The Portland Trail Blazers will travel to the PHX Arena on Monday night to take on the Phoenix Suns for the only time in the first half of the season. The Trail Blazers are fifth in the West with an 18-11 record after dropping a game to the Washington Wizards on Friday 118-111. The Suns are fourth in the West with a 19-10 record and are on a two-game winning streak after defeating the Memphis Grizzlies on the road Friday night 128-97.
These teams are both playing incredibly well and if the season were to end today, this could be one of the better playoff series we have seen in a long time. Let’s take a deeper dive to determine where we should be placing our wagers.
Dame DollaWith the injuries presenting itself, point guard Damian Lillard has been carrying the Portland Trail Blazers this season. He is averaging 30 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.9 assists, and 1.1 steals in 36 minutes per game. He is shooting well as he is 44.5 percent from the floor, 38.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 93.5 percent from the charity stripe. In his last game against the Wizards, Lillard played 39 minutes and finished with 35 points, six rebounds, 12 assists, and a steal. If he can repeat this play, it will definitely help Portland get going offensively.
The Portland Trail Blazers have been the worst defenses to begin the year as they are giving up 115.2 points per game, which is 26th in the league. In their last game against the Washington Wizards, they allowed 118 points on 45-of-89 (50.6 percent) from the floor, 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) from beyond the arc, and 29 free-throw attempts. If they can figure out how to stop easy looks at the rim, they should be alright here.
D-Book Isn’t Fully Written YetThe Phoenix Suns have had a big start to the regular season and shooting guard Devin Booker has been leading the scoring. He is averaging 24.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 0.8 steals in 34.7 minutes of action. He is shooting pretty well as he is 49.3 percent from the floor, 37.2 percent from deep, and 83.8 percent from the charity stripe. In his last game against the Grizzlies, Booker played 26 minutes and finished with 23 points, five rebounds, and five assists. If he can do more without the ball in his hands, the Suns will be thrilled.
The Phoenix Suns have been a good defense to begin the year as they are the fourth-ranked team by giving up 107.8 points per game. In their last game against the Memphis Grizzlies, they gave up 97 points on 36-of-93 (38.7 percent) from the field, 5-of-33 (15.2 percent) from beyond the arc, and 23 opportunities at the free-throw line. If they can defend the three as well as they did here, not many teams will beat them.
- Phoenix: 16-5 ATS in their last 21 home games
- Phoenix: 27-10 ATS in their last 37 games
- Portland: 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Monday games