NBA Odds, Pick, Preview for Suns vs. Warriors: Can Golden State End Phoenix Winning Streak? (Dec. 3)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Steph Curry
- The Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns meet for the second time this week in a highly anticipated matchup.
- The Warriors are sizeable 7.5-point favorites against the Suns who are riding a league-leading 18-game winning streak.
- Will the Warriors prevail at home? Matt Moore previews the matchup
Suns vs. Warriors Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
Now in the "duplex" spot of a second game just a few days later, this time in the Bay, will the Suns have all the answers again? Or is there value on Golden State taking care of business?
Suns Defense Found a Way on Tuesday
Eighteen straight wins now for the Suns, tying them for the 11th-longest streak in NBA history after their casual win over Detroit on Thursday. Now they're on a back-to-back.
The Suns will be without Booker for a few weeks while he recovers from a strained hamstring. Abdel Nader, Frank Kaminsky, and Dario Saric are all also out, so the Suns are pretty banged up.
Phoenix's defense carried the day in the first matchup between these teams on Friday, holding the Warriors to just 41% from the field and 35% from 3, and absolutely shutting down Stephen Curry, who went 4-of-21 from the field and 3-of-14 from 3-point range.
All in all, pretty good.
The Suns did a great job in containing Curry on switches. DeAndre Ayton was phenomenal in what's a tough assignment for any big.
The Suns also brought a new dynamic to this one. The Warriors opted to start Kevon Looney to battle the Suns' size. That let the Suns counter the smallball lineups with Draymond Green at center with Cameron Johnson guarding Green and switching, and he also did a phenomenal job.
That's exactly why you switch vs. the Warriors.
Offensively, my assumption going in was that the Suns would try and just smash the Warriors' switching defense with CP3 and Booker pull-ups. But surprisingly, on the 25 possessions where the Warriors switched vs. the Suns' pick and roll, the ball-handler passed on 21 of those. Much of this was because the Warriors were uncharacteristically undisciplined off-ball.
Andrew Wiggins' back issue shows up here, but there was a theme throughout the night of defenders helping over unnecessarily on switches and then getting burned on CP3 passes which led to drives off the catch:
Phoenix's defense carried that game, holding the Warriors to a 100 offensive rating. Can they do it again?
Warriors Were Uncharacteristically Bad
No, they can't. Just a spoiler alert for the pick section. No, they can't.
Look, Golden State played probably the worst game I've seen them play this season in that game. If it was just shooting variance, honestly I probably go the other way and think there's value on the Suns getting more than two possessions.
However, the Warriors just played dumb, by their standards. They helped down on switches when the entire point of switching is so that you don't have to be in rotation. They settled for bad shots. They had 24 turnovers, many of them insane. Draymond Green late in the game was basically Russell Westbrook, wildly careening towards the rim and missing layups.
And yet the Warriors were in the game until the final five minutes.
Andre Iguodala is expected to miss this game as well after missing the Tuesday tilt. But Golden State should play better and Curry will be a lot more decisive. He was tentative vs. the Suns in the first matchup, and they'll find better ways to get him the switches he wants.
He'll also just shoot better. Even if Curry isn't lights out, the odds of a 4-of-21 night are very low for a player of his caliber. That might mean more drives to the rim because the Suns' contain on his step-back is elite, but even then he can cave the defense.
Fewer turnovers, which are something Golden State can (but rarely does) control, better shooting, and just a better mental focus will help Golden State.
With all players healthy, I make this line at Warriors -5.2, giving an edge to the Suns. Take out Devin Booker, who is probably worth 0.75 to the spread and you're at roughly Warriors -6, still.
Add in a motivational factor for the Warriors after playing terribly in the last game, off three days rest, while the Suns are on a back to back, and you can just creep over to justify the line.
I will say, this line has moved from -6.5 at open to -7 and the majority of tickets and money as of this writing are on Golden State. I would not play this higher than -7.5, but I do think the Warriors are playable for moneyline parlays if you're into such things.
The under moved by a full seven points after the first game went 200 total, and without Booker. There's always shooting variance that can kill a well-capped total, but I still have this game at 212.5.
Both teams switch heavily, as evidenced above, and with better Warriors discipline, Golden State should hold the Suns sub-105 in offensive rating. These are two faster-paced teams but they played incredibly slow in the first meeting… again, because when you switch a lot, it bogs everything down. I also lean under.
Pick: Warriors -6.5, play to -7 (-110 or better). Under 215.5, play to 214.