NBA Picks: Suns vs. Celtics
Season Straight Picks record: (52-39-3)
NBA Odds for this game have the Celtics as solid -9 favorites. After the Suns’ loss to the Bucks in Milwaukee last night, will they’ll have enough in the tank to cover or beat the C’s or will Boston channel that terrific play they have been putting out recently and take care of business at home?
Suns just under hump
That threshold for NBA team of being bad, average or even good is a big leap from one level to another. The Suns are quite literally right under the average label, and while their record says otherwise, this is a team that has some nice pieces, but they just can’t seem to tighten down on defense.
The Suns’ problems have been that way for a long time, but while Phoenix is giving up their average of 100 points per game, their offense is wildly inconsistent, leading to their 12-24 SU record so far this season.
The talent they brought in after the departure of Steve Nash seemed like it might be able to compete, but the Suns are far from putting it together right now, and if Alvin Gentry doesn’t get his squad playing better, he might also be on his way out, as we have seen of 10% of the league’s coaches already this season.
Boston coming back
If any of you watched my most recent update on the Eastern Conference with Pete Loshak, you’ll remember me saying that if the Celtics were not in contention for a solid playoff spot by the middle of January, they would be sellers at the trade deadline. Well, a week after I say that the Celtics have won three games in a row, they have evened their record, and their defense is finally starting to show up.
Boston has clawed and trash talked their way back to the 8th seed in the East, and they are threatening to climb even higher. Including tonight, the Celtics have a stretch of mostly winnable games over the rest if this month, and they could start to get back in the playoff picture. They could also fall right back down into lottery discussion as well, but I think they are finally trending upward.
The Sharp Pick
I was very high on the Celtics this offseason, and along with just a few other teams, I have been really wrong about them so far. However, that’s why they play all 82 games (except for last season) and that’s why I think the Celtics are going to cover this one.
At home, Boston is much better ATS and with Phoenix playing last night in Milwaukee and losing, Boston should have little trouble taking out the Suns. Boston must have made a pretty big and collective New Year’s resolution, because in the month of January the Celtics have only given up 86 points per game, and that is a solid and drastic improvement. These weren’t against garbage teams either, all four Boston games in January have been against playoff teams, and they are 3-1 SU in 2013.
Phoenix does not have the playmakers needed to beat Boston, and the Celtics are another week or two of good play away from me claiming they are back. Lay the points with Boston.
My Pick: Celtics -9 at Pinnacle