Chicago Bulls (18-22 17-20-3 ATS) vs. Phoenix Suns (25-18 22-20-1 ATS) US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ 10:30 PM EST Friday January 22, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Bulls +6.5 / Suns -6.5
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Tonight in the valley of the desert the Phoenix Suns host the Chicago Bulls. Neither team is playing that well lately, as the Bulls have lost 2 in a row and are 5-5 in their last 10 games and even though the Suns are coming off a win they are only 4-6 in their last 10 games. The Bulls are in 2nd place in the Central Division 13 games back of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Suns are in 2nd place in the Pacific Division 7.5 games back of the L.A. Lakers.
This season the Suns are 16-4 at home and the Bulls are only 4-15 on the road.
The Bulls have not started their recent road trip well to say the least, as they have dropped the first 2 games and it looks as if they may have left their defense in the Windy City, as they have given up an average of 109 ppg in those 2 losses.
The Bulls have a tough stretch of games coming up, as their next 5 games are against teams that all have winning records.
Chicago will have to find their D tonight, as the Suns are the highest scoring team in the NBA averaging almost 110 ppg. The Bulls do have a young and athletic team, but they cannot run with the Suns, as they will get crushed. The Bulls are one of the lowest scoring teams in the league so they will have to win this game with their defense.
Derrick Rose will be counted on to slow the tempo of the game by trying to contain Suns’ PG Steve Nash (18.6 ppg), who ranks 2nd in the league in assists per game (11.2).
In their last game the Suns beat the New Jersey Nets 118-94 on Wednesday night. The high scorer for the Suns in the game was Amare Stoudemire going for 27 points on 10/15 shooting. For the game the Suns shot lights out going 45/84 from the floor for a FG% of 53.6%. On defense the Suns actually played some in the game holding the Nets to 38/87 for a FG% of 43.7%.
Also on Wednesday night the Bulls played and they lost to the L.A. Clippers 104-97. The high scorer for the Bulls in the game was Derrick Rose going for 23 points on 10/24 shooting. For the game the Bulls shot 39/91 for a FG% of 42.9%. On D the Bulls allowed the Clippers to shoot 38/82 for a FG% of 46.3%.
This season the Suns have the highest scoring team in the league (109.9 ppg) while the Bulls only rank 27th (94.5 ppg). On defense the Bulls rank 14th (98 ppg) and the Suns only rank 29th (107.3 ppg) out of 30 teams in the league. The Bulls have a better team on the glass, as they have a rebounding differential of +2.0 rpg while the Suns are at -2.0 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Suns rank 11th (92.69) and the Bulls rank 22nd (87.67).
Chicago is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog, and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5, and the total has gone Over in 13 of their last 19 road games as an underdog of 5.0-10.5.
Phoenix is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games against teams in the Central Division, and have an Over record of 3-1-1 in their last 5 games against teams in the Central Division.
On the injury front the Bulls are a little banged up with SG John Salmons, G Kirk Hinrich, and C Brad Miller all day-to-day while the Suns are not reporting any significant injuries.
Jason’s Pick: The Suns are legit at home and the Bulls are far from legit on the road. Even though the Bulls have a decent defense they will not be able to stop the high scoring Suns. The Suns will easily win this game and cover the spread sending the Bulls to their 3rd straight loss.