Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns – NBA March 30

Atlanta Hawks (22-22 / 12-14 road) at Phoenix Suns (31-14 / 15-8 home)

  • Time: 7 PST – 9 CST – 10 EST
  • Place: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, AZ
  • TV: FS Southeast, FS Arizona, NBA League Pass

Opening Tip:

The Atlanta Hawks are surging toward a potential Southeast Division crown as they have won nine of their last 12 despite a 1-2 start to a 6-game western road trip.

Atlanta is currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and they are half of a game off the fourth place Charlotte Hornets and the fifth place New York Knicks.

The Suns just finished a 3-1 road trip and they begin a home stand where they play three games in four nights. This also begins a streak of nine home games in the next 11 as they continue to lead the Pacific Division by half a game over the Clippers. Phoenix is three and a half back of the Jazz for the potential top spot in the Western Conference.

The two teams split last season as each won at home. Both superstars on last year’s team showed well as Trae Young averaged 28.5 points, 11.5 assists and 2.0 steals vs. Phoenix a year ago while the Suns’ Devin Booker had 33.0 points, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals vs. Atlanta.

Key Injuries:

  • Atlanta: – Kris Dunn – (ankle) – Out De’Andre Hunter – (foot) Questionable Cam Reddish – (Achilles) – Out Lou Williams – (not with team) – Day to Day
  • Phoenix: – Abdel Nader (knee) – Out

Vs. The Spread:

Hawks:

  • Atlanta is 6-3 ATS in it’s last 9 games
  • The OVER has been the play on 6 of the last 8 road games for the Hawks
  • Atlanta is 1-4 in it’s last 5 games in the Valley of the Sun

Suns:

  • The Suns are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games
  • The total has gone under in 5 of the Suns’ last 6 games
  • Phoenix is 12-4 ATS in it’s last 16 home games

Last Time Out:

John Collins scored a career-high 38 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks took a 124-108 win at Golden State on Saturday. Collins was 14-of-19 from the field with four three-pointers while Trae Young had 21 points and 15 assists and Clint Capela had 18 points and 15 boards.

Devin Booker scored 35 points as the Suns slid by the Hornets, 101-97, in double overtime on Sunday. The Suns trailed 49-46 at halftime, but hit an 11-0 run to start the third quarter and led until Devonte’ Graham hit a three to tie the game at 90-90 with 34.3 seconds remaining which forced overtime. Mikhail Bridges’ three with 3:09 remaining in the extra session gave Phoenix the lead for good at 95-92.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Atlanta Hawks +6 (-115) +195 O 222 (-107)
Phoenix Suns -6 (-105) -225 U 222 (-113)

Advantage, Atlanta:

Atlanta Hawks LogoTrae Young (25.6 ppg, 9.4 apg) and Kevin Huerter (11.6 ppg, 3.5 apg)  give Atlanta a solid one-two punch behind the three-line as they are the Hawks’ top two scorers and three-point marksmen. Big man John Collins, who was supposedly on the block at the trade deadline, creates matchup problems as he has made 60 threes on the season. They will be a challenge for the Suns’ vaunted three-ball defense which allows only 11.2 makes per game (2nd/NBA) while opponents net only 34.3 triples (2nd/NBA).

Key Hawks Stat:

Clint Capela continues to give Atlanta efficient minutes in the middle. He had 10 points, eight rebounds and a steal in 28 minutes at Denver on Sunday. He is the only player in the NBA who is in the op five in rebounds (14.1 rpg/1st NBA), blocks per game (2.2/3rd NBA) and in the top ten in field goal percentage at 58.6 percent (10th/NBA).

X-Factor:

Atlanta is looking to get the dynamic De’Andre Hunter back any day as he has been sidelined since late January with a knee injury. He came back and played 20 minutes against the Clippers and 25 minutes vs. the Kings, but again was on the injured list and out for the last two game as the rumor is his surgically repaired knee is swollen. If he is healthy, his scoring and athleticism are enough to combine with the components and take the Hawks to a Southeast Division title as well as potentially a first-round playoff series win.

Advantage, Phoenix:

Phoenix Suns LogoThe Suns offense continues to click as it is fifth in the Association at a 48.5 percent clip. The emergence of big man DeAndre Ayton (14.8 ppg, 61%-FG) is a huge reason why the Suns are so tough to stop with any consistency. His matchup with Collins down low is one of the top storylines in the game. Chris Paul and Devin Booker vs. Young and Huerter gives Phoenix and overall advantage. Booker is currently shooting 49 percent from the floor which is a personal best while Paul is clutch getting to the rack as he has made 112 of 119 free throws this season.

Key Suns Stat:

The Suns’ defense seems vastly underrated as Phoenix is third in the NBA in defensive rating as the Suns give up only 108 points per 100 possessions. Paul has bred a tougher mentality in the team and Ayton with his 50 blocks and Mikal Bridges’ 40 blocks give the Suns a definitely defensive rim presents. Paul leads Phoenix with 61 steals.

X-Factor:

Veteran Jae Crowder give Phoenix that big man who can step out on the perimeter and hit the three or he can post down low and get aggressive in the paint. He leads the Suns with 100 made threes as he nets 37.2 percent from long range. He had a string of four double digit games snapped in last Friday night’s win over the Raptors.

Winner: Phoenix (-6) 120, Atlanta 110

The Bets
Phoenix (-6)
-105
Suns
-225
OVER 220½
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.