Mavericks vs. Suns: Watch NBA online, live stream, TV channel, time, odds, analysis, picks

The Dallas Mavericks have been one of the bigger surprises in the NBA so far this season. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the success of rookie phenom Luka Doncic. The No. 3 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has looked the part through the first half of the year and is nailing shots left and right for a team that needed an offensive lift. Combine that with an explosive guard tandem of Dennis Smith Jr. and Wesley Matthews and it's no wonder that this team is already over the .500 mark.

The Phoenix Suns haven't been so fortunate as they've only registered four victories in the win column so far. Of course, not having Devin Booker in the lineup will hurt any team that is counting on the perimeter production that the former lottery pick can add. This is definitely a young group that continues to learn under first-year head coach Igor Kokoskov and the Suns did come away with a nice haul in this draft in Deandre Ayton, Elie Okobo and Mikal Bridges.

It's always fun when two of the top picks in a given draft go head-to-head as rookies. With the amount of success Doncic has been having, the Mavericks certainly could have quite the successful night in Phoenix.

How to watch 

  • Date: Thursday, Dec. 13
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena -- Phoenix, Arizona
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: fuboTV - (free trial - NBA League Pass add-on available)
  • Live stats: GameTracker
  • Odds: Suns +6.0

Odds and analysis

Check Sportsline's NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.

Storylines

Mavericks: Doncic has taken the league by storm and is easily the most polarizing player in the 2018 draft class. The Slovenian forward is averaging a team-high 18.0 points per contest and is clearly taking the reins from veteran Dirk Nowitzki, who ironically is set to make his season debut tonight. It's worth keeping an eye on what Nowitzki has left in the tank because the Mavericks could potentially be a playoff team in the Western Conference as they currently have a 15-11 record.

Suns: Unfortunately, the Suns haven't been quite as impressive during the first half of the NBA season. It also hasn't helped that Booker hasn't exactly had a clean bill of health to work with. Booker is dealing with a hamstring injury that is trending in the right direction, but he's been ruled out of Thursday's game. Ayton and T.J. Warren have been stabilizing forces in Booker's absence, but this team is just too young to compete in the West. It'll be interesting to see if Ayton and Doncic are matched up at all throughout the game.

Game prediction, pick

The two teams are complete opposites. Both hinge on young talent, but the Mavericks are far superior at this point. Without Booker on the court, the Suns simply can't hang. 

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