Suns vs. Lakers NBA Odds & Picks: Back Red-Hot Phoenix Against Champs
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul.
- Coming off a stellar month that saw them go 12-3, the Phoenix Suns open their March against the reigning champs.
- The Lakers are coming off an impressive win over the Warriors but have struggled without superstar big man Anthony Davis.
- Matt Trebby breaks down why he's backing Phoenix to stay hot as road dogs in Los Angeles.
Suns vs. Lakers Odds
|Moneyline||+100 / -120|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
A healthy Los Angeles Lakers team would make this an even bigger test for the surging Phoenix Suns, but Phoenix will be excited for the test against the reigning champs even without Anthony Davis.
The Suns are one of the NBA’s hottest teams at the moment, coming off a fantastic month that saw them jump up to fourth in the Western Conference, just one game behind the Lakers in second.
Both teams have thrived defensively of late, so let’s dig in and see who we trust more to make big shots down the stretch.
The Suns capped a stellar February with a win over the lowly Timberwolves on Sunday. Phoenix went 12-3 in February and registered a stellar 9.8 Net Rating for the month, according to NBA Advanced Stats, ranking second to the Jazz (12.6).
The reason for the Suns’ breakout season, so far, is obviously Chris Paul, who is having a pretty typical Chris Paul season. He’s averaging 16.6 points 8.8 assists while shooting 48.5% from the field.
The biggest impact Paul has had on Phoenix is on its pace of play. The Suns ranked 29th in pace in February, according to NBA Advanced Stats, above only the lowly Detroit Pistons.
Paul is slowing down the game and making sure the Suns are getting the best shot possible. Because of that, Devin Booker was shooting a career-best 50.1% from the field entering Sunday, and his three-point percentage is the highest it has been since the 2017-18 season.
Los Angeles Lakers
Sunday night’s performance against the Warriors was probably the Lakers’ best of the season without Anthony Davis.
Golden State had won three straight and was thriving in February. The Warriors entered the game with a 5.6 Net Rating in February, per NBA Advanced Stats, which was the fourth best in the league during the month.
The Lakers dominated from start to finish, up 20 points after the first quarter and 29 at halftime. Steph Curry only played 26 minutes because of the blowout nature of the game.
The win was obviously impressive, but the best part of the game might have been that LeBron James only played 24 minutes. He still stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals, but the rest during a stretch in which he has been the only lead dog for the Lakers must have been very welcome.
Los Angeles managed an 9-5 record in February and went 3-4 after Davis’ Achilles injury sidelined him on Feb. 14.
In their last seven games without Davis, the Lakers’ Defensive Rating is a stellar 105.0, second-lowest in that span to just the Memphis Grizzlies. Offensively, it has been a bit of a struggle for Los Angeles, though, with an Offensive Rating that ranks 25th in the NBA in those seven games.
Not having Davis will be difficult against Phoenix, but you can count on the Lakers to make things difficult for the Western Conference’s latest contender.
The Suns are red hot and healthy and while the Lakers have thrived defensively of late, they have proven to be beatable without Davis.
The total is tempting here and worth a look if it gets up another point or two because of how well both teams are playing defensively.
I’m focused on fading LeBron and the Lakers against one of the NBA’s best teams right now. The Suns are in great control of their offense, especially with Paul at the reins.
Pick: Suns +1.5
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