Although we're only in December, the Phoenix Suns have the 8th spot in the Western Conference secure at the moment, but tonight they'll face the ultimate test as CP3, Blake Griffin, and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers are on a 7 game winning streak and don't look like they'll lose any time soon. See who we like in this west coast track meet as our betting pick.
Tip-off is scheduled for tonight at 10:30 pm ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This game can be seen on Fox Sports 2.
NBA odds makers expect a high scoring affair as Phoenix is not known for their defense. The total for the game is 215 while the Clippers are a 7.5 point betting favorite.
The question here isn't "Will Los Angeles win?" It's a matter of covering the point spread, which appears to be on the low side.
Best Team in Los Angeles
For so many years, the Clippers would get the top draft pick and draft someone like Michael Olowokandi and they would be a second class citizen to the Los Angeles Lakers. It actually became embarrassing. Now, the tables have turned as the Lakers are clearly the laughing stock of the NBA while the Clippers are contending for an NBA Title.
The two things in this game that really stand out are the Suns lack of defense (25th in the NBA) and while the Clippers have DeAndre Jordan at the center position, the Suns are filled with power forwards, but no legitimate big man. To be successful in the NBA, a team must have a legitimate center to compete and that's why Phoenix will never win an NBA title and be inferior to the Clippers.
The center doesn't have to be Wilt Chamberlain and average 50 points per game, but they have to be able to defend the basket and add a little offense. This is just what DeAndre Jordan does. For the season, Jordan averages 8.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. Jordan takes up room in the paint and allows Blake Griffin to focus on his offense.
Speaking of Griffin, his rebounding has decreased slightly, but he's having another stellar season, averaging 22.9 points per game on 50% shooting. The difference in this game is that the Suns don't have men of size such as Griffin and Jordan with the offensive and defensive skills that they bring to the table every single game.
The Run and Gun Suns
Phoenix doesn't have that unselfish ball distributor such as CP3, but they're loaded at the guard position.
As of late, Eric Bledsoe has been the go to guy for the Suns. Bledsoe averages 15.8 points, 5.7 assists, and 4.7 rebounds on the season. In his last 5 games, he's averaging 19.6 points per game. Efficiency isn't one of his strong suits, but he's definitely had the hot hand and is actually one of the Suns that can play some defense.
Look for Bledsoe to have a solid game tonight with the help of back court mate Goran Dragic. This hasn't been Dragic's best season, averaging 16 points per game, but Dragic is capable of putting up 30 points on any team in the NBA.
Phoenix is a solid ball club and there should be a lot of points scored. The betting total is a bit high and I like the momentum that the Clippers carry into this game and the NBA picks goes for L.A.
Free NBA Pick: Clippers -7.5 at 5 Dimes