Yes, these Blazers are the real deal. Or at least so it seems after 1/11th of the season. Their record is excellent, they’ve shown a lot of talent, and a lot of hustle.
So are they unbeatable to the sub .500 Suns?
Not exactly. The Blazers played the Lakers yesterday and are coming to Phoenix after what was surely a tiring, fast paced game. While scheduling wins aren’t always guaranteed, you have to wonder whether Gerald Wallace who was flying around the court yesterday, will still be able to do what he did.
That said, the Blazers pose a dangerous mismatch for the Suns. They’re one of those teams where anyone can take the game over at will and do it good. Whether it is Felton, Batum, or heck, Wesley Matthews (not to mention Wallace and Aldridge). How can you defend that? Well… You have to play good team defence. And good team defence, something the Suns equaled to “push everyone into Marcin Gortat and hope he can deal with it” so far. There’s an improvement, but the Suns have to learn how to help themselves.
Now, the Blazers are tired, and the Suns are rested. None rested more than Gortat, who was finally cleared to play without a splint, something that should help his rebounding and offensive prowess. And given he scored 22 points with the splint, “oh mama” is probably the right answer.