Blazers vs. Pelicans: Revenge Game?
Revenge Game? The Pelicans swept the Trail Blazers right out of the playoffs back in April and the sweep showed Portland some areas it needed to improve in. Neil Olshey spent the off-season loading up on shooters including Nik Stauskas and Seth Curry in the second unit, specifically to address the issues. Plus, by letting Ed Davis go and opting for big guys who can stretch the floor like Jusuf Nurkic, Maurice Harkless, Zach Collins, and Meyers Leonard it will be interesting to see how the Blazers matchup against the Pelicans this season.
The Blazer Rotation: The Trail Blazer rotation has been in flux as of late, with the injury to Maurice Harkless who was out during the preseason then back but on minutes restrictions then back out for a couple of games again. Jake Layman has been getting the start in Harkless’ absence, presumably to avoid messing with the second unit of Evan Turner, Seth Curry, Nik Stauskas, and Zach Collins paired with another big. Caleb Swanigan got extended minutes in Indianapolis, and Meyers Leonard helped lead an almost comeback in Miami. So keep an eye on the rotation as the Blazers try to figure out how to better handle the Pelicans this time around.
Game Headlines (cont.)
The Pelicans playing in second night of back-to-back: New Orleans is coming off a 131-121 loss to the Warriors on the road. Anthony Davis started Wednesday's game after missing the pervious two games with an elbow injury. In the loss, Davis had 17 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and one block in 41 minutes.
Head coach Alvin Gentry told the media after Wednesday's game that he expects Davis to play Thursday in Portland, even though it will be the second game of a back-to-back.
New Orleans is now 4-3 on the season after losing three straight. Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic has got off to a great start, averaging 22.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.0 three-pointers through the first six games of this season.
For the Trail Blazers, Maurice Harkless (left knee) is out for Thursday’s game vs. New Orleans. This will be the third straight game that Harkless has missed.
The Pelicans were without Elfrid Payton (right ankle) for Wednesday night's game vs. the Warriors. Before that contest, Anthony Davis (right elbow) had missed two games.
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Where to Watch: TNT
Tip-Off Time: 7:30pm
NBCS NW Coverage: Blazers Outsiders Pregame Show (6:30pm), Blazers Outsiders Postgame Show (immediately after the game)
Point Spread: Portland -3
Radio: 620AM Rip City Radio