Friday night’s showcase game on the West Coast in NBA betting action this week pits the Los Angeles Clippers up against the Phoenix Suns in the desert.
Lob City is still finding ways to get the job done. The team started off this long road trip with a solid 108-100 win over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night, and now, it is going to try to make sure that it keeps up with its winning ways tonight in the desert. This is still a team that is wildly inconsistent at times, but it is hard to overlook all of the talent on the court. Blake Griffin is averaging 21.4 points and 11.2 boards per game, and he is clearly improving his game because of the insertion of Chris Paul onto the Clippers. CP3 is averaging 19.6 points and 8.5 assists per game, and even better are the rest of his stats. He is shooting 49.6 percent from the field and a blistering 44.3 percent from beyond the arc, and his assist/turnover ratio is nearly 4.00. Caron Butler and Mo Williams have both stepped up as double digit scorers with Chauncey Billups out of the fold, and Randy Foye and DeAndre Jordan aren’t all that far behind either. There is a reason that this team is leading the way in the Pacific Division for the time being, though the Clip Joint knows that it cannot take its foot off of the gas pedal.
If the Suns played in the Eastern Conference, they would be in a heck of a lot better shape. That being said, in spite of the fact that .500 still seems to be a mark that is within their grasp, they know that they probably have no shot of making the playoffs in the West without a truly Herculean run. Phoenix is only 3.5 games out, but with the shortened season it feels like that 3.5 games may as well be 30. The good news is that the team is off to a good start in the second half of the year after pounding the Minnesota Timberwolves by nine on Thursday night. The Suns have now scored at least 102 points in four straight games, and it should come as no surprise that now that they are doing a better job of getting up and down the court and are shooting the ball better, that they have won three of those four. The big question in Phoenix is whether Steve Nash is in his dying days with the team. He could be traded to a contender at any point essentially, and if he were to go, he and his 13.9 points and 11.1 assists per game would be sorely missed. The Suns got 13 points, 17 assists, and eight boards from Nash in the win over the T’Wolves on Thursday.
The Final Word: In the end, the Suns do have a talented side as well, and they know that the time is now that they have to make their push. Phoenix has the potential to be every bit as good as the Clippers, and it might show it on Friday night.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Phoenix Suns Pick: Phoenix Suns +2
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.