Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Phoenix Suns (32-22 SU 27-25-1 ATS) vs. Dallas Mavericks (32-21 SU 21-31 ATS) American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX 9 PM EST Wednesday February 17, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Phoenix +4.5 / Dallas -4.5
Over/Under: 218

Tonight the Dallas Mavericks go for their first win with their new-look lineup, as they host the Phoenix Suns. This is an important Western Conference match up, as the Mavs are in 4th place in the conference while the Suns are in 6th, but only trail Dallas by game. Both teams will fight in the 2nd half of the season to stay in the top 4 in the West so they can host a 1st round playoff series.

This season the Mavericks are 15-9 at home and the Suns are 14-15 on the road.

The Suns are one game under .500 on the road this season, but they have won 6 straight away from Phoenix.

The Mavs have won 4 straight games against the Suns in the Big D and in those games Dirk Nowitzki (24.6 ppg) has averaged 32.8 ppg.

The main player Dallas wanted in their big trade with the Wiz was Caron Butler, but Brandon Haywood (9.7 ppg 10.3 rpg) may be more important, at least for a while, as starting C Erick Dampier dislocated his finger in last night’s loss and he is out indefinitely. Dallas will need Haywood to be their big man down low with Dampier out.

In Butler’s first game in a Mavericks’ uniform and he did score 13 points, but he was only 4/16 from the field.

Sure, Amare Stoudemire (21.2 ppg 8.6 rpg) is still with the Suns, but for how long since he is on the trading block. He will be playing in tonight’s game in a Suns’ uniform and he has to play well on both sides of the court, especially on the boards.

Dallas can’t just worry about Steve Nash (18.1 ppg 11.2 assists per game) and Stoudamire, as Jason Richardson (14.7 ppg) is key, as he has averaged 21 ppg in the 2 meetings between these teams and when he scores at least 17 points the Suns are 18-2 this season.

The Mavs lost last night in their first game back falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder 99-86. Dirk Nowitzki was the high scorer in the game going for 24 points on 9/22 shooting. For the game the Mavs could not hit water if they fell out of a boat shooting 30/93 for a FG% of 32.3%. On defense the Mavs allowed the Thunder to shoot 35/82 for a FG% of 42.7%.

Last night the Suns beat the Memphis Grizzlies 109-95. The high scorer for Phoenix in the game was Jason Richardson going for 27 points on 12/17 shooting. For the game the Suns shot 41/82 from the floor for a FG% of 50%. On defense the Suns actually played well holding Memphis to only 32/90 shooting for a FG% of 35.6%.

This season the Suns are the highest scoring team in the league (109.9 ppg) and the Mavs rank 13th (101 ppg). On defense the Mavs rank 15th in points allowed (99.6 ppg), while the Suns only rank 29th (107.5 ppg). Neither team is great on the boards, as the Mavs have a rebounding differential of -0.6 rpg and the Suns are at -1.2 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Mavs rank 10th (92.74) and the Suns rank 11th (92.62).

Phoenix is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 game, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games, and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5.

Phoenix has an Under record of 5-0 in their last 5 games, an Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 road games, and an Under record of 8-3 in their last 11 games against teams with a winning percentage above 60%.

Dallas is 7-20 ATS in their last 27 games, 5-21 ATS in their last 26 home games, and 2-14 ATS in their last 16 home games against teams with a losing road record.

Dallas has an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 home games, an Over record of 7-3 in their last 10 games, and have an Over record of 6-1 in their last 7 home games against teams with a losing road record.

In the last 6 games between these 2 teams the total has gone Over 5 times.

Jason’s Pick: On paper the Mavs are a better team with their new players, but chemistry is so important and it does not come overnight. The Mavs have been struggling on both sides of the court lately and that will continue tonight, as Phoenix will come in and win their first game in Dallas in their last 4 games. Take the Suns and the points in this game.