The Phoenix Suns and the concept of defence have become estranged. Which is why you can bet on them shipping points aplenty in their weekend double-header.
First up for Jeff Hornacek’s free-fallers is a trip to the Washington Wizards on Friday and even though the hosts have slipped far off their expected pace in the opening six weeks of the campaign, Phoenix should allow them to gain a little traction.
The Suns have now lost seven of their last eight, capped by a 127-122 overtime defeat to Detroit on Wednesday, a spell in which they’ve conceded an average of 114 points and scored 107.
The loss of Tyson Chandler and Markieff Morris makes them ultra-soft in the middle, a weakness that should give Washington a chance of a rare rebounding boost while giving John Wall freedom to drive into the lane.
The All Star has averaged 34.5 points and 11.5 assists in his last two games although one was a loss to the awful LA Lakers that extended the Wizards home losing streak to four.
Lessons surely will have been learnt. It’s certainly worth going over 214.5 total points at 2.20 but D.C’s finest are due to inflict some Capitol punishment as the Suns post-season hopes rapidly fade.
It’s unlikely to get any easier for Phoenix on Sunday, even against a highly inconsistent Memphis Grizzles. Marc Gasol is scoring a miserly team-high of 16 per game in an average of 96.4 per night that ranks 25 in the NBA.
But the Spaniard will get leeway to go large and a Griz crew that is 9-1 against sub-.500 teams and 8-0 with leads going into the fourth quarter should prevail by at least -2.5.
Best bet: Take Washington over Phoenix at -4.5 at 2.55