Almost 30 games into the season I think it’s safe to say the Phoenix Suns are legit. Riding a six-game winning streak with victories over some of the best in the Eastern Conference, the Suns can continue their mastery with a matchup against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. The Nets are still trying to figure out their rotations and looked good in a win over Golden State on Saturday. They suffered another setback, though, with Kevin Durant expected to miss this game with a hamstring injury. Bookmaker.eu offers a generous CASH welcome bonus (max bonus $1600).
Brooklyn Nets at Phoenix Suns
Date and Time: Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 10 p.m. ET
Location: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, AZ
Opening NBA Odds: Suns -4.5
Nets at Suns TV Coverage: TNT
They are 17-12 overall after beating Sacramento and Golden State to open a road trip, but it just feels like the Nets should be so much better. They followed up a three-game losing streak by winning three straight with covers over Indiana, the Warriors and Kings. They enter the week having split their last eight games while going 4-4 ATS. Tuesday’s game is the middle of a five-game road trip and the Nets have a chance to reach .500 in away games. They’re also playing the second game of a back-to-back and for the third time in four nights. The Nets are 6-7 SU and 5-8 ATS on the road this season. Phoenix gets a few days off after routing Orlando for their sixth consecutive win and ninth in the last 10 games. The Suns covered the closing line in all six games of winning streak and they are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games. Every win in the current came against teams from the Eastern Conference.
They’ve looked good at times with Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden in the lineup. The offense has been particularly lethal with 10 games of 120 or more points since acquiring Harden. Unfortunately the defense has lagged and the Nets are just 10-6 SU and 7-9 ATS since pulling the trigger on the deal. The combination of a high-powered offense and leaky defense has the OVER at 13-3 since Harden joined the squad. They were decent before Harden’s arrival with the OVER at 21-8 for the year.
Maybe the Nets can go on a run if they have the big three available for an extended period of games. It’s been difficult getting all of them on the floor at the same time and now Durant is expected to miss a few games with a hamstring injury sustained in the Golden State contest. The trio combined for 62 points in the 134-117 win over the Dubs in a satisfying return to the Bay Area for Durant.
It looks as though one situation was ironed out recently, which should make things go smoother. In a quick and concise conversation with Harden, Irving said “you’re the point guard.” That was it. Harden went out tallied 16 dimes against the Warriors. The Beard is averaging 11.6 assists since joining the club. The absence of Durant could be pivotal since the Nets are just 5-3 in games one of the big three hasn’t played. They are 4-3 when the trio is all together.
The Suns made some noise last season in the Florida bubble as the only team to go undefeated. The success there has carried over with a record of 17-9 through their first 26 contests. If they played in the Eastern Conference they might be leading everyone. Every win during their current streak came against East foes with impressive games against Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Boston.
Following wins over the top two teams from the East you might have expected a letdown when the Orlando Magic paid a visit over the weekend. We saw evidence that this isn’t the same Suns team. They led from the get-go never allowing the shorthanded Magic to get into the game and waltzed 109-90. “We did what we had to do to win the game. We had some emotional games in this building and to win the way we’ve won the past few games, we didn’t want to talk about a letdown,” coach Monty Williams said.
Devin Booker has been the catalyst during the winning streak and homestand, which are one in the same. Booker scored 27 against Orlando and is averaging 28.3 points and shooting 54.7 percent in the last six games. The bench got much stronger, too, with the return of Dario Saric. In his second game back after missing time due to COVID protocols, Saric scored 16 points against Orlando.
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Playing shorthanded without Durant and travelling after their game in Sacramento the night before isn’t the most ideal situation for the Nets. They still have Harden and Irving doing their thing making them a threat at any time. We will see points scored and that will benefit the visitors.
NBA Score Prediction: Nets 127, Suns 120
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– Phil Simon, Gambling911.com