The Suns are coming off a resounding 115-105 win over the LA Lakers at the Staples Center. Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers dropped their season opener to the Sacramento Kings in an underwhelming showing.
Fixture: Phoenix Suns vs Portland Trail Blazers | NBA Season 2021-22.
Date & Time: Saturday, October 23rd; 10:00 PM ET (Sunday, October 24th; 7:30 AM IST).
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR.
Phoenix Suns Preview
The reigning Western Conference champions looked healthy and confident as they romped the Lakers in the latter's backyard for their first win of the season. The Phoenix Suns led by 30 points at one stage as the Lakers never had any semblance of control in the game.
It was an impressive bounce-back win for the Suns after their opening day loss to the Nuggets. Mikal Bridges, Devin Booker and Chris Paul recorded 20+ points, and the team shot a collective 49% from the field against the Lakers.
The Suns will now fly to Portland to play the second leg of their back-to-back against a team that has struggled to get its bearings right.
Key Player - Chris Paul
Chris Paul led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals last year, which was no fluke. After losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games, he picked up right where he left off this season.
Paul dropped 23 points, grabbed five boards and dished out 14 dimes on the night. He also went a perfect 10-10 from the free-throw line against the team the Suns eliminated in the first round last season.
The 36-year-old was recently named to the NBA's 75th-anniversary team. During the win over the Lakers, he showed why he is one of the greatest point guards to have graced the game.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
G - Chris Paul; G - Devin Booker; F - Jae Crowder; F - Mikal Bridges; C - Deandre Ayton.
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers looked set for yet another underwhelming regular season. Despite Dame's visible frustrations towards the front office, their biggest offseason signing was Code Zeller, and the status quo looks no better than it was.
During their season opener against the lowly Sacramento Kings, the Blazers' defense let Harrison Barnes drop a career-high 36 points as the Kings shot 42% from distance.
Against the surging Phoenix Suns, there will be little margin for error. If the Blazers do not show positive signs under head coach Chauncey Billups, they run a high risk of losing Damian Lillard in the long term.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is a six-time All-Star and a bonafide star in the league. His clutch expertise and perimeter shooting is lethal for any defense. But he is stuck with a franchise that has lost in the first round in three of the last four seasons.
Tensions are reaching a fever pitch as the generational talent patiently awaits a legitimate title run. Even with a revamped coaching staff, things seem more or less the same in Portland. From an individual perspective, Lillard has accumulated enough accolades to earn a first-ballot Future Hall of Famer, but his title hopes still hang in the dark.
During their first loss of the season, Lillard went 8-24 from the field and 0-9 from downtown for 20 points.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
G - Damian Lillard; G - CJ McCollum; F - Norman Powell; F - Robert Covington; C - Jusuf Nurkic.
Suns vs Trail Blazers Match Prediction
The Phoenix Suns seem to have found their stride with their convincing over the Lakers. They are expected to fly out of Portland with their second win of the regular season. The Blazers could find it difficult to contain the inside-out offense of the surging Suns squad, and are expected to come up second.
Where to watch Suns vs Trail Blazers?
The NBA regular-season game between the Phoenix Suns and the Portland Trail Blazers will be televised nationally on NBA TV and locally on Root Sports Phoenix & Bolly Sports Arizona. You can also live-stream this matchup via the NBA League Pass.