The Brooklyn Nets enters tonight's game against the Phoenix Suns after losing a close 124–116 game against the Clippers at Barclays Center.
Shooting guard Cam Thomas nearly stole the show with a tremendous 47-point effort in defeat. He's a safe bet until proven otherwise, moving forward.
The Suns are elated that they've finally got their star Devin Booker back in the lineup and ready to roll. Phoenix is back to playing its balanced brand of basketball and will look to take advantage of the Nets on the second night of a back-to-back.
I break it all down in my NBA betting picks for Nets vs. Suns below.
Suns vs Nets best odds
Suns vs Nets picks and predictions
Alright, I've officially seen enough. Cam Thomas is a legitimate scoring guard in the NBA who can put fear in defenses with his uncanny ability to put the ball in the basket. If there were still doubts about this 21-year-old's skills, those should be put to rest.
When looking at Thomas' NBA journey, it's beginning to make sense why — for what feels like the last two years — he's been on the sidelines with a huge, less-than-happy grin on his face. While his defense needs some work, his ability to score the basketball should have netted him more than the 16.7 minutes he's averaged over his first two NBA seasons.
Thomas is an excellent scorer, and teams are beginning to find that out. Per 36 minutes this season, he's averaging 22.4 points on 47% shooting from the field. He's also shown the ability to score inside and outside, most recently connecting on seven shots from 3-point range against the Clippers.
That's a tall task, especially considering the Clippers surrendered 20.6 points to opposing teams' shooting guards, the second-best ranking in the entire NBA, but they had no solutions to the Cam Thomas equation.
Thomas is a young kid who has been pleading for a real chance to show his skills, so I certainly wouldn't be nervous about his availability or how he will perform on the second night of a back-to-back tonight.
With Kyrie Irving now in Dallas and Kevin Durant still on his way back from injury, it would turn into the Thomas show, where he's the best player on the active roster in shot creation. Seth Curry, Joe Harris, and Nic Claxton are all guys who need assistance scoring the basketball. That's not the case for Thomas.
But tonight isn't all about Thomas. Devin Booker is returning, which means a Suns team with an entirely different outlook on the season with massive upside offensively. Without Booker, the Suns' offensive rating has dropped considerably, from 118.6 to 111.2.
Booker is the engine of this Phoenix offense. He's among the best players in the NBA, and very few around the NBA match his ability to score. His presence on the court tonight will alter how the Nets play defense on everyone around Booker. They won't be able to throw additional help defenders if DeAndre Ayton or Chris Paul get going early.
Tonight should be a very interesting battle, and despite the Sun's ability to hunker down on defense, this Thomas surge isn't over yet. The Over is 7-1 in the Suns' last eight vs. a team with a winning straight-up record. I'm banking on a shootout in Brooklyn tonight.
My best bet: Over 225 (-110 at FanDuel)
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Suns vs Nets spread analysis
The Nets get another tough break tonight when the Phoenix Suns — who are currently anywhere between a -5 and a -5.5 favorite over the Nets — are on the schedule. The Suns are one of the hottest teams in the NBA of late, winning eight of their last 10 games.
Tonight is Devin Booker's first game back in the lineup after a five-week hiatus dealing with a strained left groin and that's bad news for the Nets. While there's no telling just how much Booker will play tonight, his impact whenever he steps on a court cannot be ignored.
He's averaged 27.2 points and 5.6 assists per game this season in 29 games. On the other hand, the Nets will continue to ride the scorching hot hands of Thomas, who will try to get as many opportunities to draw 1-on-1 defense against Booker, who will undoubtedly be dealing with some rust.
Phoenix defeated Brooklyn in January without Devin Booker and Chris Paul in the lineup. The Suns entered that matchup as a 4-point underdog and won the game outright by five points. Brooklyn is 4-8 ATS when facing a rear-foot disadvantage. I'm leaning on Phoenix to cover tonight.
Suns vs Nets Over/Under analysis
Tonight's total is available across sportsbooks between 224.5 and 225.5, with most of the line stationed at 225.
The Nets and Suns are ranked 21st and 22nd, respectively, in pace for the season, and with Kyrie Irving gone, it's not as if Spencer Dinwiddie or Cam Thomas are Ja Morant-type players who quickly push the ball down the court.
But that should keep the offensive scoring going, as Thomas has been red hot of late. As mentioned earlier, Booker is back in the lineup and presents many problems offensively.
The Nets have hit the Over in their last three games. I'm expecting a Nets team full of guys that see an opportunity to raise their value, playing with a ton of passion and energy for the rest of the season. Thomas may be the engine behind that movement, and he will likely help this game hit the Over tonight.
Suns vs Nets betting trend to know
The Suns are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games after allowing 100+ points in their previous game. Find more NBA betting trends for Suns vs. Nets.
Suns vs Nets game info
|Location:||Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY|
|Date:||Tuesday, February 7, 2023|
|Tip-off:||7:30 p.m. ET|