The Phoenix Suns have their first back-to-back nights on the court, and their next rivals are the Portland Trail Blazers. The Suns defeated the Lakers last night, while on the other side, the Trail Blazers were routed by the Sacramento Kings. Last year’s NBA finalist has certain troubles with its starting center, Deandre Ayton, who isn’t willing to accept their extension offer. Meanwhile, the Blazers weren’t aggressive on the market during the offseason as expected, and everyone waits to see what will be Damian Lillard’s reaction if the team opens the campaign slowly.
Phoenix Suns (+115) surprisingly lost to Denver at home on the opening night, 110-98, in a match that saw them losing the grip in the second half. But they quickly recovered, beating the Lakers on the road on Friday night, 115-105.
Mikal Bridges had another 20+ point game, dropping 21 against the LAL, and being one of three players with 20 or more buckets. The other two were Chris Paul, who had 23 points and 14 assists, and Devin Booker, who scored 22, bouncing back following a disastrous opening night when he shot 3-for-15 from the floor.
The problem in Phoenix is that Ayton isn’t willing to accept the new terms for his extension, believing that he deserves to have a max contract, like Trae Young, Luka, and more from his class, in which he ended up first on the draft night.
Portland Trail Blazers (-135) were in a sort of limbo this summer. At first, everyone predicted a complete rebuild, which didn’t happen in the end. Apparently, Lillard was open for some trade talks and for moving to the other team, which would allow him to attack the title.
Also, CJ McCollum was predicted to end up in Philly, as a part of a trade that would land Ben Simmons in Oregon. At one point, this trade was considered to be a done deal, but in the end, McCollum stayed in Portland.
The new season didn’t start well for the Trail Blazers, who changed their head coach. Chauncey Billups is the new leader, and he started the stint with a 124-121 loss against the Kings at Moda Center, which was a surprise. McCollum dropped 34 points, Lillard and Nurkic 20 each, noting that the big fella had 14 boards.
Head to Head Games
These two teams met on three occasions last year, and in each one, the Suns were victorious. The first one was in Arizona, 132-100, the next at Moda Center, 127-121, and the third again in Glendale, 118-117.
We really don’t know why the bookies placed hosts to be the favorites. The Suns might be tired, but have the momentum after defeating the Lakers at Staples. Not only that, they are a much better team than the Trail Blazers, who didn’t improve their roster during the summer and are still one-dimensional. We believe that they don’t have the resources to match Phoenix’s much diverse game on both ends, which is why we predict their easy victory at Moda Center tonight.
Pick: Phoenix Wins +120
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.