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The Phoenix Suns have struggled to get any significant headway in the stacked Western Conference. The Suns are coming off a 20-point win over the New York Knicks.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics have pushed their way forward towards holding one of the better records in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are heading into the contest after a disappointing loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Suns need their young core group to step upIt has been quite a while since the Suns got off to their strong start to the season that has many pegging them as a potential playoff team in the stacked Western Conference. In the time that has followed, Phoenix has struggled to find their footing on the court as the bulk of that came due to their issues defensively as they are giving up 113.9 points per game. They have had problems on that end of the floor in the last five contests that have seen them allow as they have seen opponents notch more 1110 points twice.
Granted, they have taken care of their business of late against inferior teams like the Knicks, it's still an area that is a cause for concern, especially top teams in the league, which will be the case against the Celtics. The games then become a test of whether they can keep up offensively with these opponents. The Suns have some promising pieces such as Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton that have provided them some stabile offensive production. Booker is as they come with his scoring as he's ninth with 26.2 points on 50.5 percent shooting from the floor and 35.7 percent from distance. Meanwhile, Ayton has picked up his play as of late with back-to-back 20-point outings that will need in order to have a chance against Boston on the road.
Celtics looking for some home cookingLike the Suns, the Celtics also got off to a strong start to the year, but they have stayed nearly on that steady course throughout that has pushed them to one of the best marks in the Eastern Conference. Boston has tremendous balance on their roster this season on their roster that has fueled their strong play on both ends of the floor. They have remained one of the defensive teams this season as they are allowing just 105.2 points per contest, which has been one of their top factors this season. Although they are coming off back-to-back tough losses to the Bucks and Pistons, their defense should be a factor in the equation against the Suns.
Kemba with the no l👀k layup pic.twitter.com/NZVtyyfpcd— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 17, 2020
Meanwhile, their deep roster should see them be able to tee off against the Suns' porous defensive efficiency. Offseason addition All-Star point guard Kemba Walker has smoothly stepped in as their top-scoring option in his first campaign with the franchise averaging a team-best 22.1 points 44.2 percent shooting from the floor and 38.8 percent from 3-point range. Walker is coming off pouring in a double-double with 40 points and 11 assists in the loss to the Bucks on Thursday night. The Celtics will be a highly-motivated squad to bounce back, especially at home where they have been an even strong team holding a 16-4 record entering Saturday's contest.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Oddsshark.com, are:
- Phoenix is 1-5 ATS in their last six games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
It has been a complete struggle for the Suns to gather any sort of consistent flow throughout the season, which should continue on the road against the Celtics, who have been one of the league's best teams in that regard. They have had some strong balance and will be more than motivated to bounce back after a pair of porous showings heading into the contest. The Celtics simply have too much depth for them to not pull ahead comfortably against a struggling Suns team that's just starting to figure things out with their core group over the last couple of games.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Celtics will hold the decisive edge in this contest that will be led by their play defensively as they have been one of the top teams in that regard. However, they have struggled over the last couple of games that have seen them give up north of 115 points against their previous two opponents. Meanwhile, the Suns are coming off a strong outing against an inferior Knicks team that saw their core group with Booker and Ayton lead the charge. The Celtics have also been a different team on their home floor. Saturday's contest should see enough scoring between these two squads' young core groups.