NBA Betting - Further Phoenix Frailties Emerge

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by - 2/22/2009 9:46 AM Share

Sometimes in life, you run across star-crossed circumstances and despite your best efforts to turn around bad situations, forces bigger and more powerful exist. Take the Phoenix Suns. This was supposed to be a new beginning for the 2008-09 season, playing a brand of basketball tried and true to win NBA championships. Though a number of misgivings surrounded the potential for true success, everyone in and around the Suns organization kept their fingers-crossed and wanted to believe.

About 20 games in to the season, it was evident, the best laid plans of mice and men like general manager Steve Kerr wanted, were not going to work. Then coach Terry Porter never could convince a mostly veteran team to change the spots on the leopard and disharmony took over the club.

At the All-Star break, owner Robert Sarver removed Porter and he and Kerr named assistant Alvin Gentry as interim head coach, pointing the Suns back to original direction of running and gunning and defense be damned. The first two games against the Los Angeles Clippers were an unqualified success, totaling 282 points against a roster lacking talent and further depleted by injury.

So what if Phoenix (31-23, 21-32-1 ATS) allowed 119 points against a team that is slightly above D-League level presently, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and even Shaquille O'Neal were runnin' and gunnin' and moving up the Western Conference playoff ladder was the buzz in the desert basin town.

Quicker then the wink of an eye, everything changed. Stoudemire was poked in the eye in last Wednesday's game against the Clippers, which led to a partially detached retina, meaning surgery this past Friday. Normal recovery time is eight weeks, which is just about the rest of the regular season for Phoenix.

The Suns had entertained offers for Stoudemire from other NBA teams before the trade deadline, but once Porter was released, the decision was made to work on the present. The Suns are a mere 16-10 at Planet Orange (U.S. Airways Arena) and mood became somber almost immediately, much like for those betting Phoenix at home with 10-16 ATS mark.

Coach Gentry will have almost no choice but to play small, with Grant Hill and Matt Barnes seeing more playing time. With Boston (44-12, 31-25 ATS) is town, a number of factors are weighing against Phoenix. Sportsbook.com has the Suns on receiving end of one-point with total of 225 and they are just 2-10 and 3-9 ATS in that role. This will only the second time oddsmakers have them in this spot at home this season. Having whipped Oklahoma City Friday, the Suns are above average 17-10 with one day off, but below average 10-16-1 against the spread.

The Celtics had their nine-game road winning streak snapped in Utah and will be without the services of Kevin Garnett due to injury, which has to help the Suns. With time to regroup themselves, Doc Rivers club is perfect 10-0 with two days between games, showing eight covers.

This matchup will start at 2:30 Eastern on ABC, with Boston 17-6 and 12-11 ATS as road favorites this year.


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