Two playoff contenders in the West will cross paths this Friday, as the Portland Trail Blazers continue their road trip to face the New Orleans Pelicans, who are about to kick off a six-game homestand. Read on for more about this Blazers vs. Pelicans showdown.
Catch this game live on Friday, November 11, at 9 AM, Manila time
Away: Portland Trail Blazers (8-3/5-1 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Damian Lillard
- SG: Anfernee Simons
- SF: Josh Hart
- PF: Jerami Grant (questionable)
- C: Jusuf Nurkic (questionable)
The Blazers are now 2-0 straight up since Damian Lillard’s return from injury. After beating the Miami Heat last Tuesday, Lillard and the Blazers pulled off a 105-95 victory on the road against the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday. Portland is now 3-1 in their current road trip that still has stops to make in New Orleans and in Dallas.
The Blazers’ defense has been a major key to their early-season success, as they are ranked ninth in the league so far with a defensive rating of 109.4. They are also eighth overall in opponents’ field goal percentage, with teams knocking down just 45% of their shots from the field versus Portland. But of course, so long as they have Lillard healthy, the Blazers are always a threat to explode offensively, and that could happen this Friday versus New Orlean’s fading defense that has allowed at least 121 points in two of its last three outings.
The Under is 8-1 in the Blazers’ last nine games away from home.
Home: New Orleans Pelicans (6-5/4-4 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: CJ McCollum
- SG: Herbert Jones
- SF: Brandon Ingram
- PF: Zion Williamson
- C: Jonas Valanciunas
Following two defeats in a row, the Pelicans mustered enough to prevent a three-game losing skid and beat the Chicago Bulls in Windy City Thursday, 115-111. That punctuates a three-game road trip for New Orleans, as it travels back home to host the Blazers. The last time they played in front of their home crowd, the Pelicans embarrassed the reigning NBA champions Golden State Warriors, 114-105.
As mentioned earlier, New Orleans’ defense has stumbled of late, but it will always be a threat to go nuclear on offense. After all, New Orleans has a top-three offense in the league, one that is putting up 118.2 points per game on 48.3 FG%, third and second overall in the league this season, respectively. Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and former Blazer CJ McCollum form a dangerous trio who can break down defenders and make buckets consistently, which is also why the Pelicans are scoring a ton despite just a middle-of-the-road 60.9 percent assist rate.
The Over is 6-1 in the Pelicans’ last seven home games.
Spread: The Blazers (+6.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (225.0) goes Under.