The Phoenix Suns travel to face the Golden State Warriors this Tuesday (10/24/23). Get Suns vs. Warriors moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups.
Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction
Draymond Green’s injury is a significant blow to the Warriors. He’s one of the best team defenders in the NBA who helped them compensate for their pitiful perimeter defense. Even with his brilliance, Golden State only scraped together the 14th best defensive rating last year. On the other end, the Warriors’ offense loses a key facilitator. Draymond’s ability to make quick decisions and find the open man hyper-accentuated Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson’s off-ball success. Without Green on the court, Golden State’s defense will plummet, and their offense will achieve worse shot quality.
On the other hand, losing Bradley Beal for Phoenix certainly slashes their offensive firepower and ball handling, but his skill set is a more of a luxury to this team (rather than a necessity like Green is to the Warriors). Devin Booker should trample over a Warriors guard room that completely lacks impactful on-ball stoppers. Phoenix made sure to surround them with lethal three-point shooters too. New additions Eric Gordon, Grayson Allen, Keita Bates-Diop, and Yuta Watanabe likely all hover around 38 to 40 percent from deep. Therefore, the Warriors risk annihilation by threes if they collapse inside to help on Booker’s drives.
I haven’t even mentioned Kevin Durant yet, who is coming off a season where he averaged 29.1 points on impossible 56/40/91 shooting splits. Andrew Wiggins’ defense may annoy Durant, but nobody can stop him from getting to his spots and elevating, especially off of pindowns.
Finally, trade acquisition Jusuf Nurkic provides them with a decent scorer around the basket that doesn’t compromise spacing; he shot a 36.1 three-point percentage on 2.3 attempts per game last year. Nurkic also gives them a formidable presence on the glass, which doesn’t bode well for an undersized Warriors team that lacks rim protection. .
Overall, Phoenix’s weapons are perfect for exploiting Golden State’s defensive weaknesses, and their elite off-ball role players enhance the stars. The Suns should light up the scoreboard here. Therefore, can Phoenix generate enough stops to keep this within three points? Their defense projects to be below average, so the Warriors will rack up points; however, they sit in a better position to somewhat stem the tide.
Josh Okogie, Keita Bates-Diop, and Nassir Little are all valuable wing defenders that excel as off-ball defenders. Their ability to pursue and deter will be crucial here against Golden State’s shooters. Kevin Durant has grown into an impactful team defender, but he can also neutralize any Andrew Wiggins off the dribble action. Now, Golden State’s guards will pick apart Phoenix in the pick-and-roll, but the Suns can limit their off-ball game enough to win this matchup. Look for all-around offensive fireworks and a Phoenix road victory.
Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction: Suns +3.5 (-115 FD)
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Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors Best Odds
The Warriors are a 3.5 point favorite when factoring in the injuries. For Phoenix’s +130 moneyline to hold a positive expected value, they must win this game about 43% of the time. The over under sits at 233.5 total points, which is understandable given how high scoring the game is supposed to be.
Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup
Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors Injuries
Golden State will be without future Hall of Famer and defensive leader Draymond Green due to an ankle injury. On the other hand, Bradley Beal is out with a back injury. Unfortunately, a matchup between these teams at full strength will have to wait.
Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors Key Matchups
Josh Okogie’s Defense
Per Basketball Index’s metrics, Okogie ranked 16th in perimeter isolation defense and 14th in off-ball chaser defense across the NBA. He’s a strong defender that can apply tremendous pressure to ball handlers. Phoenix can assign him to harass Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson all night, especially during crunch time. If Okogie can merely reduce shot quality and force these two to hit difficult shots, then that’s a massive win for Phoenix.
Jonathan Kuminga’s Pre-Season Dominance
Across five pre-season games, Kuminga averaged 21.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3 assists on 54/45/75 shooting splits. Pre-season must be taken with a grain of salt, but the 21-year-old forward displayed real growth as an on-ball creator and spot up shooter. His hyper-athleticism and slashing would inject another dimension into Golden State’s offense, which could lead to them pulling ahead here. If the Warriors are to open the season with a win, then Kuminga’s two-way play will be a key reason.