Team Records: Portland (5-5) at Phoenix (4-7)
Game Info: 6 PM-TV on CSNNW, Radio on 1190 AM and 102.3 FM
Vegas Line: Phoenix -2
Refs: Bill Kennedy, Kane Fitzgerald, Eli Roe.
The Skinny: Following a third straight win Sunday at home vs. the Bulls, the Blazers hope to make it four in a row as they visit the Valley of the Sun. The Suns have lost three straight coming in, although given that those are to Chicago, the Lakers and Miami, it’s hardly surprising. Still, frustration has been building for the team as it continues its first season post-Steve Nash.
Last Season: The Suns won the season series 2-1, winning both games in Phoenix and losing the only game in Portland.
Projected Suns Lineup:
PF-Luis Scola (Argentina-6th Season) 14.5 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.8 APG.
SF-Michael Beasley (Kansas State-5th Season)-13.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.8 APG.
C-Marcin Gortat (Poland-5th Season)-11 PPG, 9.8 RPG, .6 APG
SG-Jared Dudley (Boston College-5th Season)-8.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.5 APG.
PG-Goran Dragic (Slovenia-5th Season)-11.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 8.7 APG
Player to Watch-Marcin Gortat (pictured at right)- The so-called “Polish Hammer”, Gortat seemingly does it all for the Suns inside. He is a solid defender with strong shot-blocking ability, even if he loses focus at times. On offense, he is mobile and can either roll to the hoop or hit the mid range J. Yet, not all is happy for Gortat as of late, as he has loudly expressed his displeasure with the team’s play in recent days. Nonetheless, he is certainly someone the Blazers will have to play close attention to tonight.
Did You Know?: The Suns are the winningest franchise never to win an NBA Championship.
Song of the Day: “Life Won’t Wait” by Ozzy Osbourne-Phoenix’s own rock star signing one of his best songs. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-SG Elliot Williams (Achilles)
Phoenix: Out-PF Channing Frye (Enlarged Heart)
Even without Nash, not much has changed for the Suns. The Suns are basically the same team they have been the past few seasons, just with a younger core. They are an offense-first group, playing a free flowing style relying heavily on three pointers, which almost everyone on the team can make. On defense, they have only won once this season holding an opponent under 100 and that was against the woeful Detroit Pistons. Their defense is, to put it charitably, not good. The Suns may be dangerous on any one night because they still possess a fire amount of offensive firepower but those nights are few and far between nowadays and their defense makes it hard for them to win when they aren’t making their shots.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: Hold Phoenix under 100 points. The Suns are going to give up a fair number of points but they will also probably score a fair bit as well. If Portland can keep Phoenix under the century mark, they should make it four in a row.
Phoenix wins if: They have a good night from deep. Phoenix relies heavily on the three point shot to win games. If they can make them on Wednesday, they should be able to stop Portland’s winning streak at 3.