There are a handful of teams, and maybe more, who could get to the NBA Finals. Two of them play Monday when the Milwaukee Bucks host the Phoenix Suns. The Bucks are third in the Eastern Conference at 35-21 while the Suns are second in the Western Conference at 40-16. The Suns beat the Bucks 125-124 back on February 10 in Phoenix. This game should be equally as close.
Suns fall flat against SpursEven the best teams stumble once in a while. Take the Suns, for example, who had been on a ridiculous roll, winning 11 of their last 12 games heading into Saturday's game with San Antonio. Well, all good things must come to an end as they were manhandled in a 111-85. It was just one of those nights as the Suns only shot 40% from the floor and made only 6 of 27 from three point range.
Entering tonight, Devin Booker needs just 8 points to become the 9th player to reach 9,000 career points before turning 25.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 17, 2021
He would join LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Shaquille O'Neal and Anthony Davis. pic.twitter.com/W3ndNSvA0H
When deep bench player Jevon Carter is your leading scorer with 17 points, you know you've had a bad night. Devin Booker with 15 points and Cameron Payne with 12 were the only other Suns in double figures. Deandre Ayton only had 8 points and 9 rebounds while Chris Paul had just 6 points with 6 assists. The loss dropped the Suns to 40-16, 1,5 games behind first place Utah in the Western Conference.
Bucks lose to MemphisThe Milwaukee Bucks have a brutal stretch coming up, over the next 5 games they face Phoenix, Philly twice, then two likely playoff teams, Atlanta and Charlotte on the road. With Boston surging now, they can't afford to lose to many of these games or they could slip out of third place into fourth place in the conference. That seems unlikely as they hold a 4.5 game lead over Boston, but why tempt it.
They are coming off a bad loss at home to Memphis on Saturday night. They fell 128-115 to Memphis, shooting only 42% from the floor. The loss dropped to 35-21 and they are now three games behind Brooklyn and 4 games behind first place Philly -- with whom they have two big games coming up against. The good news is Giannis Antetokounmpo is back from injury. Giannis scored 28 points and 11 rebounds while Khris Middleton added 16 points and 10 assists. Bryn Forbes chipped in with 19 points while Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez had 17 points each.
Stats & Trends
- Suns are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up loss.
- Suns are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Suns are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Bucks are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Bucks are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
The Suns were embarrassed Saturday night against the Spurs. It was probably their worst loss of the season as they only scored 85 points. This is a team that's not used to losing like that and they will take it hard, which means they will come out firing on all cylinders Monday to get that loss out of their system. The Bucks meanwhile might be caught looking ahead to their huge two game set with Philly, where a couple of wins could draw them closer to the top of the Eastern Conference. The Suns have the size and defense to slow down Giannis and the shar shooting Bucks. Plus, the Bucks have been terrible lately ATS at home, I like the Suns to keep this game super close and cover the spread on the road.