The OKC Thunder visit the Phoenix Suns in a battle of teams vying for the 8th spot in the Western Conference playoff queue. this is clearly a clash of two teams headed opposite directions.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-5) vs. Phoenix Suns 10:35 ET TNT
The OKC Thunder visit the Phoenix Suns for this 10:35 ET TNT showcase in a battle of teams vying for the 8th spot in the Western Conference playoff queue. Though OKC (32-25 SU) leads Phoenix (30-28 SU) by 2 ½ games, this is clearly a battle of two teams headed opposite directions. Earlier this season, OKC won both matchups against the Suns by scores of 112-88 and 137-134. But, it is the current form of these two which points out OKC as our NBA pick.
Phoenix made some head-scratching moves at the trade deadline. The Suns gave up a pair of starting guards in Dragic and Isaiah Thomas. In return, they got just one meaningful piece in Brandon Knight. It clearly looks like a step backward for Phoenix. Yes, the Suns beat the Nuggets (91-83) last night, but that was to a Denver team, who is just 2-16 SU and weakened themselves notably at the trade deadline by surrendering Affalo and McGee. The Nuggets are quickly sinking to the bottom of the West. Prior to that victory, Phoenix had allowed an average of 116 PPG their previous 4 games. Even with that win, the Suns are just 2-8 SU. Their 105 PPG defense for the season is the 3rd worst in the league.
OKC is moving in the opposite direction. Unlike CBKB where quality HCs can make chicken salad out of chicken poop, you must have the horses to compete in the NBA. Early in the season, the 2 superstars for OKC were both missing. The Thunder struggled badly out of the gate. Since their return, OKC has begun their ascent in the standings. Though Durant has missed 5 of the last 10 games, the Thunder have not missed a beat! OKC has won 9 of those last 10 contests with Westbrook stepping up to average 30 PPG, 8 RPG and 10 APG, nearly a triple-double. Westbrook is knocking down 39% of his triples. But, there is more good news. Remember when Cleveland improved their chemistry in the East with savvy acquisitions? Such was the case with OKC. The Thunder fortified their roster at the trade deadline, adding a young emerging interior star in Enes Kanter, who has successfully teamed with Ibaka upfront. They also added quality depth with chemistry rich players, PG Augustine and Singler. Tonight, OKC enters on a 7-0 SU ATS NBA odds run in which they have scored at least 105 PPG and averaged 113 PPG. This can only be another high-scoring victory against the defenseless Suns for the ascending Thunder.
Free NBA Pick: Take Oklahoma City Thunder -5 at Bovada