NBA Picks – Phoenix Suns vs. Atlanta Hawks

By Betmaker Team

The Atlanta Hawks and the Phoenix Suns are the most recent examples of how quickly things can change in the current NBA. Atlanta and Phoenix were the talk of the league during the 2020-21 season. The Hawks only won 20 games the previous season and were one of the few teams not invited to the NBA summer bubble in Orlando. However, they took off under new head coach Nate McMillan at the midway mark of the following season. McMillan guided the Hawks to a 27-11 record, and Trae Young emerged as an elite scorer. Atlanta ended up upsetting the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers in the first two rounds of the playoffs to make the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks. Many observers thought that Atlanta would build from the experience, but the Hawks are currently 68-64 over the past two seasons and might be ready to blow it up before the trade deadline.


As for the Phoenix Suns, the addition of Chris Paul immediately helped this team take its game to an elite level. Phoenix hadn’t made the playoffs in over a decade before the 2020-21 season, but then the Suns went 51-21 and only dropped four total games against the two LA teams and the Denver Nuggets on their way to the NBA Finals. They won the first two games against Milwaukee but dropped the next four to lose the series. Still, it felt like it was only a matter of time before Phoenix and CP3 got a ring after that performance, but the Suns imploded in the playoffs after a 64-win season last year and are currently just one game over .500.


We will see the Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks square off twice over the next nine days. Phoenix will host Atlanta at the Footprint Center on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN with the Suns traveling to Atlanta for the rematch on April 9.


Phoenix Suns vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook

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Phoenix Suns vs. Atlanta Hawks Preview


It sounds like John Collins won’t be in Atlanta much longer. Collins has been involved in trade rumors for most of the last two months, as the Hawks are reportedly looking to dump salary after a second straight disappointing season. He is averaging 13.5 PPG and 7.7 RPG as Atlanta’s fifth-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, but Clint Capela will need to play big minutes the rest of the way considering Atlanta’s lack of depth in the frontcourt if Collins is dealt.


Bet-Rivers-Banner-Sep-29-2022-03-57-25-53-PM-4Of course, Trae Young is the star of the team. Young is averaging 27.2 PPG and is second in the league in assists (9.9 APG). Unfortunately, he is a high-volume scorer, so he isn’t very efficient. He is making just 42.7% of his field goals and 31.6% of his threes.


Atlanta swung for the fences by trading for Dejounte Murray before the start of the season. Murray blossomed into a star during his time in San Antonio, so the Hawks banked on him becoming even better with a more talented cast and dealt three first-round picks to the Spurs for him. He hasn’t been bad as the second-leading scorer, averaging 20.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 6.1 APG, but his defense has taken a dip and he isn’t as efficient as he should be considering what’s around him.


While the Hawks are in disarray, the relatively good news for the Suns is that their woes are largely due t injury. Only two members of their starting five, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges, have played at least 40 games for the Suns, and they have had to rely on big minutes from bench players Torrey Craig and Damion Lee in the backcourt.


Devin Booker and Cam Payne will miss this game due to injury, but Cam Johnson recently returned to action, and Ayton will be a problem for Atlanta in the block. There’s little doubt the Suns will be favored by the NBA betting line, yet the Hawks do have the depth at guard to make things interesting.


Phoenix Suns vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction


The Suns are 18-8 at home and 8-17 on the road, so this is the right call even if it might be a bit square.