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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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2013 NBA Championship Odds and Betting Preview: Phoenix Suns

The NBA season is right around the corner and the Phoenix Suns 2013 NBA Championship Odds are currently at 250-1 ($100 bet pays $25200). They are 125-1 to win the Western Conference and their over/under season win total projection is 33,5. Below is the overall season preview by Pregame Pro André Gomes

Having in account the expectations the Suns had prior to the start of the last season, we can say that Phoenix had an excellent season. Nobody was expecting the Suns to fight for the playoffs and this was exactly what they did with Phoenix fighting against Utah for the last playoffs spot until the second last game of the season.

2011-12 Regular Season Numbers:

Advanced Numbers

4 Factors

Overall

#'s

Rank

Offense

#'s

Rank

Defense

#'s

Rank

Pace

91.20

9

eFG% Off

50.0%

9

eFG% Def

49.1%

17

Offense

107.96

8

TO% Off

13.29

10

TO% Def

13.14

21

Defense

108.07

22

Reb% Off

25.58

23

Reb% Def

28.10

24

Rebound

48.74

27

FT% Off

19.63

22

FT% Def

20.14

11

 

The Suns didn’t start the season very well due to the poor physical form of both Steve Nash and Grant Hill, with Phoenix being quickly in a hole by winning just four of their first thirteen games of the season. However, the team improved in the second half of the season by reaching the All Star game with a 14-20 record, just to end the season with a 19-13 run in the remaining games.

As usual, the Suns were a good offensive team (#9 in offensive ratings), while they were also in the top 10 in eFG% and in turnovers%, while at the same time, their biggest problems were on defense and on rebounds. These strengths and weaknesses from the Suns last season weren’t a surprise, as these are generally the same problems Phoenix has every season.

Phoenix Suns month-by-month record:

Months

W

L

PACE

Off. H

Off. A

Reb%

January

7

13

90.3

101.9

106.3

47.7

February

7

7

91.3

108.4

108.0

49.0

March

11

6

90.5

111.5

108.9

49.5

April

8

7

93.1

111.6

109.5

49.0

 

Steve Nash’s influence in the team’s offensive performance was quite evident: he finished the season by being #2 in the league in assists per game with 10.7, while at the same time he had his usual brilliant shooting numbers: 53.2% FG, 39% 3pts and 89.4% FT. With Nash leaving Phoenix, the “run and gun” era is now history at least with Nash leading the team with a system that made fans worldwide fell in love with the Suns’ exciting basketball.

 

Offseason moves 2012-13:

It was expected that Nash would leave Phoenix during the offseason, so the Suns had time to think about his replacement and they decided to attack the draft and the free agency to find alternatives to Steve Nash.

The Suns had the 13th pick of the draft and they used it to pick North Carolina’s point guard Kendall Marshall, who led the nation in assists on his last season on college. The Suns also improved the backcourt by signing Goran Dragic, who is back in Phoenix after a short stay in Houston.

Unfortunately, Channing Frye will miss the whole season and so, the Suns also improved their frontcourt by winning the auction of Luis Scola, who has been amnestied by the Rockets, while they also signed Michael Beasley, who is still trying to make his breakthrough on the league. The organization is known for having the best program in the league in terms of fitness and injury prevention and probably because of that, Jermaine O’Neal was convinced by Phoenix to play one more season on the NBA.

Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Channing Frye were all starters over the last few seasons in Phoenix and with them gone now, the Suns are definitely entering a new era this season.

A team with no “star players”

It will almost impossible for the Suns to be represented in the All Star game this season, however the team has some solid role players that Coach Alvin Gentry should use well to make his team competitive.

Goran Dragic was the team’s main signing during this offseason, after taking well the opportunity he had last season in Houston, when Kyle Lowry got injured. Dragic was a starter in 28 games for Houston with the excellent numbers of 18.0 points, 8.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game, while shooting 49% FG. Dragic is coming back to a team he knows well, as Gentry had already coached him in the past, so he knows how the Suns system works and we are talking about a system that benefits the point guard, so Dragic will have a good opportunity to have a brilliant stay in Phoenix.

Phoenix’s frontcourt will be formed by Scola and Gortat, two good offensive players. Nobody benefited more than Gortat to play alongside Nash over the last few seasons, as last season he was one of the most efficient players in the league in the Pick and Roll – roll man by having 1.23 PPP on this kind of plays – the 10th best mark in the league. Nash isn’t in Phoenix anymore, but Gortat has also been showing good rebounding skills and an effective contributor to the team’s offense.

He had the company of Frye in the frontcourt last season, who was a PF with a perimeter oriented game, but for this season, Scola will be his teammate. The Argentinean isn’t coming from a good season in Houston even though he had a great durability by playing in every game of the season! Scola is definitely a PF with a lot of offensively skills, but he won’t offer a lot to the team on defense. 

Gentry will need to take maximum advantage from Gortat and Scola if Phoenix wants to remain competitive this season, as the Suns lack frontcourt depth. Robin Lopez went to New Orleans, Channing Frye won’t play this season and the Suns have only Jermaine O’Neal with questionable healthy and the sophomore Markieff Morris who didn’t convince last season on his rookie season.

The signings of Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson made little sense in terms of the team’s future, even though the Suns got a future first round draft pick in the Johnson deal. Wesley Johnson didn’t show anything that makes me believe he possesses the level to be a NBA player in Minnesota, while Michael Beasley is too selfish for a team with the style of the Suns. He may have said that he is a “different player” now, but I don’t believe that.

 

Final Thoughts

The Suns has three good role players on their roster in Dragic, Gortat and Scola, but they also have little quality on the rest of the roster. It will be up to Gentry to develop Kendall Marshall, without causing problems to Goran Dragic.

Jared Dudley has been showing that he is a very underrated player on this league, but the fact that he is a starter for the Suns shows a lot about the team’s quality on his position, while the fact that Beasley and Johnson will be sharing minutes at the SF position shows the same thing about this position as well.

With no frontcourt depth, the Suns will be exposed in the fight for the rebounds and on their own basket protection, having in account they’ll face the Lakers and the Clippers a lot of eight times this season.

We are finally entering a new era in Phoenix, but whose most likely fate this season is to “fight” for a top draft pick in next season’s draft.

Follow Andre Gomes on Twitter @GomesCapper

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My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

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