Phoenix Suns Predictions

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The Phoenix Suns are coming off a miserable 2012-13 campaign, which saw them finish last in the Western Conference with an overall record of 25-57. It was the worst year the franchise has suffered through since their debut season back 1968-69.

Head coach Alvin Gentry, who led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals just a few years back, was fired after the team’s 13-28 start. Things didn’t go much better for interim head coach Lindsay Hunter (12-29), who was not retained in the offseason. The task of getting things turned around has been placed on Jeff Hornaceck, who will be learning the ropes in his first season as an NBA head coach.

Last Season
Pacific
Overall Record
ATS Record
Over/Under
Draft Grade
5th
25-57
32-47-3
39-42
B
2013-2014 Depth Chart
Position Starter 2nd 3rd 4th
Point Guard Goran Dragic
Kendall Marshall Ish Smith Malcolm Lee
Shooting Guard Eric Bledsoe
Shannon Brown Archie Goodwin
Small Forward Gerald Green
P.J. Tucker
Power Forward Marcus Morris
Markieff Morris Channing Frye
Center Emeka Okafor
Alex Len Miles Plumlee Viacheslav Kravtsov

The big offseason addition for the Suns was Eric Bledsoe, who served as the backup point guard to Chris Paul last year with the Clippers. Bledsoe has the potential to really be a special player. Instead of moving Goran Dragic to the bench, Phoenix plans on moving Bledsoe to shooting guard. Dragic really emerged taking over for the departed Steve Nash, leading the team in points (14.7), assists (7.4) and steals (1.61).

Marcin Gortat figured to form a nice combination with Dragic and Bledsoe, but he was recently traded to the Wizards for Emeka Okafor. Phoenix did use the No. 5 pick in the draft on Alex Len out of Maryland, but a lot of experts think it’s going to take a year or two before he is ready to make a serious impact.

The rest of the roster doesn’t exactly figure to put fear into opponents. Either Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker will start at small forward, while twin brothers Marcus and Markieff Morris battle with Channing Frye for playing time at power forward. Veteran Shannon Brown and second-year point guard Kendall Marshall are the other two players who figure to play a big part of the rotation.

Schedule Breakdown

Improving on last year’s 25 wins won’t be easy, especially considering the Suns have one of the more difficult schedules in terms of rest. Phoenix has an overall aggregate of -5 in the schedule advantage/disadvantage department, which is the 24th worst mark in the league.

The Suns find themselves playing twice in the always difficult fourth game in five nights, while they face just one opponent in this spot. Where they are really hit hard is the amount of times they have to play in a back-to-back set against an opponent on rest (12), compared to the number of times the benefit from this scenario (8).

Full Schedule: ESPN

Scheduling Advantage/Disadvantage
4-in-5 +/-
Rest vs No Rest +/-
Aggregate +/-
Ease of Schedule Rank
-1
-4
-5
24th
Odds (Courtesy of Bovada)
Over/Under Win Total
to Win the Western Conference
to Win the NBA Finals
21.5
150 to 1
300 to 1
Predictions

It was going to be hard enough for the Suns to be competitive with Gortat on the roster, but now that he’s out of town it’s pretty clear that Phoenix is headed back to the basement in the Western Conference. They are clearly the worst team on paper in the Pacific and that’s saying something in a division that features the Kings.

I know a lot of people are going to see the Suns win total of 21.5 and think the over is the smart play, but I believe oddsmakers have set the mark so low to try an entice money away from the under. You would like to think even the worst teams in the NBA could win at least 22 games, but I don’t think this team will reach 20 wins in 2013-14.

My big issue with the Suns is that without Gortat they don’t have an inside presence. Dragic and Bledsoe will likely put up big time numbers, but I can’t see these two carrying Phoenix to victories on a consistent basis. Not only do the Suns lack a superstar caliber player, but they have little to no depth to fall back on. This team is in serious trouble if Dragic or Bledsoe misses significant time with an injury.

Projections
Pacific Division Finish
Division Record
Overall Record
Win Total Projection
5th
4-12
18-64
Under 21.5
Suns Resources
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About the Author: Jimmy Boyd is known for his consistency. He's a proven winner in college and pro football, college and pro basketball and pro baseball. He finished as the No. 1 ranked MLB handicapper in 2007 by earning $1,000/game bettors $50,050. He also finished as the No. 1 ranked basketball handicapper in the 2008-09 season, profiting $1,000/game bettors 38,530. His basketball plays have banked $1,000/game bettors nearly $80,000 the last five years. Check out Jimmy's premium picks for tonight!
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