Detroit Pistons (5-8 SU, 8-5 ATS) vs. Phoenix Suns (10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS), 8:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, November 22, 2009, US Airways Center, Phoenix, Ariz. TV: NBA TV
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Pistons +10/Suns -10
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The Phoenix Suns have been of the best teams in the NBA this season with their high scoring offense that is led by Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. But the Suns ran into a desperate New Orleans Hornets team on Thursday and the Suns lost the game, 110-103. The Suns will try to bounce back and avoid their first two-game losing streak of the season when they host the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.
Stoudemire leads the Suns in scoring with 19.8 points per game and is tied with Grant Hill for the team lead in rebounds with 7.5 per game. Many people may have thought before this season that Nash was on the decline, but Nash may be having an MVP-caliber season once again with 16.9 points and 11.8 assists per game. He is shooting over 50 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range. Jason Richardson has been a big contributor for the Suns at the 2-guard spot, averaging 16.7 points per game and shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc. Hill has given the Suns a big boost with his rebounding and defense, but Channing Frye has been the biggest surprise. The 6-foot-11 center is averaging 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. All of a sudden, Frye is a 3-point shooter. He is shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc and is leading the team in 3-pointers made with 36. Frye only had 20 made 3-pointers in the first four years of his career. With Frye playing so well, it has taken some attention off of Stoudemire, allowing Amare to be more effective down low.
The new-look Pistons, who haven’t had Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince for barely any of the season because of injuries, have had to lean on the tough, versatile, offensive-minded backcourt of Ben Gordon and Rodney Stuckey. Gordon is leading the team in scoring with 21.1 points per game, while Stuckey is right behind him with 17.1 per game. Ben Wallace leads the team in rebounds with 9.2 per game while scoring only 3.4 points per game, but Stuckey is second on the team in rebounding with 5.6 per game. Stuckey is also averaging a shade under four assists per game, but surprisingly enough Will Bynum is leading the team with 4.2 assists per game. With Hamilton out, Bynum has stepped in behind Stuckey and Gordon and is scoring 14.3 points per game. The speedy 6-foot guard has made it difficult for opposing backcourts to guard the Pistons’ guards no matter which two of them are on the court. Charlie Villanueva has also been a nice addition to the Pistons, as the starting power forward is averaging 15.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
The Suns are a great offensive team and the Pistons are a very good defensive team, so it will be interesting to see which prevails. The Suns lead the league in scoring with almost 110 points per game and are second in field goal percentage at 48.7. The Pistons are allowing the fourth lowest point per game with 92.3 and the third lowest field goal percentage at 43.3.
The Pistons are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games. The total has gone over in five of their last six games. The last three games have gone under for the Suns.
Ryno’s Pick: The Pistons are not a very good rebounding team, so Stoudemire, Frye and Hill will probably have big games on the boards. Wallace will be able to contain Stoudemire and limit his offensive production, and Villanueva matches up pretty well with Frye. Jonas Jerebko, the starting small forward for the Pistons, will have a height advantage on Hill and should be able to defend him well. Stuckey is a pretty good defensive guard, so if he guards Nash it will be interesting to see if the younger Stuckey can stay with Nash and keep him from having a big game. Gordon isn’t a great defender and Richardson will have a size advantage on him, so Richardson could be the key for the Suns. It’s unlikely that the Pistons will keep the Suns under 100 points since it hasn’t happened yet this season, so Detroit will need to score some points. Stuckey, Hamilton and Bynum will have to shoot well and carry the offensive load for the Pistons. With a strong defensive outing by the Pistons, they should be able to keep it close. Take the Pistons +10.