The Golden State Warriors will officially begin the 2017 NBA regular season against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night after a protracted summer. Unfortunately, they will not have experienced forward Draymond Green, which will disappoint the organization and the fans.
Green, 33, had been rehabilitating from an ankle strain suffered last month before he was formally ruled out of the season opener on Monday. The Warriors are left lacking, especially defensively as they prepare to take on what many will consider to be the league’s most explosive offensive trio.
The Golden State Warriors may struggle without Draymond Green as they get ready to play Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal in the first game of the season.
The team of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal will be playing together for the first time in a regular season game, but opponent teams have been wary of their offensive potential ever since the Suns acquired Beal in the early summer.
Naturally, the transaction increased the Warriors’ chances of obtaining Chris Paul in a sensational trade soon after. Nobody ignores the fact that the 38-year-old is making his Golden State debut against his former club and that this is Durant’s first public homecoming to Chase Center in the more than four years since his departure from the Bay.
Starting lineups anticipated
Warriors: Kevon Looney, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Chris Paul, and Andrew Wiggins
Suns: Jusuf Nurkic, Kevin Durant, Josh Okogie, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal
While Booker (toe) and Beal (back) are both listed as doubtful for Phoenix, Green (knee) is a sure out for Golden State. Damion Lee, a former Warrior and 2022 NBA champion, is also out while recovering from knee surgery.
The Warriors will probably start the same group that Steve Kerr used in Friday’s last preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs in Green’s absence. Theoretically, Jonathan Kuminga may take Paul’s spot in order to expand the starting five considering his good preseason performance. Given the additional element of Paul playing against his former club, that would ultimately be a brave decision by Kerr.
The greatest unanswered issue for the Suns is who will start in place of Booker, Beal, Durant, and Jusuf Nurkic as the fifth player. Grayson Allen has performed well in the preseason since his recent trade acquisition, but Josh Okogie has prior experience playing with Booker and Durant.
How to prepare
a game with a high score. The Warriors don’t seem to be able to handle Durant, Booker, and Beal’s firepower without Green. Golden State’s defensive shortcomings persisted despite their strong 4-1 record in the preseason, when they were rated 21st in defensive rating.
Having said that, the Suns also possess defensive weaknesses that might be exposed by the best shooting backcourt in history as well as an offensive wizard in Paul who has the ability to attack defenses at whim.
In light of the Green news, Phoenix may be the small favorite, but in any case, both teams will probably need to score 120+ points to get their seasons off to a good start.