The Suns have lost 4 straight games and 7 out of their last 8 games and it couldn't have come at a worse time. See who we like as our betting pick in this matchup of two teams who are down on their luck.
Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 pm ET tonight at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. According to the NBA betting odds, the Suns are a 7.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 213.
The trading deadline played a major role where these teams are concerned as the Suns gave up part-time center Miles Plumlee and received point guard Brandon Knight. The Suns also gave up Isaiah Thomas ,who was relegated to the bench as a member of the Suns after playing with the Kings. Thomas is a player that's very streaky and has good handle as a guard and can shoot the 3-ball. The part of his game that he needs to work on is the mental aspect. Boston can certainly use his offense.
Currently, newly acquired point guard, Brandon Knight, is listed as day to day for the Suns. Thus far, since the trade, Knight has played in just one game and scored 13 points and had 5 assists coming off of the bench. Knight, who was leading the Milwaukee Bucks in scoring, isn't a bench player and when he's completely healthy, will be a major asset for Phoenix, especially in their fast tempo style of play. If Knight is able to play, this is an added advantage for the Suns as he can score and feed players such as Markieff Morris and Alex Len and increase their production.
Speaking of Alex Len, the trade has benefited him. Now, he doesn't have to share time at the center position with Miles Plumlee. In his last two games, he's been getting major minutes, averaging 9.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. Most of the offense goes through Eric Bledsoe, but Len will get the opportunity to be a legitimate starting center and he should play well against a rather weak Boston Celtics squad.
Most players wouldn't see this game as a revenge game, but Isaiah Thomas is the type of player that could possibly look at it in that manner. If the Celtics give him a decent amount of playing time, he can have a big game as he's very familiar with the Suns offensive and defensive schemes and will be out for blood.
This is a great opportunity for IT2 as the Suns are quite vulnerable at the moment. He's played one game with the Celtics and scored 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. I think that he would flourish as a starter,but for now, Thomas will be coming off of the bench as he played 25 minutes in a 118-111 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Defense isn't a factor with both of these teams as the Celtics allow 102.7 points per game and the Suns allow 105 points per game. We should see a high scoring affair as the total of 213 points indicate. Phoenix ranks 3rd in the league at 106 points, It's just a matter of which way do we go? Jared Sullinger is out and that's a tremendous blow for the Celtics. That said, Phoenix can't seem to win a game.
After taking a quick look at the injury report, we also notice that Kelly Olynyk will also be unable to play. Expect Brandon Knight to play and for the Suns to take advantage on the inside with Alex Len. Boston is in a bad spot in this game and I'm willing to lay the 7.5 points with my NBA picks.
NBA Pick- Phoenix -7.5 at 5Dimes