PHOENIX — The Valley takes center stage on Christmas Day, and while a week 16 match-up between two playoff teams at State Farm Stadium is quite the treat, it doesn't get any better than the two best teams in the NBA squaring off.
Catch the Suns on Christmas Day as they face the Warriors on ABC15 at 3 p.m.
Sports Anchor Collin Harmon:
The fact that the Suns have the best record in the NBA is pretty remarkable considering they went seven games without Devin Booker and eight games without DeAndre Ayton. Over those stretches without two of their best players, they lost a grand total of three games while winning 12. It speaks to the depth of this basketball team, and dare I say, a more complete basketball team than the one that came up two wins shy of an NBA Championship last summer.
The demise of the Golden State Warriors was greatly exaggerated. One bad, injury-riddled season looks like an anomaly. The fact they are putting together this type of season, with Klay Thompson on the verge of returning to the court for the first time this season, is a very scary thought.
With the two teams separated by one game in the standings, Saturday's match-up could have playoff implications down the road, potentially determining a head-to-head tiebreaker, as the Suns and Warriors split the first two meetings this season.
The biggest difference was the Suns were without Devin Booker for one-and-a-half of those games. Book got injured in the 2nd quarter of the first meeting, but the Suns still found a way to win.
Give me the Suns and their depth on Christmas Day, with Booker leading the way after getting three games under his belt coming off the hamstring injury.
Collin's prediction: Suns 113, Warriors 108
Sports Director Craig Fouhy
The Warriors and Suns are currently the two best teams in the NBA, so this should be an exciting matchup between two very evenly matched teams. The Warriors and Suns both boast a top-five offense and defense.
In the first matchup of the season between these two teams, Phoenix came out with a 104-96 win at Footprint Center. Three days later, Golden State got some revenge with a 118-96 win at home.
Both sides should be relatively healthy (although Klay Thompson is still out for Golden State) and ready to compete for the top spot in the Western Conference.
The biggest difference to me is that Phoenix has a deep bench, and the Suns can count on Cameron Payne, Cam Johnson, JaVale McGee, and Landry Shamet to all make solid contributions while Devin Booker, Chris Paul, DeAndre Ayton, and the rest of the starting five are taking a break.
As we look deeper, both teams rank in either the top five or top 10 in almost every statistical category and are as evenly matched as you could be at this point in the season.
Trust the home-court advantage to work in the Suns favor on Christmas Day. It’s never easy to be the traveling team on a Holiday game.
I like the Suns to take a two games to one lead in the season series!
Fouhy's prediction: Suns 111 Warriors 108