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NBA Team Focus: Time to Fade the Suns

Phoenix Suns PJ Tucker

Is there a bigger train wreck in today’s NBA than the Phoenix Suns? Considering the current depressing state of the team you’d be hard pressed to argue otherwise. But when you look beneath the surface, things in the desert may be even worse than they appear, and that should translate into fade material for bettors in the stretch run of the regular season.

Ahead of Thursday’s matchup with Brooklyn, Phoenix ranked just above the putrid L.A. Lakers in the basement of the Western Conference at 14-43 SU. The Suns have lost 12 straight and 28 of their last 30 (OUCH!), which saw renowned bad owner Robert Sarver blame “millennial culture” for his team’s awful season. Whatever you say, Rob.

But unlike the lowly Nets and 76ers, the Suns were not supposed to be this bad. On opening night Phoenix’s odds to win the NBA title were at 100-1, tied with Boston, Dallas and Utah. If you were one of the poor saps who bet the OVER on the Suns’ 36.5 season win total, may God have mercy on your soul.

This is a team that’s collectively thrown in the towel, and it’s become painfully obvious they’re simply going through the motions at this point. Interim bench boss Earl Watson, who took over for fired head coach Jeff Hornacek on February 1, can only do so much when the quality on the floor is this poor.

Phoenix ranks 28th in the NBA in average scoring margin (-7), 27th in offensive efficiency (0.990), 29th in shooting percentage (46.6 percent), 29th in opponent points per game (107.4) and 28th in defensive effiency (1.059). With that said, is it any surprise this team has been the worst bet in pro hoops at 23-35 ATS?

Brandon Knight and company have been particularly terrible on the road. The Suns boast a paltry 7-20 ATS record away from Talking Stick Resort Arena – by far the worst mark in the Association. Phoenix is averaging 97.5 points while going 36.6 percent from the field on the road compared to 103 points per game on 44.2 percent shooting in Arizona.

The glory days of Steve Nash dishing dimes to Amar’e Stoudemire are long gone (the team recently reached out to Nash to be its next coach, to which the Canadian stated he had zero interest in). General manager Ryan McDonough has made some bone-headed decisions in the last few years, a trend that hasn’t helped to improve the long rumored internal front office issues.

The long and short of it is the Suns stink, and basketball bettors shouldn’t touch this team with a 10 foot pole (unless you’re wagering against them, particularly on the road). The issues in Phoenix go far deeper than the inferior product on the court, which means this ship won’t be turned around in the foreseeable future.

Disgruntled fans, lousy attendance numbers and unhappy players are a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, disaster has become the status quo for this franchise.

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