NBA Pick: Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns ‘over’ 188½

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, February 22, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

The Suns have one of the worst defenses in the NBA and they scored 200 points in two games since the All-Star game. The Celtics may have Jordan Crawford available so go ‘over’.

Expect a higher scoring game than the posted total may indicate Friday night when the Boston Celtics (28-26, 8-17 away) pay a visit to the Phoenix Suns (18-37, 12-13 home) at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ at 9:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 188½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -110.

The Celtics fell to 0-2 on this five-game road trip through the Western Conference with a 113-99 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, but at least Boston’s veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett can breathe a little easier.

That is because both players survived Thursday’s trading deadline amid speculation that they were on the block. One move that the Celtics did make was a positive one as they acquired shooting guard Jordan Crawford from the Washington Wizards for backup center Jason Collins and the inactive Leandro Barbosa, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.

So basically they did not give up anything in regards to this season to pick up a guy in Crawford that was the Wizards’ leading scorer before John Wall came back from injury and who has scored at least 20 points 12 times this season.

That can only help a Boston offense that has been trending in the right direction anyway since it was learned that Rajon Rondo is out for the season with a torn ACL of his own. The Celtics rank just 18th in the NBA in scoring with 95.8 points per game, and it was believed by many that Boston’s season was done once Rondo went down.

Instead, the proud Celtics rallied and have gone 8-3 without him and they have picked up the pace nicely offensively by averaging 99.8 points over the last 12 games. This surge has Boston in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, 1½ games ahead of the eighth place Milwaukee Bucks and five games ahead of the ninth place Philadelphia 76ers.

Now it is questionable if Crawford will be available for the game after being picked up yesterday, but as mentioned, the Celtics did not give up anything for him and their offense is playing well enough recently to be able to put up points on one of the worst defenses in the NBA as the team is already constructed.

The Suns are coming off of a 108-98 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, and this is a team that is ranked 22nd in the NBA in points against at 100.1 points per game, second to last in field goal percentage allowed at 46.8 percent and dead last in three-point defense at 39.2 percent. If that continues, the Suns would not need to do too much offensively to help push this game ‘over’ this total.

And the Phoenix offense has actually looked good in the first two games coming out of the All-Star break, averaging exactly 100.0 points on a blistering 48.5 percent shooting from the field With all of this in mind, go ‘over’ in the desert on Friday night.

[gameodds]5/219069/238-19-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Celtics, Suns ‘over’ 188½ (-110)

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