The Phoenix Suns’ road to the NBA Championship starts Sunday as they take on the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
The Suns locked up the No. 1 spot in the West after finishing the regular season with the league’s best record of 64-18, also a franchise record. Before the team hits the court Sunday, we have the Suns’ playoffs preview and odds from Arizona sports betting apps.
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Due to the play-in tournament, the Suns won’t who how they play until Friday night. The Los Angeles Clippers lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. So, the Suns’ first-round matchup is down to either the Clippers or the Pelicans. Those teams will face off in Los Angeles on Friday night.
Phoenix Suns Sports Betting Odds
Not only are the Suns the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, but they are also the reigning Western Conference champions. All of the star power is back from last season’s team. That means Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and DeAndre Ayton are ready to make a strong run at a return to the NBA Finals.
Although the Suns fell short of winning the NBA championship last season, their experience and their strong performance throughout this season are the big reasons why they are the favorites to win the title this season.
Major wagers: Arizona sports betting sets record with $564 million betting handle in January
Phoenix Suns Players Ready For Playoffs
First up is Paul, who has gotten his mojo back just in time for the playoffs.
Paul returned to the Suns’ lineup on March 25 after missing 15 games since the All-Star break with a fractured thumb. He was strong in his first game back, playing 29 minutes and finishing with 17 points, 13 assists, a steal, and a block.
On April 1 against the Grizzlies, Paul had three steals in the first half and moved up to fourth place on the NBA All-Time steals leader list.
The “Point God” continued with the momentum to finish off the season as the league’s assists leader with 10.8 assists per game.
Next up, is MVP candidate Booker. Booker averaged a career-high in points per game with 26.8 as well as rebounds per game with 5.0. He also finished this season with a career-high 3-point field goal percentage at .383.
Booker really stepped up his leadership when the Suns needed him most. While Paul was sidelined with his injury, Booker dished out 12 assists in the first game sans Paul.
According to sportsbooks like DraftKings Arizona and BetMGM Arizona, Devin Booker is the favorite to win the NBA Finals MVP at +500.
Lastly, we have Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Mikal Bridges. “The Warden” is physically and mentally strong and shows it on the court every game. Not only does Bridges have the IQ to know how to play defense against different players, but according to NBA.com tracking data, Bridges moves around the court 1.30 miles per game on defense — the most in the league. Bridges also played solid offense and averaged a career-high of 14.2 points per game this season.
His most impressive stat? Bridges has never missed a game since being drafted by the Suns in 2018. That means he has played 331 straight games with Phoenix. He was this season’s leader in total minutes played with 2,854 minutes, averaging 34.8 minutes per game.
Final Player Notes
Cam Johnson is back in the lineup after missing 10 games with a quad injury in March and said on Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo, “I feel like I’m all the way back.”
The Suns waived Frank Kaminsky and then added Ish Wainright to the playoff roster by converting his two-way contract into a standard deal. The 6-foot, 6-inch forward had a career-high 20 points in the fourth quarter on April 6 in a close loss to the Clippers. In the Suns’ final regular-season game on April 10, Wainright had 15 points and a career-best four steals.
With a full and healthy team, the Suns are ready for the playoffs.
Phoenix Suns Breaking Records
Not only did Phoenix set a franchise record of 64 wins this regular season, but they also set a franchise road record of 32 wins, which also was a league’s best, and a home record with 32 wins. But it didn’t stop there for the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns finished 1st in the NBA with:
🔸 64-18 overall (Suns record)
🔸 18-game win streak (Suns record)
🔸 32-9 at home
🔸 32-9 on road
🔸 32-10 vs teams above .500
🔸 33-9 in clutch time
🔸 47-0 leading after 3Q (NBA record)
Best regular season in team history. #ValleyProud pic.twitter.com/6Kxh9fjCaI
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) April 11, 2022