The NBA is set up with a solid night of action on Friday night. Eleven games will be up on the board throughout January 24. One of these matchups will be between the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs. These two teams are in the hunt for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, which should lead to a solid matchup. This game will tip off at around 8:30 PM Eastern time.
The Suns are entering this matchup with a record of 18-26, which has them sitting in eleventh place of the Western Conference. Phoenix is only two and a half games out of the final wild card spot, which the Spurs currently hold. The Portland Trail Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies are in front of the Suns and Phoenix will look to move up a spot with a nice win on Friday night.
San Antonio has earned a record of 20-23 so far this season, which has put them in the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs are five games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder, who own the seventh seed in the west. The Memphis Grizzlies are only half a game behind San Antonio. The Spurs will look to keep their playoff spot with a big win in this one.
These two teams are in the thick of the race for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. San Antonio currently sits in the final wild card spot, but they have multiple teams right on their tail waiting to take it. Phoenix is a couple of games behind the Spurs, but if they can earn a big win on Friday night, it could give them some momentum.
The Suns and the Spurs have met up twice already throughout the season. The first game of the season series was held in Mexico City. Ricky Rubio finished with 25 points and 13 assists for Phoenix, but it was not enough. Patty Mills dropped 26 points off the bench. LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan and Dejounte Murray all finished with 18 points to help lead San Antonio to a 121-119 win in overtime.
The second game of the season series shifted to Phoenix on January 20. Devin Booker dropped 37 points, while Deandre Ayton put up 25 points and 12 rebounds. The Suns still couldn’t get it done though. Derrick White put up 25 points off the bench, while Bryn Forbes had 24 points. The Spurs starting lineup dropped 73 points to help lead to a 120-118 win on the road.
San Antonio has won four games in a row against the Suns and nine of their last ten. The Spurs have dominated Phoenix over the last couple seasons, but they have been a consistent playoff team, while the Suns have missed out. Now both teams are much closer in the standings. The first two games of the season series were decided by two points and now Phoenix will look to earn a win to avoid the sweep.
Field Goal Percentage
The Suns have been around middle of the league when it comes to field goal percentage this season. Phoenix has been able to make around 46.2 percent of their shots from the field. The Suns three point shooting has not been doing as well though. Phoenix has made 34.5 percent of their shots from deep, while making 53 percent of their shots inside the arc.
San Antonio has been one of the top teams shooting from the field. The Spurs have shot around 47.2 percent from the field, which is sixth in the league. San Antonio has made 37 percent of their shots from outside the arc, which is fifth in the NBA. San Antonio has shot 51.8 percent from inside the arc, which is around middle of the pack.
These two teams have done solidly when it comes to shooting this season. The Spurs have specialized in shooting from behind the arc, while Phoenix has done a good job from inside the arc. If either team can control the pace and enforce their game style in this one, it could give them a massive advantage. I expect them both to use their strengths early to take the lead.
Devin Booker has been the leader for the Suns this season. Booker has averaged around 26.5 points and 6.5 assists per game this season. Kelly Oubre is averaging around 18 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. DeAndre Ayton has averaged 17.5 points and 12 rebounds per game, while Ricky Rubio is averaging 13.5 points per game.
DeMar DeRozan has had a nice start to the season, averaging 22.5 points per game. LaMarcus Aldridge has averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game this season. Patty Mills and Bryn Forbes have both averaged 11.5 points per game. Rudy Gay is averaging 10.5 points per game, while Dejounte Murray and Derrick White have both averaged 10 points per game.
These two teams have had a nice range of production from their lineups this season. The Suns are missing Frank Kaminsky and Aron Bynes right now, which has hurt them a bit. Both teams will look for their top couple players to put up big nights on Friday night. If Booker, Oubre and Ayton can have another solid night though, I think Phoenix will pull off the upset.
San Antonio has dominated the Suns in recent years, but I believe that Phoenix has a good chance to pull off a win in this one. The Suns have lost the previous two games of the season series, but I think they will avoid the sweep. If Phoenix can control the pace of the game in the paint, it will give them a nice advantage. Booker had a good game against San Antonio in the first matchup and will look to repeat that in this one.
BetOnline has the Spurs listed as a -160 against the money line. This implies that San Antonio will win this game around 61.5 percent of the time. The Spurs are the better team on the season, but I do not think that they should be this highly favored. The Suns have lost two in a row coming into this one and I think they will bounce back with a nice win on Friday night.