Suns 2021 Schedule: Top Games, Updated Championship Odds and Predictions

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) against the Detroit Pistons during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

After 11 years without a postseason berth, the Phoenix Suns are firmly in the hunt in 2020-21.

The squad entered Wednesday with a 20-10 record, good for fourth in the Western Conference one year after finishing just short of the playoffs.

Young players like Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges continue to improve while Chris Paul was seemingly the missing piece needed to help the team reach the next level.

Paul has been as good as advertised this season with averages of 16.6 points and 8.5 assists per game, forming an elite backcourt alongside Booker and his 24.7 points per game.

It could set the team up for a strong finish to the year if it can navigate the second-half schedule.


2020-21 Suns Schedule Details

Second-Half Opener: Thursday, March 11, at Portland Trail Blazers

Championship Odds: +4200 (via FanDuel)

Second-Half Schedule: NBA.com


Top Matchups

Los Angeles Lakers (March 21)

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

To be the best, you have to beat the best. Regardless of records, the Los Angeles Lakers are still the team to beat after winning last year's title.

The Suns weren't expected to actually compete with the Lakers coming into the year, but the young squad has continued to surprise, and this game could be another measuring stick.

Phoenix has showcased impressive defense throughout the year, and this could be a quality test with Ayton matching up with one of the best big men in the NBA in Anthony Davis if he is healthy. The Suns also have a variety of players who can try to check LeBron James, including Bridges, Jae Crowder, Cameron Johnson or even Paul.

Though the Lakers would be expected to win a seven-game series against the Suns, these regular-season games could be important momentum for a potential playoff series.


Portland Trail Blazers (May 13)

Steve Dykes/Associated Press

This is the game fans didn't get in the NBA bubble last year.

The Suns were the most exciting team in Orlando, going 8-0 during the seeding games, while the Trail Blazers went 7-2 on the way to the No. 8 seed. If not for the Memphis Grizzlies barely holding on, we could have had a thrilling play-in series between Phoenix and Portland.

There have been roster changes since then, but this remains a fun matchup.

Damian Lillard is among the best scorers in the NBA, while Booker has the ability to match him shot for shot.

It's a battle between two teams jockeying for position in the West with only two games left on the schedule afterwards, but the play on the court could be memorable regardless of the records.


Second-Half Forecast

Ralph Freso/Associated Press

Even with exciting perimeter scorers throughout the roster, the biggest difference for the Suns this season is defense.

The team ranked 17th in defensive efficiency in 2019-20, but the unit is up to No. 5 in the league this year. If this continues, Phoenix should remain among the top contenders in the West.

Monty Williams has the team playing with a high level of effort and intensity, something that should allow the Suns to sustain their level of success even without perfect play on the offensive end. There is even more upside going forward if Phoenix can get more out of Dario Saric and rookie lottery pick Jalen Smith after both missed a significant part of the first half of the season.

Adding the potential vengeance mode we could see from Booker after getting snubbed from the All-Star game, the Suns will remain dangerous.

The schedule will be difficult with many top contenders in the West battling for position, but this squad likely won't go anywhere.

Record Prediction: 42-30


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