The Phoenix Suns head to the TD Garden to take on the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
Phoenix has lost just twice in their last 8 games played but heads to Boston after a 100-132 blowout loss at home. The Suns are 27-26 SU on the season and they are in 7th place in the West standings, just one-half game of the 6th-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves for the final outright playoff spot.
Boston has the best record in the NBA right now at 37-15 SU. In the East, the Celtics are 2.5 games ahead of the second-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. The Celtics have been red hot since the start of the year. Entering this game, the Celtics have won their last two games and 7 of their last 10 overall.
The Suns were off to a strong 16-7 start this season. But they have fallen off the cliff very fast. Phoenix lost 8 of 11 games and that worsened to a 5-17 SU record in their next 22. Devin Booker has missed the last six weeks and the Suns are 8-11 without him.
The good news for Phoenix is that Booker is traveling with the team on this five-game road trip. However, he is targeting to return next Tuesday against the Nets, meaning the Suns will be minus their top gunner against one of the most loaded offenses in the NBA in Boston.
In their last game, the Suns were blown out at home by the Atlanta Hawk 132-100. Despite the loss, Phoenix has won six out of their last 8 games played. This one’s going to be tough to win without D-Book though.
Booker s averaging a career-best 27.1 points per game in 29 games played. Without him, Miles Bridges and DeAndre Ayton must step up. The two combined to score 43 in the loss to the Hawks. The Suns need more from them and the rest of the team.
The Celtics were red hot to start the year with only five losses in their first 26 games of the season. They dropped five out of their next six games but went 13-2 SU in their next 15. Boston lost three in a row recently and snapped the skid by beating the Lakers in that controversial finish. Then Boston annihilated Brooklyn 139-96 in a game where they knocked down 26 three-pointers.
Jayson Tatum is having an MVP season at 31.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game Jaylen Brown is also having a terrific year at 27.0 points and 7.1 assists per game. Both are also playing well on defense at 1.1 steals per game. Malcolm Brogdon is putting up 14.4 points off the bench and he is one of the top 6th Man of the Year betting favorites.
Boston is the top team in the East and they also have the best record in the league. The Celtics are looking for another trip to the NBA Finals after they came within two games of winning it all last year. With Tatum and Brown each playing well this year, the Celtics are one of the top contenders.
Veteran guard Marcus Smart isn’t available on Friday as he is dealing with a sprained ankle. Smart has missed the team’s last six games played.
The Suns are 4-6 SU in their last 10 games played against the Celtics. Phoenix is also 1-2 SU in their last 3 games played in Boston.
Phoenix Suns SU trends:
Boston Celtics SU trends:
Good news for the Phoenix Suns as Devin Booker will be joining the team on their upcoming 5-game road trip that begins in Boston. The bad news, however, is that he isn’t expected to play against the Celtics on Friday and is targeting a return next Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets.
The book has not played since Christmas Day due to an injury and has been out of commission for the past six weeks. He is averaging 27.1 points per game in 29 games played this season but the Suns are just 8-11 SU without him.
Last Wednesday, the Suns were blown out at home by the Hawks 132-100. Phoenix was a miserable 4-28 from three-point distance and committed 16 turnovers that were converted to 31 points by the Hawks. Mikal Bridges led the team with 23 points while Deandre Ayton added 20 points and 9 rebounds but the Suns allowed the Hawk to make 19 three-pointers in the loss.
The Celtics meanwhile are coming off a strong 139-96 win over the Brooklyn Nets at home last Wednesday. Boston’s offense looked unstoppable as they led by as many as 49 points in the 4th quarter. The Celtics made 26 three-pointers, just one shy of their franchise mark.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each knocked down 7 three-pointers in the game. Tatum led Boston with 31 points while Brown added 26. It marked the 8th time this season that Tatum and Brown each scored 25 points in the same game. Boston’s lead was so big they had the luxury of resting their stars in the 4th quarter.
This marks the second meeting between these two teams this season. In the first meeting, the Celtics led by as much as 45 points in that game and won 125-98 in Phoenix last December 7th. In that game, Tatum and Brown each had 25 points while for the Suns, it was Josh Okogie who scored 28 points off the bench.
The Suns are in a stretch where they are playing well. However, without Devin Booker, they will have trouble stopping the Celtics’ scoring machine which is coming off a 139-point performance against the Brooklyn Nets. This should be a competitive game but in the end, the Boston firepower will be too much to handle.
Prediction: Boston Celtics
The Suns are 10-4 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Celtics. Phoenix is also 8-3 AT in their last 11 meetings played in Boston.
Phoenix Suns ATS trends:
Boston Celtics ATS trends:
When a team is coming off a massive home win like the Celtics did the last time out, there is a tendency for a letdown in their next game. But not this Boston team. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are playing so well right now that it’s hard to see both having a bad game at the same time.
The Suns are playing well right now but without Booker, they are simply outgunned here. I would take this plus-9 points if D-Book were here but right now, I trust the Celtics with another double-digit win behind their high-scoring duo.
Prediction: Celtics -9.5
The total has gone under in four out of the last 5 games played between these two teams. The over is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Boston.
Phoenix Suns over/under trends:
Boston Celtics over/under trends:
These teams have combined to score just 209.2 points per game in their last 10 head-to-head meetings and 218.33 in their most recent three encounters.
Phoenix has blown hot and cold without Booker. In their last five games played, they scored 228 points twice but also 100 or fewer twice. D-Book’ averaging 27+ points per game this season and his absence hurts the Phoenix offers significantly. Without Booker, the Suns have turned to defense and they have one of the top defenses in the NBA this season.
Boston is a high-powered team with plenty of scorers on offense. They are averaging 118.2 points per game this season. However, with Phoenix playing well on defense this year and Booker still absent on Friday, I don’t trust the Suns to be a good dance partner for them.
Prediction: Under 225
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.