WHEN: Monday, December 31st at 6:00 p.m. PST
WHERE: Talking Stick Resort Arena — Phoenix, AZ
HOW TO WATCH: NBCSBA, FSAZ
BLOG BUDDY: Bright Side Of The Sun
This will be the final game of the calendar year for the reigning back-to-back champion Golden State Warriors, and they have a chance to close it out on a jolly note in a contest against the lowly but tricky Phoenix Suns.
Yet, they can catch a team slipping if said team waltzes in unfocused. Check out these curious game logs:
- November 23rd: Gifted scorer Devin Booker drops 29 in Milwaukee as they slip past the Bucks 116-114, handing the Bucks one of their only three home losses (per the date of this article).
- December 19th: Rookie center DeAndre Ayton rips apart an alleged title contender in the Boston Celtics for 23 points and 18 rebounds as the Suns win on the road, 111-103.
Clearly the Suns have the potential to sneak in a haymaker and KO any team. Let’s check in with our Evan Sidery from blog buddies “Bright Side of the Sun” for an update on the squad:
Ever since Dec. 15 versus the Minnesota Timberwolves, the game when Devin Booker finally returned to Phoenix’s starting lineup following a re-aggravation of his hamstring, Ayton and the Suns’ max contract star have become one deadly duo.
During the Suns’ past eight games, they have gone 4-4 and are only getting outscored by 0.2 points per 100 possessions netting them the 14th best net rating over this span.
Booker has averaged 29.5 points, 5 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 1.4 steals and carrying a 58.5 true shooting percentage. Meanwhile, Ayton is putting up numbers to the tune of 21.4 points, 14.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1 block with an outstanding 69.7 true shooting percentage. On top of that, Ayton’s increased motor has led to him leading the league in offensive rebounds amassing 5.9 per game.
Ruh roh. Phoenix might be ready to pounce on the champs, who in all likelihood have the majority of their attention on immediately getting to the relatively close city of Las Vegas for New Years festivities right after the game.
Then again, what if the Warriors decide to take this game seriously?
Gold-Blooded Prediction: Warriors drowsily go through the motions until Booker screams after a dunk and wakes the annoyed champs up. Then the Warriors finish the bottom-feeders off with righteous indignation before getting lit at the clubs.
Warriors 110, Suns 102