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Phoenix Suns Odds - Leaky defense sets the sun on Phoenix's season

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/3/2014 7:02:17 AM

Phoenix’s NBA odds for the upcoming season will see them as a longshot to win the title, even after signing Steve Nash to an extension. Everyone knows that the Suns can put up points with the best of them, but their problems on the other end of the court will be the reason that Alvin Gentry fails to take Phoenix to the playoffs in his first season as their head coach.

Phoenix Suns Odds: +5000 to win NBA Championship

  • Nash, Stoudemire lead offensive juggernaut
  • Phoenix’s defense is sometimes laughable
  • Gentry has work to do in first full year as Suns’ boss

Phoenix Suns odds maker breakdown: STARTING FIVE
Channing Frye joins Amare Stoudemire as the Suns’ big men with the exit of Shaquille O’Neal to Cleveland, and Robin Lopez starts the season on the disabled list with a foot injury. Jason Richardson starts at the three-spot, while the two-guard role will be manned by either Leandro Barbosa or Grant Hill, who played all 82 games for the first time in his 14-year career. The show is run by Steve Nash at the point, and the former two-time MVP looked much better after the Suns fired Terry Porter, who tried to make Phoenix play a slower system of play with O’Neal in the middle.

Phoenix Suns odds maker breakdown: BENCH
The most intriguing player on the Suns’ roster is Earl Clark, who if given minutes, could be a sportsbook dark horse for Rookie of the Year. The versatile Clark out of Louisville can play either forward spot, and could prosper in Phoenix’s system. Barbosa is a former Sixth Man of the Year, which is always a boost to have coming off the pine. This could also be the make-or-break year for Alando Tucker, who is heading into his third season but has yet to average more than 10 minutes of playing time. Goran Dragic is little more than a player to give Nash a few minutes of rest.

Phoenix Suns odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
The Suns went back to their old offense after Porter was fired on February 16th, and they still ended up leading the league in points scored. Seven players averaged double-digits, but two of those players (O’Neal and Matt Barnes) are gone, and Stoudamire is coming off eye surgery. The Suns also weren’t that good on the offensive glass, and this will hurt their second-chance points. However, as Nash goes, so go the Suns, so expect another season of run-and-gun in the desert.

Phoenix Suns odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
This is where the Suns’ betting chances go way down South. Phoenix gave up the fourth-most points in the league, and it starts on the perimeter, where Nash has problems with quicker point guards. Barbosa is solid as a swingman defender, but Hill and Richardson won’t be mistaken for defensive stoppers anytime soon. Lopez is probably their best big man defensively, as Stoudemire is indifferent, at best.

Phoenix Suns odds maker breakdown: COACHING
Alvin Gentry was handed the keys to the Suns after Porter was fired, and while they were still terrible defensively, Phoenix went back to its “seven seconds or less” style of play, which seemed to work a bit better. Gentry’s main focus will be on the defense, and he just needs to get the Suns to buy into a system because they won’t go far in the playoffs giving up over 107 points.

Phoenix Suns odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
The Suns missed the playoffs for the first time in five seasons last year, and it’s been about 20 years since it’s happened in back-to-back seasons, but that should end this year. The Suns’ inability to stop anyone is just too much for them to overcome, no matter how many points a game they score, and Gentry won’t be able to turn that around in a single season. Also, Nash and Hill aren’t getting any younger, so Gentry will have to be very careful with their minutes. While they’ll be fun to watch, it won’t translate into a playoff berth for the Suns.

For more of the best sports betting articles on the internet and previews of all 30 NBA teams, get your daily fix in’s The Betting Edge.

Craig Parsons is's college basketball expert.



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