The Phoenix Suns have won 16 consecutive games and sit comfortable in second-place in the Western Conference behind the Golden State Warriors. The two teams will meet tonight in a fantastic Tuesday evening NBA matchup. The hottest team in the NBA vs. the best overall team in the early going. It'll be great.
Their meeting spawned a plethora of takes on today's sports talk shows, and Stephen A. Smith is, of course ,included. He declared on First Take that the Suns' championship window is closed thanks to the reemergence of Golden State. J.J. Redick could not believe what he was hearing and called the idea "asinine," even after Smith clarified that he meant their window is closed for this season.
This rather perfectly encapsulated the First Take experience for guest analysts. Redick made a reasonable argument and Smith fired back by saying, "I don't give a damn" and using phrases like "man amongst boys." Redick is right, of course. Nobody can blame Smith for believing in the Warriors this much, but we're not even in December yet.
Redick has been excellent across from Smith over the last few weeks. His calm and measured approach to debate is a wonderful contrast to the fire and brimstone Stephen A brings. He's another smart mind to add to ESPN's growing roster of analysts, even if it seems like he's having too much fun doing his podcast to join any one show full-time.
It will be a while before we know who is right here, but it's hard not to take Redick's side from any logical standpoint.