Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns Preview (11/16/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Golden State Warriors (6-8) take on the Phoenix Suns (8-5) Wednesday night. Golden State has won three of their past four games, and they are essentially fully healthy outside of Andre Iguodala and a rookie Patrick Baldwin Jr. On the other hand, Phoenix has lost four of their last six games. Chris Paul is officially listed as questionable tonight after a three-game absence. If he cannot play, Cameron Payne would once again receive the start.

Will the Warriors avenge their earlier 134-105 loss to the Suns? Odds, predictions, key matchups, and starting lineups are below.

Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Odds

Because of Paul and Johnson’s injuries, Phoenix is a slight home underdog. The spread is +2 Suns with their moneyline at +102. Golden State’s moneyline can be found at a decent -115. Be sure to monitor these lines, as they may significantly shift should Paul be cleared or ruled out. Offense is expected to dominate this game; the over under is set at a large 227.5 total points.

Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction

Paul’s unknown status makes a prediction murky, but I’m assuming he won’t play. However, I am still going with the Suns moneyline at +102.

As a general trend, the Warriors have been absolutely horrific on the road. They own an 0-7 record with a 120.7 Defensive Rating – good for 30th in the NBA. Golden State also ranks 24th in turnover percentage, 29th in defensive rebounding percentage, and 29th in opponent free throw rate. Overall, they completely lack discipline and defense on the road. Meanwhile, Phoenix is 6-1 at home with the 3rd best Offensive Rating and 5th best Defensive Rating. Their sole blemish was a 2-point loss to the Blazers where the game should have gone to overtime after Jerami Grant traveled on his buzzer beater.

Although the Warriors remain a superior team on paper, they are playing far below their potential. Klay Thompson owns a 35.1 FG% and looks completely diminished to start the season. On catch and shoot three-point opportunities, Klay is shooting 30.8% on 8.3 attempts per game. Opposing guards and wings are driving right past him, as his lateral quickness appears to be sapped. This presents a serious problem against Devin Booker (26.5 PPG), who thrives in isolation. Jordan Poole’s offense has mostly corrected itself, but he is also an easy target for Booker and company to exploit.

Outside of Curry and Wiggins, it’s difficult to expect any semblance of consistency from the Warriors right now. Opponents understand this and are subsequently trapping Curry after he crosses half-court to force others to beat them. The strategy has partially worked, although Curry’s exceptional off-ball movement can foil the plan.

Draymond’s defense is still effective, but he’s not at the elite level opponents are accustomed to. In addition, Draymond and Looney are being dominated on the glass. Deandre Ayton is lined up for a monster game here and likely provides Phoenix with plenty of second chance points.

Finally, even if Paul doesn’t play, Cameron Payne has been surprisingly solid as the starting point guard. Over the past three games, Payne’s averaged 18 PPG and 5.7 APG on a 40/40/100 shooting split. He isn’t the playmaker that Paul is, but Payne’s scoring complements the lineup well. The bench has not missed him too much because of a combined effort from Washington Jr and Lee.

Overall, if both teams are healthy and firing on all cylinders, I would take the Warriors to win a playoff series against the Suns. However, Golden State is extremely ineffective currently, while the Suns continue to be a steady force in the West. Given the context and game location, backing the Suns is the play here.

Betting Trends

  • Warriors are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games overall
  • Warriors are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games
  • Suns are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall
  • Suns are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games
  • Warriors are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Phoenix
  • Under is 11-3 in the last 14 meetings

Key Matchups

Which team will win the positional matchups? Check out below for these vital battles.

Deandre Ayton vs. Kevon Looney

Golden State’s backup centers are terrible at the moment, so it is imperative that Looney defends Ayton without fouling. The Suns big man is averaging 14.6 PPG on a 57.6 FG%, and Phoenix may feed him inside to exploit Golden State’s currently weak rim protection. Looney also struggles on the glass, so Phoenix would gain a significant edge should Ayton consistently grab offensive rebounds for put-backs.

Mikal Bridges & Torrey Craig vs. Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins has easily been Golden State’s second best player. He’s scoring 18.3 PPG and playing excellent defense. Phoenix must neutralize his offense and essentially crown Curry as the only consistent major offensive threat. Bridges is a DPOY candidate who can stick to Wiggins like glue, and Craig’s a solid defender on the wing. If this duo can limit Wiggins, then Golden State’s offense appears bleak.

Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup

PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Klay Thompson
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Draymond Green
C: Kevon Looney

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineups

PG: Cameron Payne
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Torrey Craig
PF: Mikal Bridges
C: Deandre Ayton

Key Injuries

Golden State Warriors Injuries: Andre Iguodala (O), Patrick Baldwin Jr (O)

Phoenix Suns Injuries: Chris Paul (Q), Cam Johnson (O), Jae Crowder (O), Landry Shamet (O)

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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