The Golden State Warriors host the Phoenix Suns tonight in what should almost certainly be an easy win for the Dubs.
Predictions, however certain, aren’t a great idea when it comes to the NBA in general, but it’s virtually impossible to find an angle that favors the visiting Suns in this one.
Yes, Stephen Curry is currently listed as questionable, but in his absence, Jarrett Jack has been more than adequate and Klay Thompson has shouldered the shooting load. The Warriors off-guard has averaged nearly 22 points over his last nine games and drilled 9-of-15 threes in the two contests Curry has missed. In some ways, Curry’s ankle injury has helped Thompson rediscover the confidence and aggressiveness that had so many people excited about his breakout prospects this season.
Expect much more than the 6-of-16 night Thompson turned in against the Suns in this year’s season opener.
With Andrew Bogut already providing the transformative defensive impact that the Warriors have been craving (see: huge block to preserve lead against Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 31), Golden State suddenly matches up perfectly with the Suns’ conventionally-sized frontcourt.
Look for Bogut to continue to round into form against Phoenix, and pay particular attention to his impact on the glass. Phoenix is a woeful rebounding team, ranking 26th in the NBA in rebound rate. The Dubs, on the other hand have managed to remain in the top 10 of that category in spite of playing small for huge stretches. This is a game that could easily see Golden State a rebound advantage of at least plus-10.
Fatigue’s a Factor
In a strange twist, both the Warriors and Suns played their last game against the Dallas Mavericks. The key difference, though, is that the Suns played the Mavs last night, while the Warriors have had their collective feet up since Jan. 31. The Suns don’t have a particularly deep rotation, so watch for them to make an early push but fade down the stretch.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (29-17) vs. Phoenix Suns (16-31)
WHERE: Oracle Arena
WHEN: 7:30 p.m., CSN Bay Area
AT STAKE: A win tonight moves the Warriors to within a half-game of the No. 4 spot in the West.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Andrew Bogut. This is his third game back; expect him to dominate on D and facilitate the offense.
PREDICTION: With or without Curry, this is an easy one for the Dubs. 109-93, Warriors.