The Portland Trail Blazers will give it another go this Sunday, as they host the Phoenix Suns in search of their first win of the season. Will the Blazers net their first win of the season Sunday? Or, will Phoenix record its second victory in a row?
Catch this game live on Sunday, October 24, at 10 AM, Manila time
Away: Phoenix Suns (1-1/1-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: Deandre Ayton
The Suns bagged their first win of the season Saturday by taking down the Los Angeles Lakers on the road, 115-105. Chris Paul sliced and diced the Lakers’ defense for 23 points and 14 assists. He is clearly still playing elite basketball and could look forward to another fantastic outing against the Blazers’ backcourt defense that had just let De’Aaron Fox stomp all over it for 27 points. That same porous Portland defense should make Devin Booker’s eyes light up. Booker, who scored 22 points on 9-of-19 shooting against the Lakers, averaged 29.0 points on 52.7 FG%. in two games against the Blazers last season.
Deandre Ayton only put up eight points in the win over Los Angeles, which was quite disappointing, but he managed to pull down 15 rebounds. Plus, he doesn’t need to aggressively hunt for his shots whenever Booker, Paul, and Mikal Bridges are seeing their shots fall. Bridges rebounded from a silent performance in the season-opening loss to the Denver Nuggets by scoring 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field at STAPLES Center. The Suns are 19-9-1 against the spread in their last 29 Sunday (Manila) games.
Home: Portland Trail Blazers (0-1/0-1 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Damian Lillard
- SG: CJ McCollum
- SF: Norman Powell
- PF: Robert Covington
- C: Jusuf Nurkic
The Blazers stumbled out of the gate this season with a 124-121 home loss to the Sacramento Kings. Portland still must be liking the level of readiness of CJ McCollum for the season. McCollum dropped 34 points on a 14-of-24 shooting against Sacramento. Damian Lillard was not as hot, as Dame notched 20 points on an inefficient 8-of-24 shooting. Lillard went 0 of 9 from behind the arc. At some point, Lillard is going to get his rhythm, and he could find it against the Suns. Last season, Lillard played three games against the Kings and torched them for an average of 33.7 points while shooting 44 3FG%.
McCollum faced the Kings twice in 2020-21 campaign and averaged 32.5 points on 51.1 FG%. Jusuf Nurkic and Norman Powell are also looking like excellent supplementary pieces for the duo of Lillard and McCollum. Powell scored 14 against Sacramento, while Nurkic pitched in a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds. They also combined for 14 of the Blazers’ 19 free throw attempts. The Blazers are 7-3 in their last 10 home games against Phoenix, dating back to 2015.
Spread: The Suns got a bit lucky in facing a Lakers team that seemingly has ways to go before it becomes a cohesive unit. That’s not the case for the Blazers. Take the Blazers to cover (-2).
Over/Under: This is the second leg of a back-to-back for the Suns, who might manage Chris Paul’s minutes. In that case, there would be a lower ceiling for Phoenix’s offense. Take the Under (231.5).