NBA Betting Preview: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix SunsDallas Mavs at Phoenix Suns
Time: 10:30 PM EST
Spread: PHO -3.5
M/L: PHO -160, DAL +140
Betting Odds from Bookmaker
The Phoenix Suns have lost four straight, and are looking to avoid their first five-game losing streak in almost a year. They should have no problem righting the ship with six of their next seven at home. They are 5-3 at home, even in this somewhat disastrous season, their first in the post-Nash era.
They can blame a lot of their struggles on the failure of Michael Beasley. The former No.2 overall pick was brought in to be a solution to a team in need of scoring, but he has disappointed in a major way. Beasley has posted a PER of just 9.3 and i shooting 38 percent from the floor and 27 percent from three. He’s also averaging just 4.1 rebounds per game, which is quite unacceptable for a player who claims to be 6’10″
Beasley and Wes Johnson were thought to be big additions from the Minnesota Timberwolves relatively stacked roster, and Johnson has played a mere eight games this season.
The one player for the Suns who hasn’t disappointed is Goran Dragic, who should be in the running for the league’s Most Improved Player award. Dragic has a per of 21.2 and has posted 15.5 points per game and 6.6 assists per game, helping to erase the memory of Nash. OK, so it hasn’t erased the memory of Nash at all, but it’s good that the Suns have a legitimate point guard to build around.
And then, there is the fact that Marcin Gortat, one of the league’s top-15 centers wants out. Gortat’s production has dipped in the post-Nash era, but he is still capable of posting double-doubles on a regular basis, notwithstanding that his rebounding has dropped to just 8.3 per game this year. He’s blocking a career high 2.05 shots per game, so his impact is undeniable.
The Mavs are a middling 8-10, but have done so without star forward Dirk Nowitzki. They are giving up over 100 points per game, though, which makes it difficult to win without Dirk. O.J. Mayo has taken on the role of primary scorer and done quite well, posting just under 20 points per game and posting a PER of 18.4. His PER is the highest of any Dallas player, save Brandan Wright, but Wright plays just 17 minutes per game, as a high energy defender off the bench.
Darren Collison still hasn’t and may never recapture the brilliance of his rookie season, but he has been solid this year, posting 12 points per game and 6 assists per game. The Mavs are hoping Collison and Mayo form a strong backcourt for the foreseeable future, as both are young and only getting better.
But they’re not going to get anywhere without Nowitzki. That is clear. NBA oddsmakers set the line 3.5 points in favor of the home team Suns, and the Mavs have lost four of their last five games, the last of which was a 22 point loss to the Clippers on the road.
They next face the Rockets on the road, before taking on the Sacramento Kings at home. After that game against Sacramento, though, the Mavs embark on a four-game road trip, so getting victories in the meantime seems smart if they want to stay in the playoff hunt. As though losing is ever a consideration for any NBA team…