Phoenix reached the 2022-2023 Western Conference semifinals before falling to eventual champion Denver in six games. Golden State lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals and is eager to return to the NBA Finals after winning the 2021-2022 Final.
Please join me as I preview and offer my best prediction for Phoenix vs. Golden State on Tuesday, October 24.
Phoenix Retooled Roster
Phoenix essentially retooled their 2023 roster. Gone from their 45-win team is Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, Darius Bazley, Bismack Biyumbo, Torrey Craig, Jock Landale, Cameron Payne, Terrance Ross, Landry ShametIsh Wainright, and T.J. Warren.
New Phoenix players include Bradley Beal, Grayson Allen, Bol Bol, Drew Eubanks, Jordan Goodwin, Eric Gordan, Keon Johnson, Nassir Little, Jusef Nurkic and Yuta Watanabe.
Frank Vogel was hired to replace Monty Williams as head coach, and Vogel has the luxury of having big-time scorers Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal.
Returning part-time starter Josh Okegie and Nurkic will fill out the starting lineup for Vogel, but depth was a problem for Phoenix after acquiring Durant, and it appears the bench will be a problem again this season.
Warriors Looking to Return to Dominance
Golden State is coming off a down year by its standards, and head coach Steve Kerr hopes the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green (ruled out for Tuesday) has one more championship season left.
The Warriors bid adieu to Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, Patrick Baldwin, JaMychal Green, Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Anthony Lamb, and Ryan Rollins from last year’s squad.
New Golden State players include Chris Paul, Dario Saric, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Cory Joseph, Brandin Podziemski, and Jerome Robinson.
Kerr has the same core he’s had for years, and Andrew Wiggins will begin the season healthy. The Warriors have been playing the same system that they have deployed for years, and new additions like Paul and Joseph will fit right in with the defensive-minded Warriors.
Suns vs. Warriors Best Bet
Most NBA teams don’t seem to enjoy continuity these days, but Golden State has had the Curry-Thompson-Green core with Kerr on the bench since 2014. That’s a long time to play together, and we’ve witnessed the success from the fruits of their chemistry as they’ve won four NBA championships together.
Phoenix is a new team from the head coach on down to the ball kids. Booker is the longest-tenured Suns player, and they’ve been through some personnel during his time in Phoenix.
The Suns are in win-now mode, and they’ve assembled quite a backcourt with Durant-Beal-Booker. It will be interesting to see how this all works out for the Suns in a tough NBA Western Conference and deep Pacific Division.
Both teams looked good during the preseason, but this is a regular-season game, and Golden State is playing in a building they were 33-8 in last season. Phoenix was 17-24 on the road last season, but they didn’t play well outside of Arizona, which could factor into this game.
I like Golden State to win this game and cover the spread.
The Warriors have a bond that’s been forged by fire, and that chemistry allows Golden State to do things on offense that other teams don’t do. Phoenix will have a hard time keeping up defensively with the multiple screens Golden State deploys on every set, and the Warriors will frustrate Phoenix defensively throughout the night.
Finally, Tuesday night features some of the best offensive players the NBA offers, but it will be the Warriors’ defensive chemistry with a boisterous home crowd who acts as their sixth man. Take the Warriors -1 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook Arizona.
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