The Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers meet again in a rematch of last season’s first-round battle in the playoffs. Both sporting 0-1 records, which between these teams will finally break into the win column on Saturday?
Catch this game live on Saturday, October 23, at 10 AM, Manila time.
Away: Phoenix Suns (0-1 record/0-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: Deandre Ayton
The reigning Western Conference champions took off with a bad start this season, as the Suns lost at home on Thursday to the Denver Nuggets, 110-98. Phoenix can atone for that loss by beating the Lakers — again — this coming weekend. The Suns were the ones who eliminated Los Angeles in six games in the last playoffs. In that series, Devin Booker poured in 29.7 points per game, while Deandre Ayton mocked Anthony Davis’ defense (admittedly while hobbled by an injury) by putting up 15.8 points per game on 79.6 FG%.
Booker scored just 12 points in the Nuggets game, while Ayton had 15 points and six rebounds. While those numbers don’t jump out of the page, it was because Phoenix used a balanced attack against Denver. Seven players scored in double figures for the Suns in that game. A spread-out offense like that could mean trouble for the Lakers’ defense that let six Golden State Warriors score at least 12 points in their loss on opening day. The Suns will enter STAPLES Center with a sizzling 12-2 record against the spread in their last 14 games on a Saturday (Manila).
Home: Los Angeles Lakers (0-1 record/0-1 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Russell Westbrook
- SG: Kent Bazemore
- SF: LeBron James
- PF: Anthony Davis
- C: DeAndre Jordan
The Lakers crashed and burned in their first game of the season, as they suffered a 121-114 home loss at the hands of the Warriors Wednesday. That loss brought to light some of the issues the Lakers need to iron out, while it’s still early in the season. Among which is the distribution of minutes of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony. The Lakers got outscored by a total of 21 points by Golden State when in the 14 minutes that Brodie and Melo were on the floor at the same time. Then again, both players are capable of bouncing back and they could do it against a Suns team that allowed the Nuggets to shoot 53 FG% and 43 FG%.
And then there’s the duo of Davis and LeBron James, who picked apart Golden State with 33 and 34 points, respectively. Nikola Jokic toyed with Ayton’s defense in that game and finished with 27 points on 13-of-22 shooting. Don’t be surprised if Davis treats Ayton like a broken turnstile this Saturday. As for James, he’s been around the league for nearly two decades. Expecting him to stuff the stat sheets is the norm. The Lakers are 7-1 against the spread in their last eight Saturday (Manila) games.
Spread: Both teams are coming off losses, but at least for the Lakers, they don’t have to travel for this game. Take the Lakers to cover (-1.5).
Over/Under: It will be a testy affair, given the recent history of the Suns and Lakers. Take the Over 223.