Sunday night, regular season NBA action continues when the Dallas Mavericks take on the Phoenix Suns. After being off for more than four months, both teams resumed play on Friday. The Suns took on the Wizards and the Mavericks took on the Rockets. All remaining games in the NBA "bubble" will take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.
The Mavericks and Suns have met twice earlier this season. Dallas won the first match-up in Phoenix 120-113 back on Nov. 29, and the Suns won at Dallas 133-104 on Jan. 28.
Defense fails Dallas in loss to HoustonDallas is currently the third highest-scoring team in the NBA, averaging 116.8 points per game. Dallas is attempting 41.6 three-point attempts per game, which is the second-highest total in the NBA while ranking eight shooting 37% from beyond the arch. The Mavericks high powered offense is led by MVP candidate Luka Doncic who is averaging 28.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game. Kristaps Porzingis is second on the team in scoring with 19.6 points per game and a team-high 9.6 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr., who has averaged 15.8 and Seth Curry, who is shooting a team-best 45.3% on three-point attempts while adding 12.6 ppg are both vital contributors to how well Dallas will fare in the NBA "bubble."
Defensively, the Mavericks and 17th in scoring defense, allowing 110.9 points per contest and 16th with opponents shooting 45.5% from the floor, which is 12th best in the league.
The Dallas Mavericks are coming off of a 153-149 overtime loss to the Houston Rockets on Friday night. The Mavericks will go into Sunday's game with a 40-28 record, which is currently seventh-best in the Western Conference. Kristaps Porzingi led Dallas, with 39 points and 16 rebounds against Houston, followed up Trey Burke, who poured in 31 points off the bench, after coming in only averaging 5.9 points per game on the season. Luka Doncic added 28 points 13 rebounds and ten assists, while Tim Hardway Jr. had 24 points in Friday's overtime loss to the Rockets.
Suns have no room for errorThe Phoenix Suns improved their record to 27-39, with a 125-112 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday. Devin Booker led the way with 27 points, followed by Deandre Ayton, who added 24 points and grabbed 12 boards. The Suns still have a lot of work to do, seeing that they currently have the worst record among the 13th West Conference teams remaining, and only the Washington Wizards have a worse record than Phoenix among the 22 teams invited into the "bubble." With only seven games remaining, the Suns don't have much room for error if they wish to get to ninth in the conference and at least force a play-in tournament.
This season, if the No. 9 seed in the conference is with-in four games or fewer behind the No. 8 seed at the conclusion of the regular season, then the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds will compete in a play-in tournament. The Suns are currently five games behind Memphis for the No. 8 seed, and 2.5 games behind Portland for the No. 9 spot. The Suns also still have the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans, and Sacramento Kings ahead of them fighting for the final playoff spot, so every game is a must-win at this point for Phoenix.
Offensively Phoenix has averaged 112.7 points per game, which is 14th in the NBA. The Suns are shooting 82.9% from the free-throw line and 27.2 assists per game, which are both league-best currently the third highest-scoring team in the NBA, Defensively the Suns are allowing 113.9 points per game which ranks them 20th in that category.
DUBBLE! ✅ pic.twitter.com/aq95YdsE65— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) August 1, 2020
Devin Booker is the Suns' leading scorer averaging 26.1 points per game. Deandre Ayton is averaging 19 points and a team-best 12 rebounds over the 31 games he has played this season. Ricky Rubio leads the squad dishing out 8.9 assists per game, and adds 13.1 points per game.
The Suns will be without the services of their third-leading scorer this season Kelly Oubre Jr, who averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game this season. Oubre is out indefinitely after having arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
- Phoenix is 10-16 ATS after a win this season
- Dallas is 19-7-1 ATS this season after a loss.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Suns don't have room for any losses if they want to make the playoffs, but I still see Dallas as the team with more to play for here. The Suns' odds of forcing a playoff game for the final playoff spot are not very likely at this point, and it is probably better for the future of the franchise if they miss the playoffs anyway.
Dallas let a game that they should have won slip away on Friday against Houston, and the Mavs currently find themselves in the No. 7 spot in the West, which would mean they would play the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round if the season ended today. If Dallas wants to improve its playoff position, they have to show up and handle the Suns. Following this match-up, Dallas takes on Sacramento, followed by games against the Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Utah Jazz, and Portland Trail Blazers. There should be no easy wins inside the "bubble," and Dallas knows they have to take care of business here. Seeing that Phoenix beat Dallas by 29 points as a seven-point dog the last time these two teams played, don't expect the Mavericks to overlook their opponent. I expect Rick Carlisle to has his team ready to cover here.
Prediction: Dallas Mavericks -5.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Overs are 41-27 (60.2%) in Dallas games this season, making the Mavs the fourth-best team to bet the over on in the NBA. Dallas can put up points in a hurry, they are second in the NBA, only behind Houston in three-point attempts, and rank first in the NBA in offensive efficiency. For the Suns, their game against Washington flew 12 points over the total on Friday, and the over has now cashed in four of the Suns' last five games..
Both Dallas and Phoenix showed on Friday that their offensive firepower is ahead of their defensive unity at this point. The last three head-to-head meetings between these two teams have all gone over the total, and I am going to play the game on Saturday night to go over the total as well.
Prediction: Over 234.5