Game Guide: League-leading Suns take on reigning champs Bucks

Published February 7, 2022, 3:00 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

Get ready for this week’s NBA action headlined by the titanic Finals rematch between the Bucks and the Suns!

Taking it back to 1993

Suns vs. Bulls: Feb. 8, 9:00AM on NBA League Pass

The Phoenix Suns and the Chicago Bulls are both racking up the wins, climbing up to the top of their respective conference’s standings. It’s as if it was 1993 all over again–a time when Devin Booker and Zach LaVine weren’t even born yet. Yet here they are now, leading their respective franchises to a special place in history. 

Best thing about this matchup is that, much like the Charles Barkley-led Suns and the Michael Jordan-led Bulls nearly three decades ago, it isn’t only about the franchise players. Both the Suns and the Bulls have rosters built to be complete two-way problems. They’ve got high-level players who can kill on offense and defense. This one is going to be fun.

New-look Clippers and new-school Grizz

Clippers vs. Grizzlies: Feb. 9, 9:00AM on NBA TV Philippines 

Just like that, the Los Angeles Clippers mutated into a lethal version of themselves. No, they didn’t get back Paul George and Kawhi Leonard just yet. But in their place are two dependable, respectable two-way players they’ve acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers. 

The Clippers have so much new talent right now, losing veteran Eric Bledsoe while adding Norman Powell and Robert Covington into the mix. Their first go at it versus the Milwaukee Bucks was ugly. Powell top-scored for the Clippers (28 points) despite coming off the bench, but jelling together as a unit will definitely take a bit more time. That’s something the Memphis Grizzlies have excelled at and what made them one of the most exciting teams this season. Let’s see if the Clippers are done with their get-to-know-yous by this game.

Klay heating up, Donovan back

Jazz vs. Warriors: Feb. 10, 11:00AM on NBA TV Philippines

Klay Thompson is heating up. That’s about as bad as it can get for the hurting Utah Jazz. Except that Steph Curry is also perpetually on fire for the Golden State Warriors. They’re still without Draymond Green, but guys like Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and Jonathan Kuminga have been bringing the fun lately.

The Jazz just got Donovan Mitchell back, but minus Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles. So if they want any chance to keep up with the Warriors, Mitchell would need to replicate—perhaps even improve on—his 27-point explosion against the Brooklyn Nets. 

We meet again: A Finals rematch

Suns vs. Bucks: Feb. 11, 11:00AM on NBA League Pass

The last time we saw these two teams battle on the court, it was Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals. We all know how that ended up for the Milwaukee Bucks, the team that came out with the chip. For the Phoenix Suns, they came out as the team with a bigger chip on their shoulders. Their current win-loss record shows that the Suns are out for revenge. If you zoom in on Devin Booker’s eyes every time he has the ball in iso mode, you’d see it too. 

The bad news for them though: the championship didn’t quench Giannis Antetokounmpo’s hunger one bit. He, for some reason, is playing like he’s also out for revenge. To avenge what? Who knows. The Suns might soon find out.

Eastern Conference heavyweights

Sixers vs.. Cavs.: Feb. 13, 8:30AM on NBA League Pass

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a better record than the Philadelphia 76ers. Not by much, but still. The Cavs are playing on a whole different level this season, doing it without any warning nor expectation. They lost Collin Sexton – no problem. Ricky Rubio went down – still winning. They’ve got an All-Star in Darius Garland, a fringe All-Star in (and now an extra motivated) Jarrett Allen, and a superstar rookie in Evan Mobley. 

The Sixers, well, they got problems. But Joel Embiid ain’t one. He’s playing in yet another MVP-chasing mood. Embiid vs. Allen? That’s one matchup that deserves all the attention.