Preseason Predictions: Phoenix Suns +5.5 The NBA Pick Against Trail Blazers

Phoenix Suns new offense

Joe Catalano

Friday, October 7, 2016 6:40 PM GMT

Friday, Oct. 7, 2016 6:40 PM GMT

The Phoenix Suns (1-1) are already coming off of an impressive victory over a tough San Antonio Spurs team in this NBA Preseason, but let's not forget that these games don't officially count. That said, the games count for the bettor and we intend to provide you with our insight for tonight's meeting between the Suns and the Portland Trailblazers (1-0).

 

According to 5 Dimes, one of the best sportsbooks, the Trail Blazers are a 5 1/2 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 193 across the board. Both of these teams have faced the Utah Jazz. The Blazers came out on top in their only game of the preseason while the Suns lost to the Jazz. Can Phoenix bounce back on the road is the question?

 

The Same Starting 5 For Portland

We're not getting much of a different look when talking about the Portland Trail Blazers from last season to this season. This is a high energy team led by the sharpshooting of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. In their first game of the preseason, the Blazers came out on top with a 98-89 victory over the Utah Jazz. In this game, Lillard and McCollum, as expected, got most of the shots and were a respectable 11 of 25 from the field for a combined 27 points. Expect to see more of the same from these two stars in this game. 

 

More Touches For Mason Plumlee?

One player to keep an eye on is Mason Plumlee. There was no room for Plumlee at the center position in Brooklyn last season when Brook Lopez returned to action and Plumlee got his chance to be a legitimate star in Portland. Plumlee averaged 9.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last season. As I witnessed when he played in Brooklyn, this is a potential double-double player. His aggressiveness in commanding shots will dictate his level of play on the offensive end while his defense is first-rate as he's a block shot specialist. Portland has always had a deficiency at the center position in recent years and Mason Plumlee need's to step up and decide if he's going to be a role player or a star because the talent is there.

 

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The Progression of Devin Booker

One thing that was evident in his rookie season is that Devin Booker is a really streaky but talented basketball player. Let's not forget; he's only 19 years old. Booker ran off a string of 20 plus point performances as he established himself as one of the go-to guys on this Phoenix Suns squad.

Booker averaged 13.8 point, 2.6 assists, and 2.5 rebounds last season and it will be interesting to see if he progresses to the next level. Thus far in the preseason, he's brought his "A Game" with a 19 point game against San Antonio and a 13 point effort against Utah. This was accomplished in limited action as a player that doesn't receive 30 minutes per game in the preseason due to a risk of injury.

While Eric Bledsoe has been the go-to guy offensively on the Suns, T.J. Warren has come out strong in this preseason. Warren got a ton of playing time against Utah in which he delivered with 15 points on 7 of 12 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 blocks. Along with center Alex Len. Warren will provide the much-needed defense on this team as the disgruntled Markieff Morris is no longer a part of this squad.

I look for a bounce back effort from the Suns, as my NBA pick, as this is a very young team with untapped potential. Look for Devin Booker and the Suns to come into the Moda Center and keep this game close.

 

Free NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns +5 1/2 (-110)
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