Monday's matchup against Phoenix will be the first contest between the Trail Blazers and Suns during the 2020-21 season.
The remaining two games are slated for the Second Half of the season.
Last season, the two split the season series, 2-2, with the final meeting played at Moda Center on March 10th, which was both teams last game prior to the NBA shutdown.
As Portland looks to bounce back from Saturday’s loss to the Wizards, the Blazers will once again be without Harry Giles (left calf strain), CJ McCollum (left midfoot fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture).
For the Suns, Ty-Shon Alexander (G League - Two-way) and Jalen Smith (G League - On assignment) are out.
Following Saturday night’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes examines how the Trail Blazers' win streak was aided by a friendly schedule, but that is about to change:
Sometimes the NBA schedule sets a team up for a nice winning streak. You know, a timely run of games against teams with a sub-.500 record. And a string of those games can often make a team look better than it actually is.
The Trail Blazers have been on one of those schedule-based win streaks, a six-gamer, stopped Saturday night by a team that the standings says they should have beaten.
But now that same schedule turns on them. The next three games will give a much better picture of what this team is really all about.
First, though, the winning streak. Over a nine-game span, Portland’s opponents had compiled a .461 win percentage. Only one of those teams -- Philadelphia, which the Blazers defeated twice -- is a playoff team.
But, while those wins over the 76ers were significant because Philadelphia leads the Eastern Conference, it must be pointed out that the East is once again the vastly inferior conference.
In fact, going into last night’s debacle vs. Washington, the Trail Blazers would have been just a game behind Philly for the top spot, had they been situated in the Eastern Conference.
Those games vs. inferior teams also gave a misleading picture of Portland’s defense. The Blazers did defend better against the worst of the teams they played. But not all the teams.
Portland’s defensive rating through those games would have been 22nd in the league -- still nothing to boast about. In fact, throughout that span it was the offense that was responsible for the wins.
Read more here.
The Blazers are +6.0 point underdogs against the Suns, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Monday’s matchup --
- Damian Lillard averaged 27.3 points (44.6% FG, 43.2% 3-PT, 81.8% FT), 3.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.00 steal in four games against Phoenix last season. Lillard has scored at least 20+ points in all four games against the Suns last season.
- In four games against the Suns last season, Carmelo Anthony averaged 15.3 points (40.0% FG, 50.0% 3-PT, 75.0% FT), 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.50 blocks. Anthony recorded a career-high 22 rebounds against Phoenix while with the Knicks on Nov. 15, 2010.
- Devin Booker averaged 28.3 points (40.6% FG, 31.3% 3-PT, 96.6% FT), 5.7 rebounds and 9.3 assists over three games against Portland last season. Booker has scored at least 20 points in each of his last eight games against the Trail Blazers.
- In four games against the Trail Blazers last season, Dario Saric averaged 16.9 points (56.8% FG, 41.2% 3-PT, 83.3% FT), 7.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.00 steals, including two 24 point performances in the bubble that were tied for his season-high.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: +6.0 (-110) – Suns: -6.0 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Monday, February 22
Where:Phoenix Suns Arena | Phoenix, AZ
Start time: 6:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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