Suns 2019-20 Season Win Total: Expect Growth From Underrated Roster
Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Devin Booker
- Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Matt Moore (@HPBasketball) analyzes each team's win total odds.
- Below, Matt provides a case for the over and under + gives his confidence rating for the Phoenix Suns' win total this year.
All odds as of Friday. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Phoenix Suns Win Total
The Case for the Over (27.5, DraftKings)
God help me, I love this number.
As I wrote earlier in the summer, I’m putting my faith in 212 minutes over 10 games.
After the Suns made mid-season moves for Tyler Johnson and Kelly Oubre Jr., the Suns had a brief, exciting moment of competence. In that 212-minute span, lineups featuring Johnson, Oubre, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton held a 112.8 Offensive Rating, which is great, and a 109.8 Defensive Rating, which, for the Suns, is great for a net +3.0. In Suns terms, that’s worth a parade.
And the numbers were even good with Josh Jackson, one of the worst plus-minus players league-wide last season.
Now, add in Ricky Rubio to the equation. He may be a flawed, limited player, but he’s also a very good, flawed, limited player. He makes good passes, he can run an offense and he’s a great defender.
Dario Saric is a high quality wing who can shoot, score and defend. They also added Aron Baynes, a capable backup center and a real plus defensively.
So their rotation would be:
- Mikal Bridges
That’s eight rotation players who are certifiably NBA players (as defined by “they will be in the league at least 18 months from now”). That’s more than they’ve had maybe in a decade. That base core competency goes a long way for grabbing wins vs. teams hampered by injury or exhaustion. That’s how you steal those wins.
They’ve got playmakers with Rubio and Johnson, and Booker is an underrated passer. They have finishers with Oubre, Bridges and Ayton. They have a few guys who can defend, a few guys who can shoot, a few guys who can run. They have Saric, who does a little bit of everything. Really, truly, the roster isn’t bad.
The Suns didn’t have a great summer in terms of team building. They didn’t add superstars or big-time veteran upgrades. They just got a little bit better at every spot and transitioned from a team of young guys who didn’t know what they were doing to a team of two young guys who don’t know what they’re doing and a group of veterans who aren’t that talented but are capable professionals.
With a bar of 27.5 for the lowest over on the board, this is too good to pass up.
The Case for the Under (29.5, Westgate)
OK, so let’s move past the fact that it’s the Suns and they always find a way to screw it up. (I call this “The Browns Corollary.”)
They have a top-10 strength of schedule in October/November, December, February and March. Even if they’re better, the bar is higher. Who are they going to sneak up on and actually beat?
And it may be true that the roster is better, but so is the West, and this team’s progress still hinges on Booker and Ayton. Booker never starts fast, when they need it most to keep momentum and avoid another veteran fire sale halfway through the season, and Ayton remains very much a work in progress, especially defensively.
Do you believe in a Booker-led team getting to 30 wins? That much?
- The pick: Over 27.5
- Confidence: 8 out of 10
I love this over; it was one of the first I identified. The Suns are easy to dismiss (for good reason) because of their franchise history, but their trade deadline moves genuinely made them competent. Competency is what you need to get to 30 wins.
The schedule’s tough, but with Monty Williams’ coaching, I have confidence in a sustained effort and work to improve. They’ll capitalize in the easier months and down the stretch when other teams are tanking or resting and will be surprisingly frisky. The Suns won’t be good, but this over is marshmallow soft and too good to pass up.