The Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns meet in the desert in what should be an entertaining contest on Monday night. This is a battle of two dark horses in the Western Conference that continue to fight for respect. They join the Utah Jazz as teams in the West that continue to play well, but don’t get nearly as much recognition as the Lakers and Clippers.
This was always going to be the case. The Jazz could be undefeated at the moment, while the Lakers still get more attention. They generate clicks and ratings, so certainly not surprising. Talking about Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz doesn’t sound nearly as sexy as Lebron James and the Lakers, at least the way they see it.
The Trail Blazers recently watched their winning streak come to an end at the hands of the Washington Wizards. They were winners in six straight games, but that came crashing down in a 118-111 loss on Saturday. It was a nice run for the Trail Blazers, especially considering how they have been operating without CJ McCollum.
Damian Lillard has used the opportunity to show that he is indeed a franchise player. I knew this and plenty of other people knew how good Lillard was already, but he’s been doing it without two key components in the lineup. Along with McCollum on the shelf, center Jusuf Nurkic continues to sit out. Both recently returned to practicing, so that is a good sign for the Trail Blazers.
The Trail Blazers go into Phoenix with a record of 18-11. Not bad for an injured team with two starters out. The Lakers look lost on the floor with Anthony Davis out, but the Blazers have been getting by and flourishing. Yes, I’m aware how good AD is, and his importance to the team, but it’s not like Lebron is injured as well.
The Blazers have a tough matchup against a sizzling hot Suns squad. They have won eight of their last nine outings to advance to 19-10 on the season. The Kardashian Curse hasn’t found its way to Devin Booker, yet at least. Booker is scoring an average of 24.3 points and 4.3 assists per game. He stays healthy and the Suns should continue to excel. Head below for our free Trail Blazers vs. Suns pick on February 22, 2021.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns NBA Betting Odds:
Trail Blazers vs. Suns Prediction:
The Suns have been red-hot offensively recently. They have been scoring with ease with at least 124 points scored in each of their last three games. Following a 128-124 loss against the Brooklyn Nets, the Suns responded with a 132-114 win against the New Orleans Pelicans, and 128-97 against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nets loss is their only defeat in the last nine outings.
A four-point loss against the high-powered Nets is a pretty nice effort from the Suns, and the fact they were able to respond with two wins was impressive. It would have been easy for the Suns to fold up and regress after their long winning streak ended, but they’re in the midst of starting another one.
Phoenix has scored an average of 122.6 points per game through their last five attempts. Overall, they have netted 112.6 points per game, so their offensive production has been looking up recently. Note that the Suns have scored a minimum of 120 points in five of their last six outings. I’m expecting them to cut through a Blazers’ defense that is fairly beatable.
The Blazers have allowed an average of 115.2 points per game for 26th in the NBA. Teams are shooting well against the Blazers with a 47.7% field goal percentage. The Suns are seventh in the league with a field goal percentage of 48%. It’s hard not to see the Suns have more success shooting the ball against Portland tonight.
They are hot and should continue to have a hot hand at home. Having said that, discounting Lillard and the Blazers would be foolish on Monday night. Despite no McCollum and Nurkic, the Blazers have netted 120.4 points through their last five outings. They’re third in the league with 115.7 points per game, which is also a reflection of their excellent free-throw shooting at 81.8%. The final score in this one should get into the 230’s in a 119-115 or 122-116 kind of game.