NBA First Basket Props: Deandre Ayton & Jae Crowder Stand Out for Phoenix Suns

NBA First Basket Props: Deandre Ayton & Jae Crowder Stand Out for Phoenix Suns article feature image

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jae Crowder #99 and Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns.

NBA First Basket will break down some of his favorite NBA plays of the day here, and will track all his bets in The Action Network app.

Deandre Ayton & Jae Crowder First Basket

PropAyton (+450, 1 unit) | Crowder (+800, 0.25 units)
MatchupPelicans vs. Suns
Time9 p.m. ET
Book FanDuel

The New Orleans Pelicans take on the Phoenix Suns Sunday evening in Game 1 of their series.

Suns center Deandre Ayton has won 71% of all opening tip-offs this year and has won both tips against Jonas Valanciunas (won 51% of opening-tips this year) in their previous matchups. It is worth noting that Valanciunas was 2-0 vs. Ayton last season on tip-offs.

The Suns score first 56% of the time (sixth in the league) while the Pelicans score first just 39% of the time (second-worst in the league). That can be a little misleading, though, as both teams take 2.2 shots to make their first field goal on average.

New Orleans gives up first baskets to opposing centers in 30% of games, tied for fifth-worst in the league. Ayton started out the season slow — over his first 44 starts he scored the first team field goal for the Suns just nine times. Over his last 15 starts, Ayton has scored the first team field goal in 10 of those games.

The Suns have played four games against the Pelicans this season and while Ayton only started two of them, the Suns center who started in his place still scored first in those other games.

I'm also throwing a small amount on Jae Crowder, who has taken the first shot for Phoenix the most this season.

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Nick Sterling
Jul 14, 2024 UTC