Tuesday will be a matchup between two banged up teams as the Portland Trail Blazers welcome in the Orlando Magic to tip-off a three-game homestand.
Damian Lillard (left hip contusion) is listed as probable for Tuesday’s contest, while Nassir Little (left knee sprain), CJ McCollum (left midfoot fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) are all out vs. Orlando.
As for the Magic, Orlando has been hit hard by the injury bug as well.
The Magic will be without Michael Carter-Williams (left foot; sprain), Evan Fournier (low back; spasms), Markelle Fultz (left knee; torn ACL), Aaron Gordon (left ankle; sprain), and Jonathan Isaac (left knee; injury recovery).
Tuesday’s game is the first meeting between the Trail Blazers and Magic during the 2020-21 season. The second contest is slated for the Second Half of the season.
Portland swept the 2019-20 season series against Orlando, 2-0. The Blazers have swept each of the last three season series.
Following Saturday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes explained how something was missing for the Trail Blazers Saturday in New York:
The Trail Blazers wiped away a lot of the goodness of that Thursday night upset of the Philadelphia 76ers with a disappointing 110-99 loss to the Knicks Saturday afternoon in New York,
Portland was on the final stop of a six-game trip through the East in a day game against a team with the NBA’s slowest pace. Obviously, energy was going to be a challenge. Or a necessity.
The Trail Blazers Thursday defeated the best team in the Eastern Conference and one that had won 10 of its 11 home games. They did it with energy on offense and defense.
A lot of that energy came from CJ Elleby, who had 15 points, seven rebounds, a steal and two blocked shots in 31:11. His contributions to the team’s activity level could not be missed.
He didn’t play a second against the Knicks, though, even though the situation seemed perfect for what he brings to the court.
Now I understand that one game doesn’t make a season. But I have always believed that when a young player shows a significant spark that contributes to a win, he should be allowed to build on that performance. He should be given a chance to do it again. Or not.
“Well, not to take anything away from what (Elleby) did, but you know Dame came back, that's 38 minutes,” Stotts said. “Derrick Jones came back and he played 20, so there's only 240 minutes to play, so we went with our main guys.
“I love the way that CJ played against Philly, but you know we have our stars, we have our rotation guys, and that's the way it rolls.”
There have been times in the past that young players here have shown flashes of brilliance, but then have been buried on the bench immediately for several games before getting other opportunities.
That doesn’t work -- although it does make it easier for a coach who might have to justify to a veteran losing a few minutes on the court in favor of a rookie.
Read more here.
The Blazers are -6 point favorites against the Magic, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s matchup --
- Damian Lillard had 36 points (13-21 FG, 7-13 3-PT, 3-3 FT), three rebounds, six assists and one steal on Dec. 20, 2019, his only meeting with Orlando last season. Lillard has finished with at least 20 points in each of his last seven games against Orlando, including two 41-point games during the 2018-19 season.
- Gary Trent Jr. averaged 15.0 points (55.0% FG, 66.7% 3-PT, 100% FT), 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in two games against Orlando last season, including a 24-point performance on March 2.
- In two games against the Trail Blazers last season, Nikola Vucevic averaged 26.5 points (47.7% FG, 30.0% 3-PT, 72.7% FT), 11.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists. It was his second-highest scoring average against any team during the 2019-20 season. Vuvevic also recorded his career-high in steals against Portland last season, with six on Dec. 20, 2019.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -6 (-110) – Magic: +6 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Tuesday, February 9
Where: Moda Center | Portland, Oregon
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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