Blazers are going to get very familiar with Suns again
A quick recap of last season and this preseason so far
Friday, the Blazers are on the road to take on the Suns in Portland’s second preseason game.
While the Portland finished third in the Western Conference after going 49-33 last season, the Phoenix Suns finished 15th in the West with a 21-61 record. That record, of course, helped them in the draft this summer, more on that later. This is a young Suns team with new coach Igor Kokoskov.
So far in the exhibition season, Portland is 0-1 after losing to the Raptors, 122-104 last Saturday. Phoenix has played one game as well. The Suns lost to the Kings on Monday, 106-102.
Friday’s game will be the first of two meetings between Portland and Phoenix before the regular season tips off. It will be just like last year when the two faced each other twice in the preseason.
The draft was king for the Suns this offseason.
Phoenix ended up with four rookies on draft night including number one overall pick Deandre Ayton, a center from the University of Arizona, along with wings Mikal Bridges and two-way contract player George King as well. Point guard Elie Okobo was picked up in the second round.
Besides draft night, it was a fairly quiet offseason for Phoenix, but the Suns did snag a nice free agency signing of veteran Trevor Ariza on a one-year contract.
For the Blazers, Portland added more players to help space the floor after retaining Jusuf Nurkic, Wade Baldwin, and Jake Layman.
Portland drafted 19-year-old Anfernee Simons as the No. 24 pick and 19-year-old Gary Trent Jr. (via trade) with the 37th pick. In free agency, the Blazers signed Seth Curry and Nik Stauskas to one-year deals.
Per Blazers PR, small forward Maurice Harkless (knee) is OUT for Friday’s game.
Harkless underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body from his knee last March. He went through a five-on-five scrimmage for the first time in training camp on Tuesday of this week.
For the Suns, they will be without Devin Booker. The 21-year old guard underwent surgery on his hand during the second week of September and is expected to miss six weeks. On Thursday, he told the media that his hand “not all the way back, but it’s getting ready.” Booker has not been cleared for contact yet, that’s according to rotoworld.com.
Dwight Jaynes: Baldwin: I’m the “best candidate” for backup PG
Podcast: Story time with Evan Turner
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix AZ
Postgame reaction: Dwight Jaynes will have you covered from Phoenix. You can find the latest from him at NBCsportsnorthwest.com.
Radio: Rip City Radio 620