Call it a homecoming game for the Blazers.
Portland heads to Phoenix with a bench featuring former Arizona and Phoenix St. Mary’s High School standouts Jerryd Bayless and Channing Frye – who played their high school ball about two miles from US Airways Center – and former Sun Devil Ike Diogu.
If Bayless plays in this one after getting a DNP-CD Friday against the Spurs, it will be his first game in his hometown since his days as arguably the greatest high school basketball in state history, as he missed the Wildcats’ trip to ASU last season with a sprained knee.
Suns fans will also get their first look at what could have been with Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez, who the Suns picked 24th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft only to trade his rights and James Jones to Portland for cash.
Both teams will also be gunning to start the season 2-1 despite facing an early gauntlet of a schedule, with the Suns splitting with the Spurs and Hornets and the Blazers doing the same against the Lakers and Spurs.
The Suns have won nine in row against the Blazers dating back to 2006 and seven in a row in Phoenix dating back to 2004.