Phoenix Suns vs Washington Wizards 2/5/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Phoenix Suns vs Washington Wizards Matchup Preview (2/5/22)

The Washington Wizards (24-27) host the red-hot Phoenix Suns (41-10) Saturday night. The Suns are 13-2 over their last fifteen games with the second highest net rating over the stretch (Boston is 1st). Before their last game, the Suns were riding an 11-game winning streak. However, Trae Young and the Hawks defeated the Hawks 124-115 on Thursday night. Young decimated the Suns for 43 points and 5 assists on 16/25 from the field. Mikal Bridges had a great game, going for 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Devin Booker (32 points) and Chris Paul (18 points, 12 assists) were stellar, but the Hawks were too hot from deep. The Hawks shot 20/41 (48.8%) from three, while the Suns shot 9/32 (28.1%). Landry Shamet and Abdel Nader are game time decisions. Elfrid Payton will see an increase in production at the bench point guard position again with Payne expected to be out. 

The Wizards are currently out of the play-ins, and with rumors of a Beal trade, they may fall even further down the standings. The Wizards snapped a 6-game losing streak with their 106-103 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. Joel Embiid dropped 27 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists, while Tyrese Maxey produced 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. However, it was not enough to clinch the victory for the 76ers. Spencer Dinwiddie recorded the first triple-double of his career with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Kyle Kuzma paced the Wizards in scoring with 24 points on 10/19 shooting. Off the bench, Montrezl Harrell and Rui Hachimura combined for 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Bradley Beal (23.2 PPG) is expected to be out, which will be a huge loss for their offense. Aaron Holiday will likely get the start in the backcourt again with Beal out.

Away Team vs. Home Team Betting Odds

In their only previous matchup on December 16th, the Suns convincingly won 118-98 without Devin Booker even playing. The Suns had eight players score in double-digits with JaVale McGee leading the scoring charge at 18 points. Beal scored 26 points and facilitated 8 assists, but he did not get much help from the Wizards’ role players. In this game, I like the Suns to beat the Wizards by 12-15 points. They won by 20 last time, and that was with Beal playing and Booker out. With those positions reversed, the Suns will have a considerable advantage on the offensive and defensive end. Because of the absence of Beal, the elite Suns defense will hold the Wizards to less than 105 points, a mark they have only hit in two of their last five games. On the season, the Wizards are 22nd in Defensive Rating and 21st over the last five games. The Suns are 3rd in Offensive Rating for the season and will have no problem putting up points. 

Prediction: Suns win 115-100 

Leading Scorers: Booker 34 PTS | Kuzma 22 PTS

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TV Schedule

Date: 2/5/22
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Capital One Arena – Washington, DC
Channel: NBA League Pass

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Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Deandre Ayton

Phoenix Suns Analysis

The Suns will have a decisive advantage in the backcourt and at center. This reality is especially scary for the Wizards because the Suns feast off the pick and roll. Chris Paul and Devin Booker will face off against Aaron Holiday and Spencer Dinwiddie, solid yet unspectacular players. Holiday’s defense against the pick and roll ball handler is average, but that will not cut it against the Point God. Booker will shred this Wizards backcourt for at least 30 points. With 10.5 APG, Paul is leading the NBA in APG while chipping in 14.9 PPG. Former 1st overall pick Deandre Ayton is averaging a double-double of 16.2 PPG and 10.4 RPG. He puts extreme pressure on the rim since 80.5% of his shots come from within 10 feet of the rim. 

The Wizards face a defensive dilemma as they have to give up shots in some area to protect the rim. Paul and Booker are two of the best midrange shooters in the game. Johnson (43.6 3PT%), Bridges (37.2 3PT%), Booker (37.3 3PT%), and Crowder (35.6 3PT%) space the floor with their range. The Wizards will likely protect the rim and attempt to stay on three point shooters, so Paul and Booker will have a field day in the midrange area of the court. The Wizards are not capable of slowing down the Suns, and their own offense without Beal cannot keep pace in the slightest. Booker alone can outscore this Wizards backcourt.

Washington Wizards Starting Lineup

PG: Spencer Dinwiddie
SG: Aaron Holiday
SF: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Daniel Gafford

Washington Wizards Analysis

The Wizards strength lies in their incredible depth, especially the frontcourt. Former 6MOY winner Montrezl Harrell and Thomas Bryant anchor the center position, while Rui Hachimura thrives at power forward. They would normally hold the advantage against opponents, but the Suns are also deep in that department. Jalen Smith and JaVale McGee can stifle Hachimura and Harrell, yet the Wizards cannot stop the spot up excellence of Cameron Johnson (43.6 3PT%). The Suns can counter the Wizards depth, but the Wizards cannot counter the Suns talent. 

Kyle Kuzma will need to shake off Jae Crowder and produce a 20-point double-double. In his last three games, Kuzma has scored 30, 25, and 24 points. Those opponents were not porous defensively either – Grizzlies, Bucks, 76ers. Without Kuzma performing, the Wizards will struggle to find offense outside of Spencer Dinwiddie. The game would be interesting with Beal since he is such a dominant scorer, but the Wizards are heavy underdogs without him. The Suns are on a mission to avenge their Finals loss, and I don’t see the Wizards stopping them this game. 

Phoenix Suns vs Washington Wizards Daily Fantasy Picks

In this matchup, I like Devin Booker, Cameron Johnson, and Kyle Kuzma. Over his last six games, Booker is averaging 33.3 PPG on 47.9 FG%. The Wizards are mediocre on defense, so look for Booker to continue his offensive rampage. Johnson will be a much cheaper option than Booker, and the efficiency is there for a good night. The Wizards do not have a wing defender on the bench – Avdija and Kispert are not stopping Johnson. He has averaged 15.2 PPG on 51.3 3PT% over his last six games. For the Wizards, I like Kyle Kuzma to lead them in scoring. He is averaging 22 PPG and 16.0 FGA over his last five games. With Beal out, Kuzma has seen an encouraging uptick in shot attempts. Look for Kuzma to get a 20-point double-double.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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