Phoenix Suns vs Portland Trail Blazers 12/14/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers Matchup Preview (12/14/21)

What happens when you take one of the top-three offenses and put it up against the worst defense in the NBA? That is what we will see when the Suns travel to Portland to go toe-to-toe with the ever-struggling Trail Blazers. Portland recently made a lineup change partly due to C.J. McCollum suffering a collapsed lung and because head coach Chauncey Billups wanted to switch things up. There is hardly any change too drastic when considering how poorly the Blazers have played this season. Damian Lillard returned from his abdominal injury during the Blazers’ 116-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Lillard dropped 24 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists, but ultimately they came up short. Phoenix has had a different fortune than Portland: the Suns are playing phenomenally and have the type of chemistry and roster that can get back to the NBA Finals if they stay healthy. Devin Booker is still out with a hamstring injury, but it does not seem to be a long-term injury that will affect the outlook of the Suns’ season. In the meantime, Landry Shamet has done a great job stepping into the two-guard role and filling in the necessary voids, left by Booker’s absence, on both ends. This should not be a very close game at all, despite Portland playing on its home floor. Below there is more detail into why it could turn into a blowout.

Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers Betting Odds

Portland is the worst team in the NBA against the spread with a 10-17 record overall. The Blazers don’t have a very cohesive squad, and with Damian Lillard struggling and C.J. McCollum still out from a collapsed lung, they will continue to have a hard time competing with teams, let alone winning. Phoenix has won many games this year, but not by as many points as it should. Luckily, since the Suns are on the road, they may not be favored by as many points as they would otherwise. I don’t see this game being close at all, and I would be hard-pressed to find a number that will keep me off the Suns ATS in this game.

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TV Schedule

Date: 12/14/21
Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Moda Center – Portland, OR
Channel: TNT

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Suns vs Blazers Betting Picks Video

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Landry Shamet
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Deandre Ayton

Phoenix Suns Analysis

The Phoenix Suns have had a memorable past six weeks. After losing four straight to the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA Finals, the Suns bounced back in a huge way so far this season. That kind of resiliency could find them back in a similar position in this season’s NBA playoffs. Unfortunately, Devin Booker will still be out with a hamstring injury for a bit longer, but Landry Shamet has stepped up massively. Phoenix acquired Shamet in one of the more under-appreciated off-season transactions in the NBA. His three-point shooting and scrappy play have helped Phoenix with depth at the guard position, which was its only issue heading into the 2021-22 season. Deandre Ayton may also miss this matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers due to a non-COVID-related illness. He is currently listed as day-to-day, so it will be interesting to see if he gives it a go. The Suns will still be without Frank Kaminsky as well due to a lingering knee injury, but they should still have plenty of firepower to knock off the Blazers.

Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineup

PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Norman Powell
SF: Nassir Little
PF: Larry Nance Jr.
C: Jusuf Nurkic

Portland Trail Blazers Analysis

The Portland Trail Blazers are at a crossroads right now. They can either try and change things and hopefully generate a positive change somehow or continue to watch this team play the league’s worst defense and lose virtually every game by double-digits. That may be a bit harsh and dramatic, but things are bound to get worse without a change because the Blazers won’t have C.J. McCollum for the foreseeable future due to a collapsed lung. Last game, head coach Chauncey Billups decided to change the lineup a bit by starting Larry Nance Jr instead of Robert Covington. The Blazers still lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves by five points, but perhaps that could help in the long term. Still, until their defensive effort changes, I would expect similar results.

Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers Daily Fantasy Picks

With Devin Booker out with a hamstring injury for at least a bit longer, it will be up to the rest of the players on the Suns to pick up the slack. Deandre Ayon will be primarily responsible for this as he is the second-leading scorer. Ayton has averaged 19.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.3 blocks in his past four games, which Booker has missed. He does not have too many massive games with explosive scoring or rebounding totals, but he is pretty consistent with what he provides. There is an advantage for Ayton to get more of the work since Booker is out, and Portland struggles quite a bit against opposing bigs.

While his output can sometimes be inconsistent due to the nature of playing on the Portland Trail Blazers, Jusuf Nurkic is a terrific DFS play. Since C.J. McCollum will not be playing, Nurkic will have to be relied upon to provide an inside presence against Ayton and the Suns. Nurkic has had some massive games recently; he has averaged 17.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in his past nine games, including 31, 28, and 24-point performances. Nurkic can be the kind of player that wins you money in your DFS lineups, but predicting which games will be the massive output games can be tough with him.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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