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Evaluating the Phoenix Suns at the All-Star Break

We examine the Suns going into the All-Star Break, looking at some futures betting lines, injuries and one player to watch in fantasy basketball.

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NBA Trade Deadline and All-Star Weekend have come and gone, so that means we’re in the home stretch of the 2019-20 NBA season. In this serious post-All-Star Break, we’ll go over the outlook for every team in the NBA. Here, we’ll provide a short glimpse at championship odds and playoff chances for each team on DraftKings Sportsbook. Also highlighted are key injuries to note and a fantasy basketball player to watch the rest of the season.

Where do the Phoenix Suns stand at the All-Star Break?

Record: 22-33
Playoff Chances: 0.8%
Championship Odds: +25000
Division Odds: +50000
Conference Championship winner: +15000
MVP odds: Devin Booker (+50000)

The Suns are 12th in the Western Conference and 6.5 games out of the eighth seed. Their playoff probability has fallen to less than one percent. The Suns have been a little bit better than their record indicates, as their possession adjusted point differential sits at 15th, better than their winning percentage of 20th. The Suns rank 17th offensively by points scored per possession and 19th defensively by points allowed per possession.

The Suns are in a rough spot, because they don’t appear good enough to make a run at the eighth seed in the West but don’t have a poor enough record to secure strong lottery odds in the draft. As of the All-Star break, the Suns have the 11th best lottery odds and have just a two percent chance at being awarded the number one overall pick in the 2020 draft. The Suns could be looking at no playoff appearance this season combined with a mediocre draft asset heading into next season.

Prediction: The Suns decide to tank in the second half to attempt to secure better draft lottery odds.

Key Injuries for Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton, C (ankle) — DTD
Aron Baynes, C (hip) — out
Frank Kaminsky (patella) — out
Dario Saric (ankle) — out

Phoenix’s most notable injury at the All-Star break is to Deandre Ayton, who missed the Suns’ final two games before the break due to ankle soreness. While Phoenix passing on players such as Luka Doncic to draft Ayton first overall in 2018 appears to be a huge mistake, Ayton has still showcased ability. His 20.6 player efficiency rating in his career is plus, and the Suns have played well with him on the court this season, outscoring opponents by about four points per 100 possessions. The Suns have been outscored by about three points per 100 possessions in minutes with Ayton off the court this season. Ayton is a candidate to return in the Suns’ first game out of the break on Feb. 21 after extended rest.

Fantasy basketball spotlight: Devin Booker

Booker’s 42.3 DraftKings fantasy points (DKFP) per game leads Suns players. He is having the most efficient shooting season of his career, shooting just under 50% from the field while posting a career-best 20.6 player efficiency rating. Booker is best used in DraftKings contests when point guard Ricky Rubio is out due to injury. Booker’s usage rate rises to a heavy 32% in minutes with Rubio off the court this season, up from 26% with Rubio on the court. Booker’s assist rate also rises by a good margin when Rubio is out as Booker takes on more facilitating.

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