Your Phoenix Suns have at least eight games remaining in the 2019-20 NBA season. Respected basketball people will probably tell you that the Suns have at most eight games left in the campaign.
Unless they have more than eight games.
But they probably won’t. The end of the NBA season is going to be wacky but the hill is probably is too steep to climb for our Suns. I can’t say that I’d take a longshot bet on Phoenix, but taking over 2.5 wins sounds like a fun way to spend a couple of weeks.
For a reference that will not help you place a bet whatsoever, here’s a recap of how Phoenix has fared this season against our remaining opponents.
Friday, July 31st at Wizards
November 27th: (L) 132-140
For this one Washington will be without John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Davis Bertrans. For all intents and purposes their trip to the Orlando bubble is only slight more ceremonial than that of your Suns.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that Thomas Bryant scored 23 in the first meeting. That’s his season high. Ish Smith went for 21 points and 7 assists, one of his finest games of the year.
No matter. I’m taking the over. And that means I’ll need to find at least three wins on this list. Washington isn’t a bad place to start. Winner: Phoenix
Sunday, August 2nd vs. Mavs
November 29th: (L) 113-120
January 28th: (W) 133-104
Dallas is a trendy pick to make some noise in Orlando. Presently they are slotted at the 7th seed but have better odds to win it all than the 5th-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate them. I sports-hate them plenty. That’s how the Luka Doncic-Deandre Ayton thing works and I am a rule follower.
The Mavs are taking this one, though. Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t hit double digits in the point column against Phoenix this year. Most recently he score nine points on eight shots in twenty minutes.
But the Mavs have more to play for. They’re not yet locked up a playoff spot. With only eight games remaining the regular season, expect a sense of urgency. Winner: Dallas
Tuesday, August 4th vs. Clippers
October 26th: (W) 130-122
December 17th: (L) 99-120
February 26th: (L) 92-102
You can expect this to be a common occurrence over the next several weeks. The Los Angeles Clippers are presently without Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverly. Both left the Orlando bubble to attend to family emergencies.
Regardless of when they return there will be a quarantine period. If they fail to test daily during their absence, it could be two weeks before they are on the court. Daily testing cuts that time down to four days, upon return.
I think the Suns beat a Beverly and Harrell-less Clips squad. But because I’m a swell guy I’m going to assume they are able to resolve what is going on outside of the bubble and are ready to go by August 4th. Winner: Los Angeles
Thursday, August 6th vs. Pacers
January 22nd: (L) 87-112
January’s loss to Indiana was the Suns’ worst of the season. By a mile. But probably doesn’t make the top ten losses of the last three years. So that’s saying something.
That whooping happened without Victor Oladipo in the lineup, and it looks like he’ll be back in the Pacers lineup.
Domantas Sabonis is struggling with plantar fascitis. He’s probably the biggest question mark. Pacers roll. Winner: Indiana
Saturday, August 8th at Heat
November 7th: (L) 108-124
Well Miami is going to have to win this one, because they got screwed in the restart.
When the season paused, the Heat’s remaining strength of schedule fell in the bottom half of the league. When basketball returns they’ll have the second-toughest slate in the Association.
TRAP GAME?!?! No. There’s only eight games. And they are all in the same place. You cannot have a trap game.
A few unnamed players have tested positive for COVID in the last month. By all reports they’ve recovered though, and there’s no reason to think that the Heat won’t be operating at full strength. Winner: Miami
Monday, August 10th vs. Thunder
December 20th: (L) 108-126
January 31st: (L) 107-111
Prior to break Oklahoma City was one of the biggest surprises in the league, on pace to crack 60 wins.
Dennis Schroder was a key to success in both wins against the Suns, scoring 24 points in both affairs. His wife is also due to give birth in early August. That’s all the analysis I need. Let’s wish the Schroders the best. Winner: Phoenix
Tuesday, August 11th at Sixers
November 4th: (W) 114-109
Phoenix collected a fine win against Philadelphia in early November, albeit against a Sixers roster that did not feature Joel Embiid.
Al Horford had a day, though. Al Horford scored 32 points. That’s the second highest point total Al Horford has reached in his career. And Al Horford has been playing professional basketball a long time.
Horford and Embiid have not yet shared the court in Orlando. That’s probably something Sixers head coach Brett Brown needs to get figured out. I’ll bet he gets it figured out before August 11th. Winner: Philadelphia
Thursday, August 13th vs. Mavs
The Mavs have clinched a playoff spot. Porzingis against the Suns goes back to Porzingis against the Suns. Ayton scores 50. Suns by a million. Winner: Phoenix