A pair of teams from opposite conferences lock up on the parquet floor in the Valley of the Sun. The Boston Celtics are on the road as they make the trek to face the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Boston was dropped 115-107 on the road against the Nuggets Monday night. Phoenix was routed 104-82 at home by the Nets on Tuesday night in their last game. The Celtics lead the all-time regular season series 70-55 and swept the season series last year, including a 102-94 win here in the last matchup on March 26.
Boston Celtics Seek First Win of Road Trip
Boston dropped their first two games of this five-game road swing as they followed up a last-second loss to the Pacers by getting beaten in Denver. The Celtics now look to regroup and pick up their first win of the road swing here. Boston jumped to a 15 point lead after the opening quarter but went cold after that. The Celtics saw their lead trimmed to two at the half and saw Denver take control in the third quarter: Boston attempted to rally but came up short. In the game, Boston shot 50.6 percent from the field in the contest but went only nine of 31 from beyond the arc. The Celtics were 10 of 12 at the line compared to Denver’s 20 of 28, which proved the difference in the game. Kyrie Irving led Boston with 31 points in the loss. The Celtics are 2-4 ATS on the road this season while the under is 4-2 in those contests.
After another tough loss in Denver, we’re focusing on the adjustments we need to make as we head forward to Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/GNwjw4B8PZ
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 6, 2018
The Celtics are 27th in the league in scoring offense with 104.2 points per game. Boston is 7th in the league in rebounding with 47.4 boards per game and stand 18th with 23.6 assists per contest. Boston is elite on the defensive end: they are 1st in scoring defense, allowing 101.3 points per game. Jayson Tatum is second on the team with 15.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest. Kyrie Irving (19.2 points, 5.3 assists), Marcus Morris (14.7 points, 6.9 boards), Gordon Hayward (10.1 points, 5.8 rebounds), Jaylen Brown (11.4 points) and Al Horford (12.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, four assists) are all contributing in the early going. Terry Rozier, Aron Baynes, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis are also looked at to chip in on both ends for Brad Stevens. The Celtics are tied for 26th in field goal percentage as they shoot 43 percent from the floor as a team. Boston is tied for 4th in three pointers per game with 12.9 per night while the team is tied for 14th in three point percentage as they hit 35.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Phoenix Suns Try to Regroup After One-Sided Loss
Phoenix couldn’t build off their buzzer-beating win over the Grizzlies as they were whipped by the Nets on Tuesday night. The Suns now hope to regroup after that disappointing performance to try and upend an Eastern Conference power. Phoenix was within two after the opening quarter but trailed by 10 at the half before the Nets put the game away for good in the final stanza. All told, the Suns shot just 34.6 percent from the field in the contest and nine of 25 from three point range. Phoenix turned the ball over 20 times in the loss: Devin Booker led the Suns with 20 points in the loss. After the game, Booker talked about how the team has to improve their chemistry. The Suns are 3-3 ATS at home this season while the under is 4-2 in those games.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 7, 2018
The Suns are 30th in the league in scoring with an average of 100.6 points per game. The Suns are 24th on the glass by collecting 42.2 boards per game. Phoenix stands 17th in the league in assists with 23.7 per contest. Phoenix is 21st in the league in scoring defense as they allow 113.8 points a night. Devin Booker leads the team with 24.9 points and six assists per game. Rookie Deandre Ayton is contributing 15.9 points plus 10.9 rebounds a night while TJ Warren chips in 13.6 points per game. Trevor Ariza (10.5 points, 5.6 boards), Josh Jackson, Mikal Bridges, Isaiah Canaan, Jamal Crawford, and Elie Okobo are important pieces of the rotation for the Suns if they hope to have success. The Suns are 21st in the league in field goal percentage at 44.7 percent so far. The Suns are tied for 17th in three-pointers per game with 10.3 per contest. Phoenix is 23rd in three-point percentage as they splash only 33.8 percent of their chances from long range.
- Suns are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- Suns are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games
- Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games
- Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
- Celtics are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Boston dropped the first two games of the trip as they were knocked off by the Pacers and Nuggets. The Celtics hung tough in those games however, and are poised to get back in the win column here. Boston will ride their tough defense against a poor Phoenix offensive unit in this one. The Suns are seemingly ready to implode at the seams given the comments that Booker made after the blowout loss Tuesday night. Boston drives another nail in the coffin as they roll to a win here to get on the board on this road trip.
Prediction: Boston Celtics -9.5
Full-Game Total Pick
We’re looking at an interesting matchup in this contest. Both teams have had their problems on the offensive end of the floor this season but that’s where the teams diverge. The Celtics have been excellent on the defensive end of the floor while the Suns have struggled in that department. Phoenix has to try and develop scoring options around Booker as he and Ayton are the two reliable scorers. Warren was good last season but has dealt with nagging injuries so far this year. Can the Suns find some other options on the offensive end to help their star?
The under is 5-0 in the Celtics’ last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record, 5-1 in their last 6 games following a straight up loss, 4-1 in their last five on the road and 4-1 in their last five against Western Conference foes. Phoenix has seen the under go 4-0 in their last four overall, 4-0 in their last four on Thursday, 4-0 in their last four at home and 6-0 in their last six against Eastern Conference foes. The teams have stayed under the total in four of the last five meetings in Phoenix. This one follows the trend as Boston’s defense carries the day.
Prediction: Under 212.5
Half-Time Side Pick
Even with Boston having back to back losses on this trip, there’s little reason to think they won’t have success in this game. Phoenix has struggled and hasn’t shown much in the way of signs of improvement recently. The Suns have the league’s worst offense and matching up against Boston’s top-ranked defense is going to make their lives miserable. The Celtics have the edge at the half in this one and it shouldn’t be close.
Prediction: Boston Celtics -5 (-110)
Half-Time Total Bet
Until Phoenix shows that they can score points in games with some regularity, it’s hard to think that they’re going to push totals over the number. The Suns are continuing to sputter when it comes to putting points on the board as they have scored under 100 points in half of their 10 games: they scored 102 and 103 in two other games. Boston is going to clamp down defensively and challenge everything the Suns try to fire up on the offensive end. When you have the best defense in the league, you can expect games to be lower scoring contests. This one is under the number at the half.
Prediction: Under 103 (-110)