Phoenix - Memphis
The Phoenix Suns are building a future by reaching back to their past. And memories of their old fun and gun offense have flooded back as the NBA’s biggest surprise packets continue to flourish.
Winners of 14 of their last 19, the Suns host the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday looking to maintain the momentum that has seen them lose just four times at home all season.
And after smashing the LA Clippers in their 2013 swansong, their potent scoring assault – combined with a better than an average defence – is capable of delivering on the handicap of -5.5 at 1.83.
It’s been quite a turnaround by new head coach Jeff Hornacek. From a lowly 29th last season, Phoenix are now ninth in offensive efficiency with 105.5 points per 100 possessions, due in large part to Goran Dragic, a surefire candidate for Most Improved Player.
Their tempo might be stymied a little by the slumping Grizzlies who are dead last in pace at just 92.1 possessions per night, a factor worth considering with the total points line set at 197.5. But the Suns have done such a good job of making opponents play at their own game that there seems little prospect of them slowing down.
Sacramento - Philadelphia
There are signs of life, finally, for the Sacramento Kings who have won three out of five, including upsets of Miami and Houston. And they now start a precious stretch of five home games on Thursday when the Philadelphia 76ers arrive in town.
Not since the season’s opening night have the Kings won while scoring less than 105 and they’ve been frenetic in particular of late in the first halves. With the Sixers also on the run, have a punt on going over 110.5 total points at the break at 1.96.
Take Phoenix on the handicap of -5.5 over Memphis at 1.83
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