The Portland Trail Blazers will visit the Phoenix Suns Arena for a thrilling matchup between two Top-5 teams of the NBA's Western Conference on February 22nd. The 2020-21 NBA season has had some impressive performers so far, and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers is one of them. Dame might be looking at a shot for the MVP award, but he will meet some tough competition in this game out of the Phoenix Suns' backcourt with Chris Paul and Devin Booker.
We will create a combined starting five with the best players on the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns rosters.
Portland Trail Blazers vs Phoenix Suns Prediction: Combined starting 5
Portland is coming off a loss against the Washington Wizards, with the Wizards' backcourt of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook dominating the matchup. On the other hand, the Phoenix Suns have taken a couple of consecutive wins and have eight victories in their last nine games.
The Phoenix Suns sit in fourth place of the West with a 19-10 record and are 8-2 in their last 10 outings. Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers are one game behind Phoenix (18-11) and are also 8-2 in their previous 10 games.
This will be the first matchup between these two squads in the 2020-21 NBA regular season and it should be fun.
Without further ado, let's take a look at a combined lineup from the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns.
Point Guard - Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Damian Lillard is having another incredible year for the Portland Trail Blazers and he has had to carry a huge load with the injuries of Jusuf Nurkic and his backcourt teammate, C.J. McCollum.
Lillard is averaging 30 points, five rebounds and eight assists per game and has been tremendously consistent on offense. He is a clear NBA MVP candidate and might even be the favorite, given the injuries on the Portland Trail Blazers roster, his numbers, and the team's fifth seed so far.
He is also shooting with efficiency. Lillard has made 45% of his field goals, 39% of his three-pointers, and 94% of his shots from the free-throw line.
Lillard has 18 games in the 2020-21 NBA season with at least 30 points, which is the highest in the NBA so far.
Shooting Guard - Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
Devin Booker did not make his greatest start to the 2020-21 NBA campaign for the Phoeninx Suns, but the shooting guard has picked up the pace recently and great results have appeared for his team.
In his last 11 appearances, Booker is averaging 26 points per game with a shooting split of 52/42/86. In that span, the Phoenix Suns have a 9-2 record.
Overall, Booker is averaging 24 points, four rebounds and four assists per game with 49/37/84 shooting splits. Despite a bit of a slow start, Booker is still a big threat to every rival of the Phoenix Suns and he might be headed to the NBA Playoffs for the first time in his six-year NBA career.
Small Forward - Mikal Brides (Phoenix Suns)
Mikal Bridges has definitely been one of the Phoenix Suns most important and consistent players of the 2020-21 NBA season. The small forward has started every game for the team in the current campaign and is putting up efficient numbers.
Bridges is having a career year and is putting up 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block per game in 32 minutes per night. Moreover, his efficiency has been high, as he has a 51/41/84 shooting split so far.
Power Forward - Enes Kanter (Portland Trail Blazers)
Enes Kanter is a double-double machine and he continues to find ways to be effective, even in his fifth NBA team. In 29 appearances, (and 17 starts since Nurkic's injury), Kanter has produced 15 double-doubles for the Portland Trail Blazers and has been effective in the middle.
He is averaging 11.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game (career-high in RPG) in just over 25 minutes per appearance. A starter in 17 games, he has helped the team achieve an 11-6 record and is a good piece for coach Terry Stotts.
Center - Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns)
Deandre Ayton is not scoring at the same rate he did in his first two NBA seasons with the Phoenix Suns, but he remains an essential piece for the team and has evolved into a great defensive player and a supreme rebounder.
Ayton is putting up 13.8 points and grabbing 12.1 rebounds per game in 29 appearances in the 2020-21 NBA season. He ranks fourth in the NBA in rebounds per game, sixth in Total Rebound Percentage, and is the team's best player in terms of Defensive Rating.