The Portland Trail Blazers will face the New Orleans Pelicans tonight at Moda Center.
The Blazers are looking to keep their playoff hopes alive, as they face Zion Williamson and company tonight, in front of their fans. However, they will need to do it without their best player, Damian Lillard, who is currently injured and won’t feature for the Blazers. It’s time for CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony to finally step up and prove their value in Lillard’s absence. Both these teams are desperately chasing the 8th seed, so the matchup tonight will be of added importance to for both. Their size advantage could prove to be useful, as Hassan Whiteside presence in the paint could nullify Derrick Favors and Jaxson Hayes. Separated by 3.5 games from the last spot who grants playoff access, Portland will try to take advantage of Memphis’ loss yesterday.
After three straight wins, the Pelicans lost to the Thunder before the All-Star break at home. They’ll travel to Portland to face a Blazers-less Damian Lillard. It’s a very good chance for them to add one more win to their record, especially against a team that’s fighting for the same goal as them. Zion Williamson has been showing his true value lately, scoring 30 or more points in two consecutive games, and it’s likely he’ll have another great opportunity to repeat the feat, due to Portland’s weak defense. If they could neutralize CJ McCollum’s offensive arsenal, something that Jrue Holiday is very capable of, their chances of coming out with a win increase drastically.
Even though Portland’s plays in front of their fans, a place where they’re usually very strong, the Pelicans have the tools and the momentum to get a win. Brandon Ingram, Zion and Jrue Holiday should have what it takes to get it done.
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