Dallas Mavericks (30-15 20-15 ATS) vs. Phoenix Suns (26-21 22-24-1 ATS) US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ 10:30 PM EST Thursday January 28, 2010 on TNT
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Mavs +2 / Suns -2
Tonight the struggling Phoenix Suns host the Dallas Mavericks. The Suns started the season on fire, but boy have they cooled off, as they have lost 2 in a row, have only won 3 of their last 7 games, and currently trail the L.A. Lakers in the Pacific Division by 9.5 games. The Mavs have been playing solid lately, as they have won 2 in a row, are 6-4 in their last 10 games, and they are in 1st place in the Southwest Division with a 3.5 game lead over the San Antonio Spurs.
This season the Suns are 17-6 at home and the Mavs are 16-8 on the road.
The Suns have the highest scoring team in the league, but their defense is weak and they come into this home game short-handed. In losing 7 of their last 9 games the Suns have given up an average of 113.8 ppg and they will be without Leandro Barbosa, who is without after wrist surgery, and may be without Grant Hill, who has a bum knee.
The Mavs can get out and run, but they cannot get into a high scoring up-tempo game with the Suns, as that will play right into Phoenix’s strength. Jason Kidd and Jason Terry have to play good defense against Steve Nash (18.5 ppg), who is 2nd in the league in assists, and not let him run ragged in this game.
The Mavs have a better half court game so if they can slow the tempo they have a great chance to win.
The Mavs also have to play solid perimeter defense, as even though the Suns are struggling on D their offense has not and they have hit 50% of their 3-point bombs (32/64) in their last 2 games.
In the last meeting between these 2 teams the Mavericks won 102-101 and Dirk Nowitzki had a huge game going for 33 points.
Nowitzki and C Erick Dampier have to play good D on Amare Stoudemire (20.6 ppg 8.4 rpg) because if they do not he may have a huge game on both ends of the court and if he can score inside the Suns will have open looks from deep, which is bad news for Dallas.
In their last game the Suns lost to the Charlotte Bobcats 114-109 on Tuesday night. The high scorer for Phoenix in the game was Steve Nash going for 23 points on only 7/22 shooting, but he did dish out 9 assists. For the game the Suns shot 39/87 for a FG% of 44.8%. On D the Suns allowed the Bobcats to shoot 41/92 for a FG% of 44.6%.
The Mavs won a close game in their last outing beating the Milwaukee Bucks 108-107 also on Tuesday night. The high scorer for the Mavs was Nowitzki going for 28 points on 11/25 shooting. For the game the Mavs shot lights out going 41/80 from the field for a FG% of 51.3%. Even though Dallas won the game they did not play good D allowing the Bucks to shoot 40/75 for a FG% of 53.3%.
This season the Suns rank 1st in scoring (109.9 ppg) while the Mavs rank 15th (100.4 ppg). On defense the Mavs rank a decent 13th in points allowed (97.4 ppg) while the Suns rank 2nd to last in the league (107.9 ppg). Neither team is a great one on the glass, as Dallas has an even rebounding differential while the Suns are at -2.1 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Mavs rank 7th (94.09) and the Suns rank 12th (91.86).
Phoenix is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games, and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5.
Dallas is 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog, and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog of 0.5-4.5.
Phoenix has an Under record of 5-1 in their last 6 home games and has an Over record of 7-3 in their last 10 games as the home favorite of 0.5-4.5.
Dallas has an Over record of 7-2 in their last 9 games as an underdog and an Over record of 12-4 in their last 16 games as a road underdog.
On the injury front C Erick Dampier and PG Jason Kidd are day-to-day for Dallas and SF Grant Hill is day-to-day and SG Leandro Barbosa is Out for Phoenix.
Jason’s Pick: The Suns simply cannot play any defense and they have to run and score to win. While the Mavs are not the best defensive team in the league they will play just enough to come out on top in this game. Take the Mavs and the points in this game, as they will win this game in the Valley of the Sun tonight.