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Golden State Warriors Vs. Phoenix Suns: Fan Preview
The Golden State Warriors are coming off a surprise victory against the Los Angeles Clippers and they will look to end the first half of the NBA season on a positive note. The Warriors will play their first half finale against the Phoenix Suns in Arizona on February 22. This game won't just be the end of the first half for both teams; it will also be the rubber match for the season series between these two squads. Each team has won one matchup so far this year, with the most recent win going to the Warriors on February 13 by a final score of 102-96 at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
With each team looking to possibly make a playoff push in the second half, this matchup means a lot heading into the All-Star Break. Let's look at some of the keys for their matchup:
Ekpe Udoh's New Role
With Ekpe Udoh's big moves on the court for the Warriors against the Clippers, he could very well continue to be a big factor in the Warriors' upcoming games. Andris Biedrins has struggled all year long and has never really gotten things going, often scoring zero points on any given night. Getting little to no production out of their starting center, especially offensively, was hurting the team in close games. It caused their bench to have to play that much harder and often led to losses in close games. If Udoh can build off his performance, then David Lee could very well get the help he deserves in the front court.
Last time these two teams met the Warriors' backcourt of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis combined for just 8-of-30 shooting and 27 points. This time around, the Warriors' backcourt is going to have to be a bit more involved, especially since the Warriors are playing on the road. If Ellis and Curry can get things going in terms of driving the lane and attracting defenders, then spot up shooters like Brandon Rush and Klay Thompson will have the opportunity to bury the Suns with three-pointers. Otherwise, it could end up being a long night in the desert.
Containing Steve Nash
Steve Nash only had seven points the last time the Warriors and Suns met. However, he did have 14 assists and normally averages 14.2 points per game. So containing him, especially in Phoenix where he just dished out 14 assists on the Lakers on February 19, is going to be a key for the Warriors' success. If Nash begins hitting his running jumper, especially in the lane, the Warriors could find themselves in trouble.
Prediction: Warriors 101 - Suns 96
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where they post fresh content daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
NBA.com. Warriors vs. Suns Preview. NBA 2012.
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