The final day of the first-half of the NBA season is upon us, as teams will go on a break for All-Star Weekend in Atlanta. Given the circumstances over Covid-19, it will not be a typical All-Star Weekend. The parties and events that surround the game are being halted. We will have a dunk contest, but that will occur during halftime of the All-Star Game on Sunday.
That’s one of the most anticipated events of the All-Star festivities, so it was important to include that in some form. I like it in the sense that it’s not going to be drawn out for an hour. I’m not for the filler material that just seems to prolong the whole thing. The dunk contest at halftime will likely get straight to it. Regular season games will be put on hold until Wednesday.
It’s a long break for teams, and certainly well deserved during this Covid season. I’m not confident in every player following NBA protocols regarding Covid, though, so if you can find a prop bet on that, I would fade the players. We have some good games on the docket to close out the first half, including the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns.
The Warriors are coming off a tough loss against the Trail Blazers in Portland last night. They had a consistent lead of around five or so points throughout the game, but coughed it up late, and the Trail Blazers stole a 108-106 win over the Warriors. Stephen Curry did what he does, scoring 35 points to lead the Warriors with an impressive effort. The inconsistent Andrew Wiggins was a flop, though, as he netted just 14 points in the loss.
The absence of Klay Thompson continues to loom large for the Warriors. Put Thompson on the court and the Warriors are instantly a major contender in the West. He’s not coming back this season, so we can only guess what would have happened with a healthy Klay. The Warriors fly to the desert for a meeting against the surging Phoenix Suns. The Utah Jazz and Suns are No. 1 and No. 2 in the West, but wouldn’t know it by listening to the media.
Phoenix is on a three-game winning streak, and have moved up to second in the conference with a record of 23-11. The Suns trail the Jazz by three games, while the Clippers are 3.5 back. The most underrated players in the league can be found on the Jazz and Suns, Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker. Booker is finally beginning to get recognition, turning doubters into believers. Head below for our free Warriors vs. Suns pick on March 4, 2021.
Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns NBA Betting Odds:
Warriors vs. Suns Prediction:
The Warriors didn’t have anyone step up other than Steph Curry last night in Portland. It’s become a recurrent problem without Klay Thompson active. They’ve fallen to 19-17 on the season and would be outside of the playoffs if they started today. Along with the loss against the Trail Blazers, the Warriors were 117-91 losers against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday. A three-game winning streak could quickly turn into a three-game losing streak for the Warriors.
The offense has been spotty, which you should come to expect from a starting lineup with Andrew Wiggins on the floor. Steph can only do so much. The Warriors have scored an average of 113.8 points per game for 12th in the NBA. That number drops slightly to 111 points per game on the road. In their previous five outings, the Warriors have netted 110.4 points a game. The Warriors were without Kelly Oubre Jr. last night after he injured his wrist on a dunk attempt in practice.
Oubre Jr. is listed as questionable to play against the Suns on Thursday night. The onus is once again going to fall on Wiggins to step up and contribute. Without Oubre Jr. and Wiggins ineffective, there is no secondary scorer for the Warriors. They still had a chance to beat the Trail Blazers last night despite that fact, but it’s not going to be close against the Suns if it happens again.
The Suns are going to be able to pull away for a comfortable win if that’s the case. Phoenix is third in the NBA with just 107.4 points against per game. Booker has played on Suns teams with bad defenses, but that’s been the difference for them this season. They’ve been great at fending the three ball, holding opponents to a 34.3% percentage for second in the league.
The offense has been playing at a high level as well, especially recently as they’ve scored 118.2 points per game, including an impressive 114-104 win over the Lakers in their latest outing on Tuesday. On a back-to-back on the road, expect the Warriors to get worn down against an aggressive Suns’ defense. They need more than Steph tonight, but I think that’s all the Dubs are going to get again. Look for the Suns to pull away in the fourth for a win by around ten.