NBA Betting News: Gilgeous-Alexander Out As Kevin Durant Makes Debut

NBA Betting News: Gilgeous-Alexander Out As Kevin Durant Makes Debut

The Phoenix Suns are unbeaten since Kevin Durant made his team debut following a trade from Brooklyn and the Suns’ offense looks as unstoppable as many thought it would adding KD to Devin Booker and Chris Paul. Durant hasn’t played his home debut with Phoenix yet but will tonight when it hosts Oklahoma City, which will be without its best player in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for rest.

Thus, the Suns are 12-point favorites on the NBA odds for the 9 PM ET tip.


NBA Betting News: Thunder Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Out As Kevin Durant Makes Suns Home Debut

Traded for the first time in the middle of a season in his career, Durant has been seeking a routine. That has included, he said Tuesday, moving his personal chef from Brooklyn.

“I’m glad I was able to get a couple on the road to get my feet wet because I know it’s going to be loud in there,” Durant said of his first Suns home game “I’m looking forward to our fans. I know they can’t wait to see us out on the floor.”

In their three games together, Durant and Booker have combined for 188 points. That’s the most for two new teammates since Wilt Chamberlain with several different teammates in the 1961-62 season. In his first three games for the Suns, the former league MVP has averaged 26.7 points on 69.0 percent shooting, 7.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.3 blocks, while also connecting on 2.3 triples per game on a 53.8 percent clip.

Durant is shooting a career-best 56.6 FG% this season (16th in the NBA) overall, while leading the NBA in free throw shooting at 93.1% a game. Since his arrival into the starting lineup, the Suns are averaging 120 points per game (9th), a 124.6 offensive rating (7th), a 111.1 defensive rating (6th), which equates to a +13.5 net rating (2nd).

Booker was Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday, as he’s tallied 35+ points on 50+ FG%, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists in each of the last three games, joining Luka Dončić and Giannis Antetokounmpo for the most consecutive such games in the NBA this season.

Deandre Ayton has attempted a total of 20 shots since Durant‘s arrival (6.7 per game). Prior to KD’s insertion into the starting lineup he was averaging 13.8 attempts a game. His touches have gone down by 10 per game. Yet with limited involvement, he’s averaging 10.7 points and 11.7 rebounds on 65% shooting. Chris Paul has seen his usage rate drop by 4% since KD’s arrival, but Paul’s average assist total per game has gone from 8.9 to 9.3.

Coach Monty Williams said the shot-making ability of the team had the results making it look better than the actual execution, while he wants quicker coverage adjustments on defense. For Durant specifically, the spacing changes on offense and Durant’s length is something they can take advantage of more defensively through what they run.

Oklahoma City played Tuesday night, so that’s why Gilgeous-Alexander is sitting tonight even though he’s healthy and the Thunder are competing for a spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament. SGA finished Tuesday’s 137-128 win over the Warriors with 33 points and six assists. Josh Giddey accounted for 17 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 17 assists on Tuesday for his third triple-double of the season. He will be the primary offensive player tonight.

OKC also will be without good-looking rookie Jalen Williams, who sat Tuesday with a right wrist sprain. Williams has averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting an extremely efficient 52.1 percent from the floor and 34.9 percent from three-point range as the No. 12 overall pick from Santa Clara. 

In his last game Sunday vs. Utah, Williams had 32 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists and joined Durant and Russell Westbrook as the only other rookies in team history to record at least 30 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a game. Williams probably won’t win NBA Rookie of the Year but might finish second.

It’s the second meeting of the season between the Suns and Thunder, a franchise Durant used to play for. Phoenix won the first 124-115 on Feb. 24 at home and has won the past four in the series there. Booker scored 25 points and Paul had 16. Isaiah Joe led Oklahoma City with a career-high 28 points. The third-year guard shot 11 of 17, including 6 of 12 from 3-point range. Williams added 22 points. Durant hadn’t debuted yet for the Suns and Gilgeous-Alexander was out. 

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