The Portland Trail Blazers travel to Oklahoma to face on the new-look Thunder tonight, at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Both teams come from close losses, Damian Lillard missed the game-tying shot against San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma crumbed in the last minutes in Houston against the Rockets. It is expected a bounce back game from both these squads, so we should expect a good game.
The Trail Blazers, leaded by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have one of the best backcourts in the league and can win against anyone if the duo is a on great day. However, their frontback is lacking size, with Hassan Whiteside as the only true center available due to Jusuf Nurkic injury last season, an injury that could keep him out for the remaining of the season. Zach Collins is also injured, a young prospect who can guard multiple positions and also one of the best defenders on the Trail Blazers. Steven Adams is someone who can create problems for Terry Stotts team, currently averaging 7.4 Rebounds per game, and an intimidating force under the basket, who can protect the paint from Lillard’s attacks.
Oklahoma City Thunder have made several changes in their squad from last year’s playoff battle against this exact same team. Paul George and Russell Westbrook have been traded, and in return they’ve got Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari. Surprisingly, the team has made some strides in their style of play, producing good exhibitions in these first four games of the season. Gilgeous-Alexander, a sophomore player who arrived from the Los Angeles Clippers, is looking like a superstar, carrying the offensive load for his team while averaging 23.8 PPG and 6.8 RPG. Even if this team is projected to miss the playoffs in a tough Western Conference, the signs given by this Oklahoma team are frankly positive, as they are loaded with draft picks and young talents.
This game could go both ways, and the Thunder have the advantage of playing in front of their fans. However, the Trail Blazers are more stacked, and even with their injuries, Lillard along with McCollum should be to much for Chris Paul and company to handle. I expect a tight game until the end, with the Portland coming out on top at the end.
Portland Trail Blazers to win @1.89
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