Steph Curry and Chris Paul’s need for greatness shapes this unexpected confrontation between the Suns vs. How are Warriors?

This week’s second match between Phoenix Suns and Golden Empire Warriors done, even early in this NBA season, the feeling of an intense playoff game, must see.

The basketball being played is fantastic, a fact underscored by Phoenix’s 19-3 record and the Warriors’ 18-3 record. Phoenix extended its winning streak to 18 games last Thursday night Detroit Pistons, a run is its own powerful attraction to see what’s next. And the Warriors’ great history – along with last year’s Phoenix Finals – is in the colors of knockout basketball, including in December.

But something deeper — one expressed by several NBA league sources this week who are happy to talk as fans about the Suns-Warriors because they’re captivated, too — is not true. It is often acknowledged that the Warriors-Suns are also the setting for a confrontation between two of the greatest point defenders to ever play the game.

It’s the pull of history, just like the pull of this particular basketball moment, that takes this regular-season game to another level.

Warriors vs. Suns is great. Western Conference #1 vs. Western Conference #2 guarantees a level of basketball worth your time. But Steph versus CP3 is the real traction, both in what it means now and what they’re fighting for that can be remembered years from now.

Featured game | Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns

Tuesday’s clash, which the Suns won 104-96, felt like a title fight. And even though Curry struggles, it is the star power of these two great characters that has elevated this series to must-see TV status.

Magic Johnson is the game’s all-time greatest point guard, but behind him there’s a very, very strong case for Curry in 2nd and CP3 in 3rd. Curry is the great shooter. in the history of this sport. , although he is also a point guard. And CP3, doesn’t have an MVP or a championship to showcase his greatness in the same way that, for me, stands above most other players in that position.

Isiah Thomas is a strong case. So did Jason Kidd and Steve Nash. But Curry’s position is clearly above all else, and Paul’s superb skills give him the greatest advantage ever in a season like Dan Marino’s.

CP3, third all-time in assists, throughout his career, a defensive force (and one grossly underrated), a scoring machine when necessary. both late game and the motive behind many offenses could not have done what they would have done without him. What he hasn’t done – not in a significant way – wins.

And it’s another force – the looming need for greatness ahead of both men and the growing challenges of young stars up close – that has shaped this unexpected rivalry between the Suns-Warriors, rivals already captivated Tuesday, the fight we’ll be glued to Friday night, the day we’ll see Christmas Day, and it looks increasingly likely we’ll see as the Western Conference series decide determined after the knockout round takes place.

There’s between Curry and CP3, and between their teams, too, a faint feeling that sand is running through the hourglass for each as they face each other. They are teams ready for greatness, yes. But there also seems to be an expiration date nearby.

For Steph, another ring will be redeemed on a grand scale: Another championship without Durant, one after the traumas to him and his teammates that many claim have caused out in the course of Golden State’s dominance in the past, one will beat him, for me, from the Top 10 players of all time to maybe the Top 5. To a 33-year-old point guard (34 in Finals) once again led Golden State to the championship, without KD, after so many of us had written off that opinion. , would be the stuff of legend.

And it, no nonsense in its own right, gives Steph four rings – as many as LeBron James, at the exact time people around the tournament enveloping them in a widespread belief. The king, at least a certain conqueror, is no more.

For Paul, the need was even more desperate. His greatness is unquestionable – saving a championship. To use NFL Again as a comparison: The gap between Marino and John Elway is huge because one is a champion and the other is not. But Elway has won two rings in his final two seasons.

CP3 almost got it for the first time last season, reaching the Finals. How close that was – and he surely must have known that time was running out, no matter how unusually he was playing at the age of 36 – giving every crucial moment he had to face is now a certain pull that you can feel.

All of that is the poor state of these two teams, about their greats, and what they’re fighting for.

LeBron James, dangerous even though he remains, is viewed throughout the league as something he probably never has: Beatable. Utah was excellent in the regular season but that didn’t cause any fear for the teams going into the knockout stages. Portland is a mess. Denver is traumatized. The West feels open, and on the other side – perhaps through each other – is what the Warriors and Suns stars’ coveted most: Another shot into the kind of basketball glory that could change everything rank.

It may only be December, but the pulse of what could happen is the electric current running beneath Friday night’s game, which could be threatened if Steph or CP3 can turn their team’s early-season form into championship. And in each other – the point defenders, and their teams – they can see the biggest threat to getting there. Steph Curry and Chris Paul’s need for greatness shapes this unexpected confrontation between the Suns vs. How are Warriors?


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