The NBA’s 2021-22 regular season will have its two best teams facing each other. The Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors will be the cream of the crop, and most interestingly, the two sides never got to face each other at full strength across four matchups due to injuries for both sides.
It felt that the two would meet in the Western Conference Finals, and it was important to monitor developments in the bay area for the last few months of the regular season like rotation changes and players rounding into form.
The basketball game on Tuesday is not going to be very exciting, but at least we will get to see how the players do when they are almost 100% healthy.
Golden State will not have guard Donte DiVincenzo (hamstring), a key offseason signing, and Andre Iguodala (hip). Ish Wainright is still dealing with lower back pain for the Suns and Jae Crowder remains away from the team. Other than that, both sides are good to go.
The Warriors and the Suns did not make many changes to their rosters this offseason. The Warriors signed DiVincenzo on the taxpayer mid-level exception, and JaMychal Green joined them after getting bought out by Oklahoma City.
The only other changes are that Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II, who were both important last year, are no longer with the team.
Wiseman is set to return from a long-term knee injury that benched him for most of his rookie season.
Wiseman is back and he is ready to play. He is not starting, but he is a great asset to the team. He is a good offensive player and a great defensive player. The Warriors have never had a player like him before.
Sun’s head coach Monty Williams said Monday that Looney is a big dude, but he’s not as big as Wiseman. Wiseman is big and athletic, which poses a different challenge for the defense, especially in the second unit.
Wiseman will help Curry and Jordan Poole by setting screens for them, so they will have more space to move. Like Deandre Ayton, he is very good at using space. He is also quick and skilled for someone his size.
Whether or not we see him in the playoffs, his defense will improve. He has great potential, but still needs to work on his skills. Denver was tough on him Friday.
As a young player, it is a lot to take in learning this stuff right away on a title contender. Suns will give Wiseman his latest crash course.
We shouldn’t just coast by Green like we’re sure many of you did when he got scooped up by the Warriors. Behind Poole, he’s playing the second-most minutes off the bench and is a trustworthy option for Steve Kerr in the big rotation. Golden State had to replace Porter in some way unless second-year wing Jonathan Kuminga was ready for 20-plus minutes per game but it had a reliable veteran in Green fall into its lap.
Williams was joking but also not joking about the Warriors getting Green. He said that people see Green as just a tough, physical guy, but he is more skilled than people give him credit for. Green can shoot three-pointers and is a really good player. Williams said that there is not a single team in the NBA that would not want Green on their team.
He will look good on this team. I don’t know why the Los Angeles Lakers got so preoccupied with Curry but I get it and they did, which left Green wide open on the swing pass Andrew Wiggins saw the whole way.
Green is a good passer, and even though he is 32 years old, he is still fairly agile for his size. He is a big problem for the other team on the glass.
Keep an eye on the Warriors’ reserve frontcourt and Poole’s explosive shotmaking.
Sonya Spencer is a news reporter for ABC News. She has covered major stories such as the 9/11 attacks, the war in Iraq, and the 2016 presidential election.