One Glaring Trend That Affects An NBA Title Contender

Nick Ashooh finally found a serious flaw with the Phoenix Suns

The NBA season can be a grind with 82 games, long road trips and weird hours of travel. All of these elements can play key roles in how players and teams perform on a nightly basis.

The NBA has done a solid job over the last few years trying to take away some of that travel grind, with fewer back-to-backs in a more spread-out season. Occasionally, though, teams still have to endure that dreaded two games in two nights situation (which, of course, makes the long-retired players scoff), and it's important to keep track of how a team you're betting on does when this happens.

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What Stands Out?

Tuesday night, three teams find themselves on the second leg of a back-to-back: the Raptors, Warriors and Suns. So the question now is, how much, if at all, are these teams affected by that?

Well, the good news is they're all a combined 8-4 SU this year on no days rest. Strong start. They also sit a combined 6-6 ATS. The only team in this group at struggles against the spread is the Suns, who are 1-4 in the second game of a back-to-back. There's our first trend.

Now, let's look at whether or not there's a scoring dip for these teams if we're thinking totals tonight. The Raptors are just 25h in the NBA in points per game (104.3), and they're at 103.8 on no days rest. Not a huge dip.

How about the Warriors? Well, they're right near the very top at 112.5 points per game, and that second game they average 113. Of course, only the Warriors would find a way to play slightly better in this scenario.

OK, let's go back to Phoenix again. The Suns average 111.4 points per game on the year, but just 105.6 points per game in that second game for a 5.2% decline. There's our second trend.

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Not Done Yet...

What about defensively? How are these teams there?

Well, the Raptors go from allowing 104.6 points per game, sixth in the NBA, to just 98.8 points allowed in their four games on no days rest. The Warriors usually allow just over 100 per game, but give up 109 per game in this situation, a nearly 9% increase (finally a flaw with them).

Meanwhile, the Suns again get hammered by this part of the schedule, going from a top-5 defense allowing 104 points a game, to a whopping 113.2 ppg, an 8.9% increase, in their five back-to-backs so far.

No, there isn't a perfect science to this by any means, but one this that's certain so far this year, some teams get affected by the lack of rest more than others, and out of the three teams we have playing tonight on no rest, the Suns clearly have the worst results.

So go ahead and take that for whatever you see fit, and for your sake, I hope these trends continue tonight.

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