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Detroit Pistons at Phoenix Suns
NBA: Thursday, March 21, 2019, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona, 10:00 PM ET
The inter-conference foes will meet at the Talking Stick Resort Arena on Thursday when the New Detroit Pistons take on the Phoenix Suns, looking return to the winning ways after they opened the five-game road trip with a loss to Cleveland, while the hosts are hoping to avoid the fifth defeat in seven games. Detroit has been a better rival in the recent H2H duels as they won the last four meetings including the opening game of this season’s series when they beat Phoenix 118-107 at home and now are looking to sweep the series with a victory here.
Detroit Pistons fell short to the Cavs on the road
Detroit’s five-game winning streak snapped with a couple of defeats to Brooklyn and Miami and although they responded with two wins, the Pistons couldn’t make it three in a row as the Cleveland Cavaliers stopped them. The Pistons now dropped to the 36-34 record and are sitting in the 6th position in the Eastern Conference with a solid chance to reach the playoffs as they are three wins ahead of the Orlando Magic, who are in the 9th place at the moment. The Pistons cannot afford to lose top Phoenix as they are traveling to Portland, Golden State, and Denver after the tilt with the Suns, Detroit could suffer all three defeats.
Wayne Ellington led the Pistons in a 126-119 loss to the Cavaliers with 25 points and two steals; Andre Drummond posted a double-double of 21 points and game-high 21 rebounds along with team-high five assists, while Reggie Jackson contributed with 15 points and four dimes. Detroit decided to rest Blake Griffin in this one and that proved to be a costly decision, which was visible in the fourth quarter when the Pistons needed his clutch shots. Cleveland managed to create a gap late in the game and deservedly secure a victory.
25 for Wayne and a 20-20 for Dre, but we fall to the Cavs.
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) March 19, 2019
The Pistons have the 23rd offense in the NBA that averages 107.4 points per contest, while their defense is in top 10 as it allows 107.9 points per game (8th). Detroit’s rebounding is average as they are recording 45.3 boards per game (15th), while they are worse when it comes to assists per contest with 22.7 dishes a night (26th). Detroit is 29th in field goal percentage as they have 44.1 percent from the floor and 20th from downtown with 34.9 percentage, while they are 8th in the NBA with 12.1 three-pointers made per game.
Phoenix Suns lost to Chicago due to a poor display in the opening quarter
Phoenix returned home from a two-game road trip with a loss to Houston and a win over New Orleans but the Chicago Bulls beat them in the desert thanks to an excellent performance in the first quarter. The Suns dropped to the 17-55 record and are still at the rock bottom of the Western Conference with 11 wins behind the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks. Phoenix will not play in the playoffs this year but they will have a chance to select a top 3 pick in the NBA Draft in the summer.
Deandre Ayton led the Suns in a 116-101 loss to the Bulls with a double-double of 25 points and game-high 12 rebounds along with team-high three steals and game-high three blocks; Devin Booker followed him with 25 points, eight boards, and game-high seven assists, while Josh Jackson chipped in with 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Phoenix played well in three quarters but they opened the game with just 20 points, allowing 34 in return, and Chicago managed to maintain the comfortable lead for the remainder of the game.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 19, 2019
T.J. Warren (right ankle soreness) wants to return before the season ends but will miss this one out, while Tyler Johnson (sore right knee) is also sidelined for the Thursday’s tilt with Detroit. Kelly Oubre (left thumb sprain) is a game-time decision after missing the game with Chicago, while Richaun Holmes (quad) is expected to practice on Wednesday and could return against the Pistons.
The Suns have the 24th offense in the NBA that averages 107.1 points per contest, while their defense is among the worst in the league as it allows 116.1 points per game (27th). Phoenix’s rebounding is the worst in the league as they are recording 40.4 boards per game, while they are way better when it comes to assists per contest with 24.0 dishes a night (18th). Phoenix is 16th in field goal percentage as they have 45.7 percent from the floor and 30th from downtown with 32.8 percentage, while they are 27th in the NBA with 9.5 three-pointers made per game.
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a double-digit loss at home
- 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games playing on two days rest
- 2-10 ATS in their last 12 vs. NBA Central rivals
- 7-3 ATS in their last ten games overall
- 4-0 ATS in their last four games playing on two days rest
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
- 8-3 ATS in their last 11 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Detroit won seven out of the previous ten H2H encounters including the last four, while the Pistons were victorious in four of the past five meetings at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Pistons are 22-8 ATS in the last 30 duels and they are 5-1 ATS in the previous six meetings in Phoenix, and with Griffin back on the court, I don’t think they will have problems to beat the Suns in this one. I am backing the visitors because they will be highly motivated to get a win and stay alive in the playoff race, while their frontcourt has the ability to dominate the paint and I expect Drummond and Griffin to shine in this one.
Prediction: Detroit Pistons -7.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Detroit is playing strong defense but they struggled offensively in the last few games and I think their defense will have a say in this one and that’s why I am going with under. Under is 5-0 in Suns last five home games; under is 7-1 in Suns previous eight after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game, while under is 6-1 in Suns last seven vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Also, under is 11-2 in Pistons last 13 vs. Western Conference rivals and under is 7-0 in Pistons previous seven vs. NBA Pacific opponents.
Prediction: Under 218 (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Phoenix was up at halftime in two of their previous five games, while Detroit was quite successful when it comes to the opening 24 minutes lately as they had a halftime lead in each of their last three games. The Suns will struggle without Warren, Johnson, and Oubre Jr. and I expect the visitors to set up the tempo from the start and control the game with ease, and I am going with the Pistons to cover the -4 spread.
Prediction: Detroit Pistons -4 (-110)
Half-Time Side Pick
The total is set at 111.5 and although the previous H2H tilt produced even 123 points in the first half, I am backing under in this one because I am not impressed with the teams’ respective offenses lately. Detroit failed to reach the 100-point mark in three of their last six road games and considering that I already backed under in the end of this clash, I am also going with under in the opening 24 minutes.
Prediction: Under 111.5 (-110)