For the last game of the Christmas Day slate, we get another edition of one of the newer rivalries: Dallas and Phoenix. See our Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns predictions, betting picks, and complete matchup preview below. Additionally, we have the projected starting lineups for each team and the most up-to-date betting odds for the game.
Dallas Mavericks Vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction
The rivalry around these two teams, particularly Luka Doncic and Devin Booker, has been brewing since the 2022 NBA Playoffs when Doncic and the Mavs knocked off No. 1 seed Phoenix in seven games of the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Doncic and Booker had been going back and forth both verbally and in their play; however, a monstrous Game 7 beatdown of the Suns left an even more sour taste in their mouths; Phoenix lost by 33 points at home.
What can we expect from this version of one of the newest rivalries in the NBA?
Dallas has an abundance of injuries, including Josh Green, Kyrie Irving, Maxi Kleber, and Dereck Lively II. None of those players will be available for this matchup against Phoenix. While the Suns will miss Bradley Beal, Josh Okogie, Damion Lee, and Jusuf Nurkic, they are still better positioned with their available roster.
The Mavericks are 7-5 without Kyrie Irving on the floor this season, but they have lost four of their past six when he is sidelined, and their wins have been underwhelming, to say the least. Dallas has wins over Memphis (twice, without Ja Morant), Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles (Lakers), Portland, and San Antonio when Irving is unavailable.
Except for its win over Los Angeles, the combined records of the rest of those wins (counting Memphis twice) is 47-124. This is a much different ball game, even though the Suns’ record is modest thus far.
The Mavericks’ offense revolves around Luka Doncic creating for himself and others. Coincidentally, Dallas shoots a ton of catch-and-shoot three-pointers (second in the NBA in 3PAs.) However, the Suns protect the perimeter quite well, allowing the ninth-fewest three-pointers made to opponents and the tenth-lowest 3P%, too.
The other key to beating Dallas is not allowing it second-chance opportunities, as offensive rebounds to kick out three-pointers are one of the easiest shots for shooters. While Phoenix has been volatile on the defensive glass throughout the season, it ranks fifth in defensive rebounding percentage in its past three games.
Without Dereck Lively III, the Mavs must lean on Dwight Powell or Markieff Morris to produce those opportunities. We don’t see it happening. Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and the rest of the Suns should pull away and win by five or more points.
Dallas Mavericks Vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction: Suns -4.5 (-110)
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Dallas Mavericks Vs. Phoenix Suns Best Odds
Phoenix is a 4.5-point home favorite against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas. The Suns have Moneyline odds of -192 to hold the high-powered Mavs off, while Dallas is +160 to grab an impressive road win against a tough Phoenix squad. The point total for this Western Conference rivalry rests at 236 points, indicating an up-tempo pace from both teams.
Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup
Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup
Dallas Mavericks Vs. Phoenix Suns Injuries
The Phoenix Suns have a few key players out for their Christmas Day game, including Josh Okogie (hip), Bradley Beal (ankle), Jusuf Nurkic (personal), and Damion Lee (knee.) Eric Gordon is listed on the injury report due to a minor hip injury, but he should be able to play. Dallas also has several guys who will miss the game: Dereck Lively II (ankle), Maxi Kleber (toe), Kyrie Irving (heel), and Josh Green (elbow) all missed the Mavs’ Saturday night game.