Check out this article for pre-game previews and predictions for the flaming hot OKC Thunder and Phoenix Suns matchup this Monday afternoon.
It will be sizzling since the very beginning of this week in the NBA bubble as two Western Conference teams, Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns, lock horns this Monday afternoon. Will the OKC Thunder seize the home-court advantage, or will a Burning Phoenix be able to continue their slaying spree?
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns
Expect the Monday tilt to be especially raucous as both of the teams have been looking very good in their performances leading to this regional-showdown affair.
Phoenix Suns remained an NBA sensation by winning all five of their seeding games since the Restart. They successfully achieved their unbeatable 5-game streak in the NBA bubble as they blew off Miami Heat to 119-112 as visitors last Saturday night. This Monday afternoon, the Suns are expected to be especially motivated, as a win against OKC will not only lengthen their streak but also keep their postseason hope alive.
Oklahoma City is no less dangerous. They are fresh off a home victory of 121-103 against Washington on Sunday afternoon. The records also speak loud for Oklahoma City. They dominated Phoenix both of the time the teams met this season. Those include a 111-107 victory on January 31 In Phoenix and a 126-108, December 20 in Oklahoma City.
Suns Looking To Continue To Shine
The Phoenix Suns, without question, is the biggest surprise in the NBA bubble as the only undefeated team with a stellar 5-0 record. The victories for Phoenix have all been sensational. Their beat-list is by any standard impressive, including the Heat, the Clippers, Mavericks, and Pacers last week alone.
The Suns have been exceptional in their games, especially when looking at their Saturday victory over Miami. In that 119-112 beatdown, Phoenix’s Devin Booker hooped a stunning 35 points, despite missing all seven three-pointers. The win was impressive to say the least, as Phoenix, who fell behind Miami Heat by seven in the first quarter, battled their way back to a tie before a total domination in the second half.
Reason for the impressive plays? Determination, with a bit of despair. Phoenix Suns continue to play as if every game is their last. That is not just their philosophy, as the reality would very likely unfold that way if the team falters. The Suns must sweep their remaining three matchups and hope that Portland and Memphis each got a defeat to get a play-in position.
However, it is exactly what makes the Suns’ chances ridiculously high this upcoming Monday action. As long as Booker continues to excel, the team can be pretty confident and brute-force for another win. Not just hope, the Suns’ success next game is made even more likely by their scary offense. Phoenix’s lineup has seven players holding an 10+ points per game stat. That has to be extra exciting and reassuring for Suns’ fans looking at their sixth win in a row, as teams find it exceedingly difficult to go up against such an offensive Phoenix.
The Suns get their chance to continue to shock the basketball world when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday afternoon near Orlando.
OKC Thunder Steps In With Confidence
Confidence and composedness may be hazardous weapons of the Thunder as they match up against their Western Conference rival this Monday.
Contrary to the despairing desire of the Suns to enter the postseason, the Thunder goes in this Monday game with a secured spot in the playoffs, ranking 5th in the West. For that reason, they can take this slow, play with extra care and try to expose the weaknesses of a bloodthirst Phoenix this Monday for an arbitrary home-court advantage.
Oklahoma City with their great shape lately can be quite a challenge for Phoenix this Monday. OKC Thunder is currently one of the best shooting teams in the NBA, tying at the sixth place of a 47.1% rate.
They also appear to be coming back so nicely from their human resource problems, as the youngsters have been stepping up in the absence of key stars such as Dennis Schroder (for personal reasons) and Steven Adams (bruised lower leg). Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari (19.0) have been two leading scorers for Oklahoma City, and young Darius Bazley achieved a striking 23 points in OKC’s last game. He is hoping to make the most of his opportunity and deal some damage to the Suns this upcoming game of the teams.
- 4-11 ATS in the last 15 games as the favorite.
- 2-6 ATS in their last eight games at home when facing a team with a winning percentage of greater than .600.
- 5-0 ATS in the last 5 games overall
- 4-0 ATS in the last 4 games playing with 1 day of rest
Oklahoma City Thunder:
- 4-0 ATS in last four meetings in Phoenix.
- 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.
Prediction: Phoenix Stays Hot
The Suns haven’t been to the postseason since the 2009-10 campaign, and they are in a burning desire to make it happen this season. The team has been playing with incredible synergy and an offense that simply destroys league-leading defenses. That impressive efficiency and scary determination make it very likely that a 6-game winning streak will be achieved by Phoenix this Monday. However, they must first have to overcome a composed OKC Thunder who has beaten them in both of the games earlier this season, as well as each of the last five meetings between the teams.