Washington Wizards vs. Phoenix Suns - 12/21/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Phoenix Suns (13-14) at Washington Wizards (19-6)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm (Verizon Center)
The Line: Washington Wizards -6 -- Over/Under: 203 See the Latest Odds
TV: FSAZ, CSNB
The Washington Wizards host the Phoenix Suns in an interconference clash on Saturday evening from the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
The Phoenix Suns have opened their current three game road trip against Eastern teams 2-0, boosting their record to 14-14 on the year with an 8-7 mark away from home. The Suns will face a bigger challenge here against the Wizards though than they did in their last two stops in Charlotte and New York, where Phoenix took down struggling teams sitting well below .500. Phoenix is getting the job done of the offensive end of the court averaging 104.6 points per game to rank sixth in the league, but the defense leaves a lot to be desired conceding 104 points to rank 26th. The Suns get balanced scoring as five players average double figures – leading the charge has been a dynamic backcourt that includes Goran Dragic (16.2 ppg, 4.2 apg), Eric Bledsoe (15.4 ppg, 5.8 apg) and Isaiah Thomas (15.3 ppg). The Suns lack a dominant rebounding presence as Markieff Morris and Miles Plumlee each average about six per game down low and the guards do their part to chip in and initiate fastbreaks off of misses. The Suns had lost six straight games before their recent two game win streak which leaves plenty of doubt about how consistent we should expect this team to be this season.
USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Wizards are one of the more impressive stories in the East thus far this year as the team is exceeding expectations with a record of 19-6. The Wizards have a huge home court edge with a 13-2 mark on the year as the fans do well to generate noise and energy regardless of the score. The Wizards rank 16th in the league while averaging 101.2 points per game on offense, but the defense has been superb conceding just 96.8 points to rank 5th. Leading the charge for Washington is the dynamic backcourt duo of John Wall (17.9 ppg, 10.6 apg, 4.6 rpg) and Bradley Beal (15.1 ppg, 45.3% three point shooting). Marcin Gortat has been a solid presence down low with 13.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game and Paul Pierce has solidified the young core of talent with his veteran mindset. The Wizards have a strong bench and should make strong use of it in this contest as the Suns have a lot of capable contributors on their bench as well.
With the Suns on a back-to-back and the Wizards rested I see the Wizards getting the edge in setting the pace which should allow the home team to feature its talented defense. My lean is to the under although Phoenix’s defense could certainly compromise that stance.