Varied Results

Three games into the Shaquille O'Neal experiment, the Phoenix Suns have gotten widely varied results.

Now that their opponent isn't one of the NBA's best teams, they're hoping for another different outcome: a comfortable win.

The Suns will try to rebound from their worst loss of the season on Tuesday night, when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies for the teams' first meeting of 2007-08.

Oddsmakers from have made Phoenix -10 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 213 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 92% of bets for this game have been placed on Phoenix -10 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Phoenix (38-18) has gone just 1-2 with O'Neal in the lineup since trading for him earlier this month, but the Suns' three opponents have been the teams with the NBA's three best records.

Still, it's been hard to determine O'Neal's impact on the team given the Suns' roller-coaster performances in the past week, which started with a 130-124 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and continued with an 85-77 win over the Boston Celtics.

The most troubling result came Sunday, when Phoenix lost 116-86 to the Detroit Pistons, as O'Neal had just seven points, shooting 3-of-8 from the field and 1-of-8 from the free throw line.

"We still have to be realistic about things," O'Neal said. "I've only been here about eight days. This is only my third game with the guys, so we still have a lot of figuring out to do. If everyone just sticks with their role, we should be fine."

The Suns, especially coach Mike D'Antoni, also seem optimistic despite a few discouraging signs.

With O'Neal, Phoenix has averaged just 98.3 points, more than 10 below its season average of 109.2. Also, Steve Nash is only averaging 6.3 assists in the three games, lowering his league-leading average to 11.4.

Before Sunday, the Suns hadn't lost a game by 30 or more points since March 2006. D'Antoni compared the Suns' outing to a new golfer who plays well the first two rounds but struggles the third time out.

"We're disappointed, obviously, the players are disappointed," D'Antoni said, "but you just don't bring a guy like (O'Neal) and all of a sudden you're the best in the league. So we've got some work to do and some steps to take and we'll get back there."

Asked when he thought the Suns would finally jell, he said, "It better be by Tuesday. We're in a race."

Phoenix is one of seven teams within three games of the Western Conference lead.

O'Neal's presence certainly hasn't slowed the torrid scoring pace of Amare Stoudemire, who has thrived at his natural position of power forward. Stoudemire had a game-high 31 points against the Pistons, and has averaged 32 points in the last three games.

One of his eight career 40-point games came against the Grizzlies (14-42) last season, as he had 42 in a 137-122 win at Memphis on Jan. 15, 2007. Including that game, Phoenix has won five straight against the Grizzlies, averaging 112.4 points.

Memphis has also lost five straight and 11 of 12 overall, and is 1-10 since trading Pau Gasol to the Lakers.

The Grizzlies lost 109-89 at Cleveland on Sunday without second-leading scorer Mike Miller, who was out for a third consecutive game with a back injury. Memphis trailed 32-13 at the end of the first quarter and fell behind by as many as 28 in the first half, but cut the lead to 12 in the fourth quarter.

"I was really proud of the way our guys came out of the locker room in the second half, as poorly as we played in the first half," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We came out a little bit waiting for something to happen instead of making something happen, and we got that result."

By: Marc Young - - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Celtics vs. Cavs Game 4 Pick Will the Cleveland Cavaliers bounce back after an embarrassing loss when they host the Boston Celtics tonight in Game 4 at...
Thumbnail Warriors vs. Spurs Game 4 Pick Will the Golden State Warriors continue their dominance of the San Antonio Spurs when they meet up in Game...
Thumbnail Celtics vs. Cavs Game 3 Pick Will the Cleveland Cavaliers show any mercy to the Boston Celtics when the two meet in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at...
Thumbnail Warriors vs. Spurs Game 3 Pick As the Western Conference Finals shift to the home of the San Antonio Spurs, will they be able to hang with the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the series tonight...
Thumbnail Cavs vs. Celtics Game 2 Pick Will the Cleveland Cavaliers cruise to another big win when they face the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at...

NBA Headlines

  • LOS ANGELES (AP) A celebrity trainer known for getting the Kardashian clan into shape is going to work for the Los Angeles Lakers.
    Gunnar Peterson is the Lakers' new director of strength and ...
  • A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Milwaukee Bucks are opening up their search for a new general manager after John Hammond left to join the Orlando Magic....
  • ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Jeff Weltman wanted to run his own organization and the Orlando Magic have given him that opportunity.
    Weltman was formally introduced Wednesday as the franchise's new pres...
  • CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The NBA All-Star game will be coming to Charlotte in 2019, two years after the city was to host the event.
    The NBA announced Wednesday the game will be played at Spectrum...
  • CLEVELAND (AP) Boston Celtics star guard Isaiah Thomas has visited one hip specialist and plans to see others.
    Thomas, who is done for the season with a right hip injury he sustained in March...

NBA Team Pages