the ball in correct moments, which we’ll get to later with the near-dire point guard situation unfolding. Either way, Ayton has done most everything right that he can control through three games, outside of a few late rotations that showed through during Friday’s action.

Immediately, Ayton has established himself as an easy double-double candidate in each game who could be the ideal second option behind Devin Booker.

It’s always a curious sight to see how the Warriors deal with a powerful big, and starting center Damian Jones will stand directly in the way of Ayton’s hype train. There is a question of whether or not the Suns’ guards will be able to get the ball into Ayton’s hands against the Warriors’ defense. The Suns were last in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio last season and are in the bottom quadrant of that ranking this preseason.

Why? Because their point guards aren’t very good. Per Duane Rankin for the Arizona Republic:

Since the Suns didn’t land a prototypical or proven point guard in the offseason, Kokoskov is trying to play “2-½” at that position. All four have now seen preseason action as six-year pro Isaiah Canaan played Friday night after missing the first two games with minor thumb injury.

Canaan shot 4 of 8 in finishing with 11 points. That’s good. Hit 3 of 5 from distance. Even better, especially when considering he’s returning from a major ankle injury January 31, but Canaan had just three assists and committed four turnovers.

Shaquille Harrison committed six turnovers against Sacramento. It’s hard to get into an offense when the point guard is turning the ball over like that.

Without a prototypical point guard, Phoenix has to run its offense efficiently to get good looks. The Suns have added new players, young players and have been without their best player in Booker.

Gold-Blooded Prediction: The Warriors blot out the Suns for fun in Oakland, 114-103. Hopefully Jonas Jerebko shows some of that shooting touch we’ve heard so much about.