“Even if Draymond Green comes back, and the Warriors are playing great basketball, this is an absolute coin flip of a series” - Brian Scalabrine believes it’s hard to bet against the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns All-Star Devin Booker
Phoenix Suns All-Star Devin Booker
Justin Thomas Hamill

Former NBA player Brian Scalabrine said it will be hard to bet against Phoenix this postseason Thursday on “The Starting Lineup.”

The Suns (53-13) became the first NBA team to clinch a playoff spot on Wednesday after their 111-90 victory over the Miami Heat.

Phoenix Suns first to clinch playoff spot, Brian Scalabrine believes squad will be hard to bet against

Of a potential playoff series between the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors, former NBA player Brian Scalabrine said:

“Even if Draymond Green comes back, and the Warriors are playing great basketball, this is an absolute coin flip of a series.”
The Suns become the first team this season to clinch a playoff spot ☀️☀️☀️🔊 @Scalabrine is impressed.#RallyTheValley

The Warriors (44-22) are third in the West, stumbling since losing Green to a back injury in early January.

The teams got off to scorching starts. Golden State began18-2, while Phoenix went 19-3. When the Warriors beat the Suns 116-107 on Christmas, Golden State was 27-6 and Phoenix was 26-6.

Meanwhile, the Suns' Devin Booker and Chris Paul, however, have led a pace few teams can match.

Scalabrine said Phoenix's pace is an issue:

“Here’s the thing about the Phoenix Suns, they spread you, and they just keep going, no matter what.”

He used their last matchup against Miami as an example, saying that no matter what Miami did, Phoenix kept playing at its desired pace.

Scalabrine said:

“They just keep playing. … It didn’t matter what the situation was. They come down. They execute. They space. They attack the ball.”

Phoenix hasn't lost more than two games in a row all season. They have had three two-game skids.

Booker is averaging 25.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists. Paul contributed 14.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 10.7 assists per game before being sidelined with a fractured thumb last month.

The Suns' win over Miami was big, even if it had not landed them the first playoff berth. Miami leads the Eastern Conference, and the Suns played without Paul. If Phoenix can beat the opposing conference’s best while missing a star, Scalabrine may be correct: Golden State might struggle with the Suns.

A known defensive great and three-time NBA champion, Green could pose a large issue for Phoenix. Despite averaging only 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game this season, Green has a high basketball IQ on both ends. He knows how to shut down offensively dominant opponents and bring the game down to a comfortable pace.

But Scalabrine has a point. With the way the Suns are rolling, a healthy Green might not even be able to stop them. That is a scary notion for whoever sits in the Suns' path. Phoenix is trying to get the championship that proved elusive last season, when losing to Milwaukee in the NBA Finals.

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein


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