Perception fails to meet reality here. The result is this sets up a solid Under play.
Damian Lillard. Chris Paul. Devin Booker. All big stars. Paul is a likely Hall of Famer. The Trail Blazers are averaging 120.4 points in their last five games. The Suns are averaging 128 points in their last three games.
So the oddsmaker has good reason to set this high of a total.
But on much closer inspection, I find it too high.
The Trail Blazers have played five straight below-average defensive teams. The Suns rank fourth in the league in scoring defense allowing 107.8 points. Phoenix has the third-best 3-point defense in the NBA so Lillard does not figure to have an easy time. Portland doesn't have a second consistent scorer with CJ McCollum out.
Portland is a bottom-six defense. The Suns, however, are due for some severe offensive regression. They have made 54.1 percent of their 3-point shots (46-for-85) during their last two games. Phoenix's season average from beyond the arch is 37.7 percent, which ranks 11th. Portland has the 12th-best 3-point defense in the league.
The Suns have put up their high-scoring totals the past three games going against below averages defenses - Grizzlies, Pelicans and Nets. The aging Paul is a half-court point guard. Because of him, the Suns play at one of the slowest paces in the league. Portland isn't up-tempo either.
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