UPDATE: June 17 — Oubre is not expected to play when the NBA season resumes in late July, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday.
The NBA has finalized a 22-team field that is set to continue playing this season after the COVID-19 pandemic brought the season to a halt, and the Phoenix Suns are surprisingly still in the playoff hunt. The Suns are 13th in the Western Conference and six games back from the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies.
That means they have a chance to cut the deficit and get a chance to reach the postseason via a play-in tournament. Phoenix will have eight games to play once the season resumes in late July, and should get a boost from a couple players returning from injury.
Kelly Oubre Jr. tore his meniscus in February but underwent surgery in March to repair his injury. The swingman is Phoenix’s third leading scorer (18.7 PPG) and leads the team in rebounds per game (6.4). The Suns struggled without his defensive versatility and scoring, and were also hindered by the absence of Frank Kaminsky, who broke his knee cap in December. While Oubre is more of a wing, both he and Kaminsky logged minutes at power forward this season. Both are expected to provide depth and improve the Suns’ chances at making a run.
Without Oubre and Kaminsky in the picture, Phoenix probably would’ve slipped far from playoff contention, have getting them back down the stretch has bumped up its postseason and title odds significantly. While the chances are still slim, the Suns are trending in the right direction.
Phoenix Suns Championship odds
Phoenix’s title odds were at +50000 on DraftKings SportsBook on May 13 but has now jumped to +30000. Its odds to make the playoffs clock in at +6000.
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN) or 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO). NH/NJ/WV/IN/PA/CO only. 21+ (18+ NH). Eligibility Restrictions Apply. See website for details.