The Portland Trail Blazers and LA Clippers meet for just the second time this season. The latter won the first encounter last November, and won, 118-112, granted the team’s respective stars didn’t play. Still, the Clipps should be confident for another victory if we go by recent trends.
Catch the game tomorrow at 9:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Portland Trail Blazers (31-39, 17-17 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- Damian Lillard
- Anfernee Simons
- Jerami Grant (out) / Matisse Thybulle
- Trendon Watford
- Jusuf Nurkic
The Blazers enter tomorrow on a five-game skid, and just 2-8 over their last 10 outings. In that losing streak, they are scoring 108.2 points per game while only shooting 44.6% from the floor, topped off with a horrific -14 net rating.
All-Star Damian Lillard was sidelined in that aforementioned loss to the Clippers last November. He will be available tomorrow, so that should at least be a plus. The 32-year-old is averaging a career-high 32.4 PPG on the season, highlighted by games where he had 71, 60, 50 points, as well as 12 separate 40-49-point performances. There’s a fighting chance that Dame will lead an upset win, because as we’ve all been accustomed to for years now, he can light up defenses like a Christmas tree. Backing up Lillard in the scoring department is Anfernee Simons. He had a game-high 37 points in their first meeting with the Clipps.
The bigger key to the game for Portland, however, is their strategy on the opposition’s two elite forwards: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. They have their work cut out for them.
The Blazers are 2-8-1 in their last 11 home games ATS.
AWAY: LA Clippers (37-34, 18-18 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- Russell Westbrook
- Paul George
- Kawhi Leonard (day-to-day)
- Marcus Morris
- Ivica Zubac
The Clippers had their four-game winning streak halted on Sunday by the Orlando Magic, 113-108. It’s all good, though, as momentum is still on their side and they’re adjusting steadily with new point guard Russell Westbrook. Kawhi Leonard also rested and missed the contest.
Leonard should be back tomorrow. He’s on fire before the rest as he had punched in 30.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.6 steals on 56.8% shooting in his last eight games. ‘The Klaw’ should be hyped tomorrow as they’ll look to build another winning streak and it’ll be his first game against Portland this season. Paul George, though could potentially rest, is also on a groove. He had 30 points against the Magic and is now at 28.2 PPG in his previous five contests.
Big man Ivica Zubac, meanwhile, should be in an interesting matchup opposite his Blazers counterpart, Jusuf Nurkic as it is a clash of two bruising interior figures. Zubac is coming off a 16-point, 16-rebound performance.
The Clippers are 4-1 in their last five games against teams with a losing record (SU and ATS).
Handicap: The Clippers (-2) win and cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total hits the over (230).-