The Suns opened up this Eastern road trip with a nice win in Toronto to snap a four-game losing streak, and they now appear to have a great chance at two straight wins vs. the Nets.
The visiting team from the stronger Western Conference looks to have an excellent chance to go to 2-0 on this Eastern road trip and get back to .500 Tuesday night when those Phoenix Suns (8-9, 9-8 ATS) pay a visit to the struggling Brooklyn Nets (4-13, 10-7 ATS) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY at 7:35 ET in a game available on YES.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Phoenix as a modest road favorite for this contest with the current line at -3 with odds of +100.
Snapped Four-Game Skid in Toronto
The Suns opened up this road trip by snapping their four-game losing streak with a nice 107-102 win Sunday at a difficult venue in Toronto, as perhaps Phoenix enjoyed taking a break from facing teams from the stronger Western Conference, even if that win did come vs. one of the best teams the East has to offer. Thus the Suns have pulled to within one game of the .500 mark, and this seems like a nice spot to get back to that mark.
Brooklyn has been the winning NBA pick just four times this season in 17 games, with the fourth win coming on Sunday in an ugly 87-83 snoozer over the Detroit Pistons. Not surprisingly, the Nets have yet to win back-to-back games this season and even though they are home here and the Suns are one game below .500, Phoenix is still better talent-wise than most of the Eastern Conference teams Brooklyn usually faces.
Much Better Defensive Effort
The Suns had struggled defensively during their four-game skid, allowing an average of 118.8 points per game, but all four of those losses came vs. the West. The defense was clearly better on the trip East to Canada, although the Raptors did go 12-for-29 from beyond the three-point arc, which was the main reason they scored 102 points. Still, shaving 16 points off of the average of the previous four games was encouraging.
That improvement figures to improve vs. the archaic Nets’ offense, so if the Suns can score at their usual clip, they should get out of Brooklyn with a relatively safe win. Phoenix is third in the NBA is scoring with 106.2 points per game, keyed by excellent guard play that he helped the Suns also rank third in three-point shooting at 39.3 percent.
Both starting Phoenix guards are averaging in excess of 20 points, with Eric Bledsoe leading the team with his 22.6 points per game and Brandon Knight not far behind at 21.7, with Bledsoe shooting a scorching 40.8 percent beyond the arc and Knight sitting at 39.6 percent from downtown.
Second to Last in Scoring
Meanwhile watching the methodical Brooklyn offense has been like watching paint dry this season, as not only do the Nets play at one of the slowest tempos in the NBA but they are also only 17th in field goal percentage at the end of those long possessions and dead last in three-point shooting, a combination that has yielded a scant 95.8 points per game that ranks 29th (or second to last) in the league.
And perhaps even more alarmingly, the Nets are 20th in the league in points against despite that deliberate pace, as they are 23rd in field goal percentage allowed and 25th in three-point defense. Thus the Suns seem capable of building a big lead here with the three-ball, especially if they can quicken the pace, and the Nets are simply not a team built to come from behind vs. a high scoring team.
Beating Up on Atlantic Division
Finally, the Suns have done a great job of beating up on Atlantic teams, going a scintillating 40-17-1 ATS in their last 58 games vs. that division!
If Phoenix plays as well defensively tonight as it did in Toronto, look for that dominance of the Atlantic to continue visiting Brooklyn on Tuesday.
NBA Pick: Suns -3 (+100)