The Phoenix Suns made a few changes in the offseason. Primarily, they lost Amar’e Stoudemire in free agency, something they expected, but will undoubtedly hurt the Suns tremendously. They acquired the malcontent Hedo Turkoglu in an off season trade and are hoping he experiences a rebirth in Phoenix after struggling mightily in Toronto last year. Steve Nash is still at the helm, and the Suns will still be exciting, but it’s hard to imagine them replicating last season’s success.
Jason Richardson Over/Under 16.7 ppg
UNDER. Richardson hasn’t averaged 16.7 or more since 07-08, and I have no reason to expect this year to be any different. Granted, his decline can be attributed to playing a few less minutes a game; but again, there is no indication that thils will change either.
Steve Nash Over/Under 16.5 ppg & over/under 10.7 apg
Too close to call. Last year Nash averaged 18.0 ppg, so you would think this would be an easy ‘over,” however that is not the case. Due to the fact he is aging and Goran Dragic is appearing more and more ready to lead the offense, there is going to be a reduction in Nash’s minutes. The problem from a betting standpoint is that we don’t know how much of a reduction there will be. It could be enough to put Nash below 16.5, but then again – he could still manage to play enough minutes to score more than 16.5. I would feel much more comfortable making this bet a few weeks into the season when the rotation becomes more clear, but for now we’ll stay away from betting on Nash.
Hedo Turkoglu Over/Under 15.5 ppg
We’re going to go with the ‘over’ here. Before his wicked slump in Toronto, Hedo was putting up great numbers with the Magic (19.1 ppg in 07-08 and 16.5 in 08-09) and I expect him to return to form in Phoenix. The fast paced game will increase Hedo’s usage and likely result in him scoring at least 16 a game.
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