It’s Game Day!
The Portland Trail Blazers tip-off the resumption of the 2019-20 season Friday when the Blazers battle the team they are trying to leap frog in the Western Conference standings.
12:45p.m. update: The Trail Blazers announced their starters vs. Memphis: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic.
The Memphis Grizzlies lead the Trail Blazers by 3.5 games. Portland must pass Memphis or be within four games back of the eighth seed at the conclusion of the eight seeding games in order to force one or two play-in games, which will decide the eighth and final seed out West.
“We’re ready to play,” said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts following Thursday’s practice. “We’ve had three good weeks of practices, I think there’s no question in my mind we’re ready to play on Friday. I don’t know if I’d call it excitement, but we’re ready. We feel good about where we are.”
You can watch the Blazers-Grizzlies showdown on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers starting at 10:30a.m with ‘Blazers Game Day’ followed by ‘Blazers Warm-up’ at noon and the Blazers Pregame Show at 12:30p.m.
Portland’s Eight Seeding Games Schedule:
- Friday, July 31 vs. Memphis Grizzlies
- Sunday, Aug. 2 vs. Boston Celtics
- Tuesday, Aug. 4 vs. Houston Rockets
- Thursday, Aug. 6 vs. Denver Nuggets
- Saturday, Aug. 8 vs. LA Clippers
- Sunday, Aug. 9 vs. Philadelphia 76ers
- Tuesday, Aug. 11 vs. Dallas Mavericks
- Thursday, Aug. 13 vs. Brooklyn Nets
The Grizzlies will be without Tyus Jones (right knee; soreness) and Justise Winslow (left hip; displacement). The Trail Blazers are not reporting any injuries for Friday’s contest.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast as special guest Bill Walton joins hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon]:
Quote of the Week:
It's obvious, the Trail Blazers are eager to get this thing started!
We’re just excited to play. I think it’s been months since we were at the [practice facility] every day. One person on each court, each basket and individual workouts… But then, even after that there was like – more time of official individual workouts where we still couldn’t have contact with each other. Then we came here and we had weeks of basically another training camp and everybody is just ready to play. So, we’re excited to go. -- Damian Lillard
Top Game Notes:
- All-Time: Trail Blazers lead, 50-40
- Friday's meeting will be the second of two games between the Trail Blazers and the Grizzlies during the 2019-20 season. Memphis leads the season series, 1-0.
- Last Meeting: The Grizzlies took down the Trail Blazers, 111-104, in Memphis on Feb. 12. CJ McCollum led Portland with 23 points (9-25 FG, 3-9 3-PT, 2-2 FT), three rebounds, five assists and one steal, while Brandon Clarke led Memphis with a career-high 27 points on 12-of-14 shooting (3-5 FT), to go with six rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block.
- CJ McCollum has scored at least 20 points in seven of his last eight games against the Grizzlies, including two games of 40-plus points. McCollum is averaging 20.9 points per game against Memphis for his career, his-fifth highest average against any team.
- Damian Lillard scored 20 points (7-19 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 4-4 FT) to go with five rebounds, 10 assists and one steal against Memphis on Feb. 12. Lillard has reached the 20-point mark in each of his last four games against the Grizzlies, including double-doubles in each of his last two.
- Anfernee Simons had a season-high 22 points (7-12 FG, 6-7 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with seven rebounds and one assist at Memphis on Feb. 12. It was the second-highest scoring game of his career, and his six 3-PM were one shy of his career-high (seven, Apr. 10, 2019 vs. Sac).
- Ja Morant finished with 20 points (9-23 FG, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, nine assists and one steal in his first career game against Portland on Feb. 12.
- Brandon Clarke had matched his career high with 27 points (12-14 FG, 3-5 FT) to go with six rebounds and two steals off the bench against the Trail Blazers on Feb. 12.