This game will be the first encounter between the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks this season, and their second meeting will take place on May 7th at the Phoenix Suns Arena.
Phoenix Suns vs New York Knicks prediction
The New York Knicks are on a nine-game winning streak right now and sit comfortably among the Top 6 teams of the Eastern Conference with a 34-27 record.
While the Knicks are just two games clear of the play-in places, they have been on fire lately. Tom Thibodeau's squad needed their current winning streak, as they had fallen in five of the six games that preceded their run of victories.
The Phoenix Suns, on the other hand, rank second in the entire NBA with a 42-18 record, only two games behind the Utah Jazz. The Suns have been consistent throughout the year but will arrive at MSG with two consecutive losses (at Boston and Brooklyn).
On the second night of a back-to-back, the Phoenix Suns might be in trouble against the in-form New York Knicks. However, the Suns are definitely the more balanced team, and the game is likely to be close.
The Phoenix Suns have the seventh-best Offensive Rating in the NBA this year (115.1 points scored per 100 possessions) and the fifth-best Defensive Rating (109.2 points allowed per 100 possessions).
Meanwhile, the New York Knicks are only 19th on Offensive Rating, but their defense has been elite (fourth-best in the league).
Phoenix Suns vs New York Knicks combined starting 5
Point Guard - Chris Paul | Shooting Guard - Devin Booker | Small Forward - RJ Barrett | Power Forward - Julius Randle | Center - Deandre Ayton.
Chris Paul has been tremendous for the Phoenix Suns in the 2020-21 NBA season. He has had a big impact on the team that will enter the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Paul, in his 16th NBA season, is averaging 16 points and 8.7 assists per game while shooting 48.6% from the field, 37.7% from the three-point line, and 92.8% from the free-throw line.
As CP3's partner in the Phoenix Suns' backcourt, Devin Booker is having a great season in his sixth NBA campaign.
Booker is the team's leading scorer and is surely their biggest hope for the NBA Playoffs. He is averaging 25 points, four rebounds and four assists per game with 48/34/86 shooting splits.
RJ Barrett and Julius Randle have been the best players on the New York Knicks squad.
Barrett, on his second season in the league, has notably improved his efficiency and is averaging 17.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and three assists per game with 45/38/74 shooting splits. Last year, he shot only 40% from the field, 32% from the three-point line and 61% from the free-throw mark.
Julius Randle, on the other hand, is the best player on the New York Knicks' roster and has been extraordinary in the 2020-21 NBA season. He might even be a good candidate to enter the Top 5 in the MVP voting.
Randle is putting up 24 points, 10.5 rebounds and six assists per game this year and has solid shooting splits of 46/42/80.
To close out our combined starting 5, we have Phoenix Suns' center Deandre Ayton. The third-year player is performing strongly for Monty Williams' team and is posting 15 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
He's also been efficient from the field, making 62% of his field goals and 77% of his free throws so far.