The Phoenix Suns are an NBA best 7-0 in the Orlando Bubble. Photo by @TheHoopCentral (Twitter)
- The Phoenix Suns face the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, looking to go 8-0 in the Orlando Bubble
- Phoenix needs to win and get help in order to qualify for the West play-in game
- Read below for a preview and betting prediction for the game
The Phoenix Suns have been the talk of the Orlando Bubble. They came to Florida without much hope of making the playoffs, but after seven straight wins they find themselves with an outside shot of making the West play-in game.
The Suns will play their final regular season game Thursday at 4:00 pm EST against the Dallas Mavericks, and will need a win to keep their postseason dream alive.
Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Phoenix Suns||-6.5 (-110)||-295||N/A|
|Dallas Mavericks||+6.5 (-110)||+240||N/A|
Odds taken Aug. 12th
Phoenix opened up as a 6.5-point favorite in the Suns vs Mavericks odds, in large part because Dallas has nothing to play for. The Mavs are locked into the seventh seed, while the Suns’ playoff scenario is slightly more complicated.
Suns Still a Postseason Longshot
Not only does Phoenix need a win – but they also need a lot of help. In order for them to capture the eighth seed, they need a win plus losses by both Portland and Memphis. They can claim the ninth seed with a win and a loss by either the Trail Blazers or Grizzlies, but there is serious questions surrounding the motivation of their opponents.
Us trying to keep track of how we can make the playoffs pic.twitter.com/ePArGTUziO
— 7-0 (@Suns) August 12, 2020
Portland plays a Brooklyn team locked into the East’s 7th seed, while Memphis plays Milwaukee, who have already clinched the East’s top seed. Since neither the Nets or the Bucks have anything to play for, there’s a good chance they rest some if not all of their starters. That should lead to easy wins for the Blazers and Grizzlies, and the playoff projections reflect that.
Playoff Scenario Projections According to ESPN
|Team||Finish 8th||Finish 9th||Advance to Playoffs|
|Portland Trail Blazers||73%||14%||62%|
Phoenix is being given a 21% chance to finish 9th and a 8% chance of finishing 8th. Keep in mind that whoever finishes 9th must beat the 8th seed twice this weekend in order to advance to the playoffs and face the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.
2020 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
Suns Stars a Problem for Mavs
As mentioned, the Mavs have nothing to play for on Thursday, and it would make sense if they sat their stars. Luka Doncic has played 35 and 42 minutes in his last two games, and could surely use a rest before the playoffs begin. Dallas has already listed Kristaps Porzingis questionable, meaning the Mavs will likely be shorthanded no matter what.
Kristaps Porzingis (heel) listed questionable for Thursday. https://t.co/XrakQxVD98
— FantasyLabs NBA (@FantasyLabsNBA) August 12, 2020
Dallas’ defense has been exposed in the Bubble, allowing an average of 130.8 points in their last three contests, and just gave up 61 to Damian Lillard on Tuesday. That’s great news for Devin Booker who’s scored 35 points in three of his last four outings.
good lord Devin Booker pic.twitter.com/RNVwPNNzbg
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) August 11, 2020
The Mavs have also been hemorrhaging production to opposing centers, as Brook Lopez hit them for 34 and 7 on the weekend, and Ivica Zubac went for 21 and 15 last week. That bodes well for former number one pick DeAndre Ayton, who poured in 31 against Dallas earlier this season.
Phoenix Stays Perfect But it Won’t be Enough
These two teams met two weeks ago, and the Suns came away victorious against a Mavs squad at full strength. Phoenix has actually won each of the last two meetings dating back to earlier in the season, and with Dallas likely resting starters, this game should be a layup for the Suns.
Phoenix won’t know the result of either the Memphis or Portland game until later in the evening so they’ll have every incentive to play until the final whistle. It will be a shame if they finish outside the playoff picture despite a perfect record in the Bubble, but the future is still incredibly bright for the Suns.
Pick: Phoenix Suns -6.5 (-110)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.