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It's time we admit that the Nets and Suns are who we thought the other would be. Jonathan Macri makes his picks for tonight's matchup.
ANALYSIS

Phoenix Suns vs Brooklyn Nets Prediction: Reality Check Time

You know those "Player A / Player B" comparisons you see floating around NBA Twitter sometimes? Let's try one with a couple of supposed Final contenders.

Team A has a positive 7.8 net rating, good for second in the league, and the only team with both a top-five offense (3rd best) and top-five defense (2nd best). Team A is also on a 10-game winning streak, and has a three-game lead on the next best team in basketball with 40 wins against nine losses.

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Team B has a positive 2.0 net rating that ranks 12th in the NBA, with the 6th best offense but just the 17th best defense. In the last 10 games however, during which their best player has seen the court for just 12 minutes total, that defensive rating has plummeted to 25th in the league. Team B has just two wins in the last nine games that said player has missed completely, giving them a 29-20 record, is good for 6th in their own conference.

By now you surely realize that Team A is the Suns and Team B is the Nets, and yet the folks in Vegas don't seem to think betters possess the same powers of recognition. Despite entering this contest on a four-game losing streak, the Nets get the benefit of a spread here that is barely over two possessions. Perhaps it's because James Harden is questionable with a chance to play, and because the game is on the road, Kyrie Irvng will suit up.

Still, the Nets didn't cover the spread in the first three games of this recent losing streak, and fell behind by 19 in Golden State in their last game before making it close late when the Warriors let down their guard.

There is some cause for concern. Phoenix has the second-best home margin of victory in the league but is just 12-14 ATS in their own building, while the Nets are a surprising 14-10 ATS away from Brooklyn, which offers maybe the worst home court advantage in the league. The Suns also won't have Jae Crowder or Deandre Ayton, and as a result, will play a rotation that is a few men short of honest to goodness NBA contributors.

But that's the only reason you're getting this game at this number. Check back on the above blind comparison and don't overthink this matchup between teams heading in opposite directions. Give the points at home.

Phoenix Suns vs Brooklyn Nets Line Movement

Phoenix Suns vs Brooklyn Nets Pick

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Article Author

NBA

Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.

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