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Game Preview: Suns end three-game road trip tonight in Portland against the Trail Blazers

Suns look to end the road-trip strong against a Blazers, after a dominating performance Friday night against the Lakers

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Who: Phoenix Suns (20-18) @ Portland Trailblazers (10-28)

When: 7:00 pm AZ Time

Where: Moda Center Portland, Oregon

Watch: AZ Family

Listen: KMVP 98.7 FM


The Phoenix Suns are in the current narrative of a bad team gone good, which is the opposite of Rihanna, who was a good girl gone bad, lifting her career to the next level.

The Suns are once again, for the time being, an elite team. With a healthy roster, minus Drew Eubanks and Damion Lee, they can dominate a Portland Trail Blazers team that is at the bottom of the standings.

Figuring out their rotations and use of the Big Three, the Suns are on a path to success. With a tough schedule ahead of them after tonight's match-up against the Blazers, with games against the Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans later this week, this game can be easily overlooked.

Don’t let this be a trap game.

Leadership and toughness are what can help the Suns ease past the Blazers, but do they have both? Charles Barkley didn’t think so before the game against the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night, but signs against the Lakers showed they can figure things out, and it will just take time.

Probable Starters

Suns

  • Devin Booker
  • Bradley Beal
  • Grayson Allen
  • Devin Booker
  • Jusuf Nurkic

Blazers

  • Scoot Henderson
  • Anfernee Simons
  • Jerami Grant
  • Toumani Camara
  • Duop Reath

Injury Report

Suns

  • Drew Eubanks (day-to-day)
  • Damion Lee (out)

Blazers

  • Shaedon Sharpe (day-to-day)
  • Ibou Badji (day-to-day)
  • Deandre Ayton (out)
  • Moses Brown (out)
  • Robert Williams III (out)

Uniform Matchup

What to Watch For

The first thing is first, and that is first quarter Book. Devin Booker leads by example, and by pilling on the points in the first quarter, this is what boosts the Suns' morale and gets the team off to their best starts of the season.

Getting out to a comfortable lead and letting the Suns bench come in and finish off the Blazers is ideal. But having Booker and Bradley Beal continue to counter-punch teams, sending them into a daze, is still the top priority for the Suns.

Beal will get his points and Booker will get his, but it is about keeping the offense confrontable and keeping teammates involved, which will help the Suns win games. Along with Kevin Durant stepping up more defensively, and Nurkic continuing to drop bodies in the paint, the Suns starting five is forming into what we thought it would look like at the beginning of the season.

Also, here are still glimpses that the Suns might need a backup point guard. That is still on the radar, but with success, that might fall even further to the back-burner.

Prediction

Predicting anything other than a win would be silly, but I would also not be surprised. The ups and the downs from this season have swayed so violently that the unexpected has occurred within 48 hours.

Tonight, the Suns win 122-98.

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