The depleted New Orleans Pelicans will receive the Portland Trail Blazers tonight, in a game that both teams are in desperate need of a win.
The Pelicans come from a win against the worst team in the league record wise, in Golden State Warriors, and are looking to start a winning streak for the first time this regular season. However, there’s two things standing in their way. The first are the injuries they’re currently facing. Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Frank Jackson are all questionable to suit up tonight, which could make their task much harder. Derrick Favors and Josh Hart are officially out, so rookie Jaxson Hayes will need to step it up when facing Hassan Whiteside. The second is that Portland is in a very bad situation, and can’t afford to drop more games risking to lose too much ground to the first eight spots that guarantee playoff basketball. If some of their injured players don’t make it in time, I preview a hard time for Alvin Gentry’s squad.
For Portland, all the buzz that came from their side was due the signing of future Hall-of-Famer Carmelo Anthony. A team finally decided to pull the trigger and give Melo another chance in the league. Devastated by injuries as well, Neil Olshey rolled the dice in what could turn to be a really good addition to the squad. Zach Collins and Nurkic are out indefinitely, and most of the team is new to the system, something that explains a little bit of the Trail Blazers record at the moment. They will look to bounce back strong after a very poor 2nd half yesterday in Houston.
This will be a tough game for both teams, but Portland’s got the superior team. However, their form is not good at the moment and could crumble at any time. Even so, I expect Carmelo to give them a boost and help them grab the win at Smoothie King Center.
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