Suns blow out Warriors as Klay Thompson talks rings
Every year a CP3 team hands the Dubs an annoying loss, huh?
The Golden State Warriors lost their first road game of the season last night, much to the cackling delight of an Arizona crowd happy to see their Phoenix Suns prevail 134-105 over the defending champions.
There’s something about Chris Paul led teams that annoy the Dubs and provide stark regular season lessons for the Warriors to learn from. Whether the Clippers, Rockets, or Suns, it feels like every season Golden State finds themselves on the wrong end of a CP3 victory that gets Dub Nation riled up.
Last night that legacy continued, with Klay Thompson and Golden State’s defense both finding themselves in places they’ve never been before thanks to Phoenix’s pestering attack.
The passion of Klay
The first time Suns’ Devin Booker got the better of a Splash Bro on a grand stage was during 2018 All-Star weekend, when he went toe-to-toe with Thompson in the 3PT Shootout competition.
Booker stepped into the spotlight by breaking Thompson and Stephen Curry’s then-record of 27 shots in one round, nailing 28 shots and taking the crown that night.
Thompson’s Warriors would go onto win their second title in a row that season, while Booker’s Suns would go into the lottery with 21 wins. But that night on All-Star weekend fanned the flames of Booker being compared to Thompson since entering the league in 2015.
Check this excerpt from NBA.com breathlessly proclaiming Booker had the potential to be a better player than Golden State’s younger Splash Bro:
Looking around the league, Booker has the same skill-set and size as another star at his position, Golden State Warriors sharp-shooter Klay Thompson. Booker actually has a legitimate chance to be a better overall player than Thompson, meaning that the sky is truly the limit for the dynamic shooter in Phoenix.
While Thompson is one of the greatest jumpshooters in the league and may go down as one of the best 3-point marksmen in NBA history, Booker has the potential to be equally potent from outside while also adding more in the box score by way of assists and rebounds. Thompson has diversified his scoring game in recent years by scoring off the dribble and creating his own shot, but he still lacks any other kind of production out of the scoring column.
Now flashback to last night, where Thompson was easing his way through an early season minute restriction in a hotly contested battle against Phoenix. He and Booker began barking at each other on the court, with the normally chill Thompson reaching a level of animus we haven’t really seen much of before.
It was clear Thompson took umbrage to Booker’s talk like a big brother shutting down a mouthy little brother. Thompson has the accolades and championships that Booker can only dream of right now, but Booker was cooking with grease last night. Da Book had 34 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals on 10-of-19 shooting from the field (11-of-14 on free throws). He was a game high +32 plus/minus and showed he’s got a bright future.
He also showed plenty of respect to Thompson after the game:
I’ve often been called arrogant during my blogboi career, but I cover a team that has players like Klay who are throwing up his ring count like gang signs in opposing players faces and then getting ejected for getting too hyphy!
There’s a champion’s cockiness that is earned after so many successful campaigns, and even though this was probably the biggest win in Phoenix franchise history, Klay’s four fingers provide a beautiful reminder that the Dubs are the reigning champions and have been victorious at levels other teams can only dream of. It’s also a good reminder to Dub Nation not to overreact to regular season losses, although they may provide frustrating viewing experiences.
Golen State - There’s no D
Speaking of not overreacting, I’m not going to get too hung up on the Warriors defensive lapses. You ever woke up Sunday morning after a weekend bender with bleary eyes and a pounding head, fumbling through basic motions like making coffee or finding your car keys? Maybe the Dubs just have a championship hangover, still getting all that champagne out of their bloodstream after ring #4.
Let’s not worry about the defense, it’s not that bad is it? Let me check in with my hero, Bay Area sportswriter Monte Poole:
WHOA actually never mind, this is the worst defensive effort in franchise history?! A franchise that once gave out free tickets and family 4-packs because the team was so trash??? Oh hell naw, that’s completely unacceptable.
Reminder that the Lakers juggernaut who went into the 2021-22 season as big Western Conference favorites among the punditocracy are now **33-53** since then.
And the Pelicans keep licking their chops for Victor…