We shouldn't have to tell you how important this game is for both teams. With both vying for a playoff spot, the NBA odds are sure to be close for this battle between Phoenix and Oklahoma City.
The Suns are favored by just one point on their home court against one of their biggest obstacles in the way of a playoff berth: the Thunder. This is going to be a highly competitive game, so the NBA odds make a lot of sense here.
For those interested in O/U NBA picks, they are listed at 213.5 points right now, with plenty of time left in the day for the odds to shift. We wouldn't be shocked at all to see that number rise even more, as these two teams play at a high tempo and know how to put points on the board.
What a topsy turvy season it's been for the Suns. They've gone through a ton of ups and downs already, and we've seen the perfect summary of that recently, with Phoenix following up a four-game winning streak by losing two in a row ahead of tonight's home game against Russell Westbrook and company.
After an embarrassing home loss to Sacramento, the Suns then lost by six to Portland on Friday, once again on their own court. Phoenix was awful on the offensive end, shooting just 36.8 percent from the field overall against the Trail Blazers. Eric Bledsoe was an awful 5-of-20 from the field, as it was only really the Morris brothers that came through offensively.
The Suns are now three games back of the eighth spot in the Western Conference, so they've got plenty of work to do. Who are they catching? None other than the Thunder, who they'll do battle with tonight. Phoenix will come in having gone 21-17 in 38 games at home so far this season, so it's not like Bledsoe and friends have been protecting their own building very well. Getting Brandon Knight (ankle) back on the court will be a nice boost, but he remains questionable to return tonight.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder dropped their second straight last night against Utah, despite Westbrook's best efforts once again. Oklahoma City shot 42.5 percent from the floor overall and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc, with only three Thunder players scoring in double digits against Utah's stingy defense.
Westbrook carried the load once more, racking up 37 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 41 minutes, though he did turn the ball over nine times in the loss. Enes Kanter had 18 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks, while Anthony Morrow scored 12 points with four rebounds, two assists and a steal off the bench.
Despite losing two in a row, Oklahoma City remains in control of the last playoff spot. The Thunder are two and a half games up on the Pelicans and three up on the Suns, so they need to stay the course and come out with energy each and every night to protect that coveted spot. Not having Kevin Durant, who was recently ruled out for the rest of the season, is a killer blow, but Oklahoma City has shown they can win with Westbrook running the show.
When in doubt, have faith in Russell Westbrook.
We don't see a clear edge on either side here, so we're going to ride Westbrook to carry the Thunder to the all-important road win. They should be able to bounce back against a far less intidimating defensive team in Phoenix here after struggling against the much improved Jazz last night.
Oklahoma City knows how important a victory tonight is. With Westbrook leading the way and almost assured of another huge game against the up-tempo Suns, we look for the Thunder to cash as underdogs this evening.
NBA Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder +1 at The Greek