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The Golden State Warriors (10-12) are looking to put their early-season struggles behind them when they meet the Phoenix Suns (12-10) in the Valley on Tuesday evening.
Though the Dubs’ championship core remains intact, their level of production from players not named Steph Curry has decreased significantly. Meanwhile, there’s a chance that the Suns roll out their “big three” of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal in the same game for the first time.
Here, we will highlight the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Warriors vs. Suns showdown.
The Suns are 3.5-point favorites on their home floor on Tuesday. These teams have already matched up twice this season, both resulting in Suns wins (one by four and one by eight points).
|Golden State Warriors
|Over 234.5 (-110)
|Under 234.5 (-110)
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The Warriors are going through very un-Warrior-like times. They haven’t won back-to-back games since Nov. 3 and only have four wins in their last 14 outings.
There are a few major issues with this version of the Warriors squad. The first is age and declining play of their central pieces, namely Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins. Thompson is averaging 15.8 points on a career-worst 35.4% three-point shooting, Wiggins is scoring a career-low 12.6 points per night, and Green is playing his fewest minutes per game since his third year in the league.
Steve Kerr also seems to be unsure of what the best course of action is. He’s repeatedly opted to bench younger players even during strong individual games in favor of his experienced core, only for that to come back to bite him.
Another glaring problem is their lack of identity. Their dynasty was built on a team that played fast, defended well, and launched a three-point barrage nearly every game.
This Warriors squad doesn’t do any of that. They’re 12th in pace, 16th in defensive rating, and 13th in three-point shooting percentage. They’ve also gone from perennially ranking near the top of the league in points per game to 11th.
On top of that, they seem to have lost their championship mettle and ability to execute down the stretch. They rank 15th in clutch net rating and are an even .500 (9-9) in games within five points in the final five minutes.
One of the major moves of the offseason was the Warriors accepting a package that sent Jordan Poole to Washington in exchange for Chris Paul with the goal of reducing their mistakes. Despite Paul averaging only 1.2 turnovers compared to 7.2 assists per game, they still rank fifth-worst in turnover percentage (15.6%).
Steph Curry is carrying the majority of the team’s scoring load and is averaging 29.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists on 43.2% three-point shooting.
Looking at the Suns, the early-season portion of the schedule went just about as expected. Inconsistency in the lineup led to a wide range of results, but the glimpses of what this team can be at its best were there.
The individual scoring and playmaking ability of Durant, Booker, and Beal mean that when they are on the court together, opposing defenses can’t show any one of them too much respect or send doubles their way without being exposed on the back end of the rotation.
Beal has only played three games thus far but will return to the lineup on Tuesday. Booker is a go, and Durant is questionable with an ankle injury suffered last week against the Los Angeles Lakers.
An underrated aspect of the Suns is the spacing they’ve put around their stars. This somewhat mitigates their lack of a point guard and allows their stars to make easy kick-outs to open shooters whenever the defense collapses on them.
Although they don’t take many threes, the Suns rank fourth in the NBA in three-point shooting (38.5%).
Phoenix is one spot away from Golden State in both defensive rating and turnover percentage. However, their offensive firepower makes this much less of a concern.
The Suns aren’t entering Tuesday’s encounter in the best run of form. They lost four of their last five games, all by eight points or less. That speaks to how poor they’ve been down the stretch, where shockingly, they’re only 24th in clutch offensive rating.
Although neither one of these teams plays with a ton of height, they rebound the ball very well. Since they’re roughly equivalent on defense and in taking care of the ball, that leaves their offensive execution as the deciding factor.
Even with their late-game struggles when their lack of a natural facilitator is more noticeable, the Suns’ offense is much more fluid than the Warriors. Their players are also simply playing much better and look more confident when shooting the basketball.
Neither team has a contextual advantage, as the Warriors are 5-6 on the road and the Suns are 5-6 at home.
It would certainly help if Durant plays, but even if he doesn’t the Suns should win. Golden State simply has hit the point that it has too many problems to overcome with undeniable talent and production, whereas Phoenix can cause matchup problems and will have two of the three best players on the court (three of four if Durant plays).
Assuming Durant plays, we’ll lay the points. If he doesn’t, will take the Suns straight up.
Warriors vs. Suns pick: Suns -3.5 (-105) at BetMGM
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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