Game: Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Mavericks +4.5, Suns -4.5
The 2022–23 regular season begins on Wednesday night for Phoenix and Dallas. The Mavericks are hoping to duplicate their semifinal victory against the Suns. It came as a surprise to most when the Mavs unexpectedly advanced to the Western Conference finals by beating the Suns in the playoffs last year. Dallas won the final two games of the seven-game playoff series by an average of 30 points. Phoenix was left to start preparing for this season after they had won an NBA-high 64 games.
The year before last, Phoenix lost in the NBA Finals. Now, it is now unclear whether the franchise can reach that level again. The Suns’ standout guard Devin Booker feels that his team only has themselves to satisfy, not Dallas since it’s an 82-game season.
Dallas had not won a single playoff series since winning the NBA championship in 2011 prior to their remarkable run last season. In the opening round of the playoffs the previous season, Dallas defeated the Utah Jazz. Dallas was then eliminated in the Western Conference finals by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in five games.
Phoenix appeared to be returning to the Western Conference finals when it defeated the visiting Mavericks 110-80 in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in May to establish a 3-2 series lead. The Suns, though, were humiliated 113-86 in Game 6 and were unable to clinch the series in Dallas. Then, in Game 7, the Mavericks struck hard with a 123-90 victory to eliminate Phoenix.
The Mavs are once again led by Luka Doncic. He enters his fifth season in the NBA as an MVP contender, averaging 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game last season. The Mavericks improved their frontcourt by acquiring Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets and signing JaVale McGee as a free agent. The Mavs did lose guard Jalen Brunson in free agency.
Phoenix kept center Deandre Ayton by matching the four-year, $133 million offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers. Jae Crowder will not play tonight. After the Suns named Cam Johnson a starter in his place, Crowder is still seeking a trade. Landry Shamet will also be unable to play tonight due to a hip injury.
Frank Ntilikina and Davis Bertans will not play for Dallas. Ntilikina has an ankle problem, while Bertrans is battling a knee injury.
The Mavericks have a 4-1 SU and ATS record in the last five meetings between these two clubs. Dallas, though, has a 1-8 SU record in its last nine away games in Phoenix. The game total has gone Under in four of the previous five Mavs-Suns contests.
Both teams finished among the top 10 in the NBA in defense. Dallas was the third-best defense last season in terms of points allowed. The Mavs gave up an average of 104.9 points per game. Phoenix ranked 10th allowing 107.5 per game. The Suns were also among the top offenses in the NBA ranking fifth in scoring (113.8 ppg).
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