Sacramento Kings (20-20) at Phoenix Suns (9-32)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 at 9:00 PM EDT (Talking Stick Resort Arena)
Line and Odds: Sacramento -3
FREE ESPN NBA Picks Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings
With college football ending last night, the weeknights are now strictly designated for basketball. With that, I now congratulate all the college football super fans. Clemson beat Alabama, and now they can say their favorite sport has some parity, and they can continue yelling at NBA fans on Twitter. This all despite the fact Clemson and Alabama will be in the championship next year.
Anyway, Kings vs. Suns should be exciting if you like watching a bunch of future stars playing.
The Kings have adopted the new fad of the NBA, push the ball as fast as possible. They are currently second in the league in pace which has led to a high octane offense. They are fifth in the league in points per game, second in the league in three-point percentage, first in fast-break points, so on and so forth. The Kings have given their offense over to De’Aaron Fox, who has looked like an All-Star so far this season. He probably won’t make it due to the amazing guards that play in the Western Conference, but still an outstanding season thus far. Fox is surrounded by three sharpshooters in Buddy Hield (44.3% from three) Nemanja Bjelica (43.8% from three), and Bogdan Bogdanovic (37.0% from three). Take those four, plus the super athletic Willie Cauley-Stein, and this lineup can compete with anyone.
For how good the Kings are on offense, they make up for it by being extremely bad on defense. Their defense rating of 110.6 is in the bottom third of the league and gives them a team net rating -1.2, which puts them behind the Nets and Heat. A lot of the blame comes from their bench defense. Of their bench unit consisting of Harry Giles III, Marvin Bagley III, Justin Jackson, Yogi Ferrell, Frank Mason, none of them have a defensive rating below 107. That is not a way to win ball games.
The Suns are amazing at tanking. They are the only team in the Western Conference that is eliminated from playoff contention. Technically, they are not eliminated, but for all intents and purposes, they are finished. The Suns are 9.5 games back of the Mavericks, the closest team to them in the conference. The Mavericks only sit 3.5 games back of the eighth seed, which shows how remarkably bad the Suns have been. They are the only team to sit in the bottom five of the NBA in both offensive and defensive rating. They currently have one contributing player that has a positive net rating (Troy Daniels).
The Suns are simply a dumpster fire, but there are a lot of talented players on the roster, that can contribute if they find the right pieces. Devin Booker is a star. He should make the All-Star game this season, but as mentioned before, older players have “dibs” on those spots, even if they don’t necessarily deserve it (looking at you, Klay Thompson). Booker just turned 22 in October, and he has turned into a ball-dominate attacker, which has looked really nice for the Suns. However, he continues to get injured, adding his back to the long list of injuries sustained so far in his career.
The Suns are 8-16 ATS in Conference games
In Division games, the Suns are 1-7 ATS
The Suns are 16-22 ATS as an underdog
The Kings are 4-0 ATS as an away favorite
On no days rest, the Kings are 2-6 ATS
The Kings are 4-5 ATS in Divison matchups
FREE ESPN NBA Picks Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns
This game slates two teams that in any other year, would be hard to put on television. Even the local channels would think twice about airing this one. But now, I am interested to see these two teams play against each other if the teams were at full speed. Devin Booker is injured, so not the most interesting of matchups here
Coming off a late game last night, the Kings have to be excited about Booker missing this game, as they should be able to coast to an easy victory. The line of -3 without Phoenix’s best player is a layup