The Blazers just had a four-game winning streak snapped and they’re looking to take their frustrations out on the sliding Atlanta Hawks, who have now lost five of their last six.
Catch this game this Sunday, January 17 at 11:00 AM Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Portland Trail Blazers (7-5, 3-3 at home)
The Blazers snapped a four-game winning streak on Friday as they lost big to the Indiana Pacers, 111-87. It’s their worst loss of the season and a rough start in what’s supposed to be an exciting six-game homestand. To make matters worse, big man Jusuf Nurkic got sidelined for eight weeks due to a fractured wrist.
Everyone struggled in the ugly defeat, with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combining for an uneventful 15-for-34 shooting and the rest going 17-for-54. Carmelo Anthony was also the only player besides Dame and CJ to score in double-digits.
Since things got too messy, however, we can probably expect an aggressive Portland attack tomorrow. Look for a more assertive Lillard and McCollum right from the tip, especially the latter, who’s averaging a career-high 28 points per game. With Nurkic out, Enes Kanter will also be a more featured weapon. He’s posting 10 points and 8.9 rebounds this season.
Portland is averaging 116 PPG this season.
AWAY TEAM: Atlanta Hawks (5-6, 3-3 on the road)
Aside from getting hit by the injury bug, the Hawks are also going through some locker room turmoil, which are both affecting their overall play. After opening the season with three victories, they have now lost five of their last six, with the most recent being a 116-92 trashing in the hands of the Utah Jazz.
Trae Young was atrocious in the loss. Though he dished out seven dimes, he missed 10 of his 11 shots and finished with only four points. He’s now scored in single digits twice and shot below 27% thrice in his last four outings. John Collins isn’t playing up to par as well as he is only tallying 12.5 points and 5.5 rebounds over his last two. Maybe their alleged beef is really that bad.
With all that, it’s best to hope Clint Capela can be successful enough in tomorrow’s favourable match-up. He’s an active, bruising present in the paint, and should be a problem against Enes Kanter. Capela is scoring 11.6 points and 13.8 boards in his last six games.
The Hawks are averaging 111.9 PPG this season, but only 100.2 over their last six.
The obvious marquee match-up is between high-scoring, sweet-shooting guards Damian Lillard and Trae Young, but because of all the inconsistency on both sides, who actually knows?
But overall, Portland is the obvious choice here. They’re at home and are have a more cohesive and experienced unit. McCollum is playing like an All-Star too. The Blazers should win this, 116-108.