Monday's game against Charlotte will be the first meeting between the Trail Blazers and Hornets this season.
The second meeting will take place in Charlotte in the Second Half of the Season on April 18.
Portland won the only game they played against the Hornets in the 2019-20 season with a 115-112 victory at Moda Center on Jan. 13, 2020.
The Blazers have swept each of the last three season series with the Hornets.
Charlotte is coming off a thrilling 127-126 victory over the Sacramento Kings behind power forward P.J. Washington’s career night. Washington scored 42 points on 15-of-23 shooting for the shorthanded Hornets. LaMelo Ball added 24.
As Portland looks to end its four-game losing skid, the Blazers will once again be without Harry Giles (left calf strain), CJ McCollum (left midfoot fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture).
For the Hornets, Gordon Hayward (right hand; contusion) and Cody Zeller (left hip; contusion) are doubtful. The two sat out of Sunday’s contest in Sacramento.
Devonte' Graham (left knee; patella femoral discomfort) is out.
Ahead of Monday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes discussed whether or not the Blazers are making adjustments at halftime:
Time for a few observations about the recently completed three-game road trip that featured stops in Phoenix, Denver and Los Angeles.
The Suns, Nuggets and Lakers are well-coached, quality teams and games against those teams can teach you things about your own team. And a team should always learn from losses.
A few thoughts:
· In third quarters, which were frequently a problem last season, the Trail Blazers scored 17, 21 and 19 points. Their opponents scored 37, 21 and 31.
· As said, this is not a new problem and it’s difficult to look at such things without wondering if it can be attributed to adjustments – the ones made at halftime by opponents or the ones NOT made by the Trail Blazers.
· Friday night in Los Angeles, Damian Lillard scored 24 in the first half. Laker Coach Frank Vogel knew he had to do something to slow that down in the second half or his team was going to get beat.
· The Lakers came out after halftime blitzing Lillard and double-teaming him whenever it was possible. They completely sold out on him. Portland has seen this strategy for years now and still doesn’t always handle it well.
· By running so many pick-and-rolls, the Trail Blazers invite opponents to blitz, trap or double-team Lillard – whatever you wish to call it -- which is fine if they can handle the advantage of getting the ball out of the trap and playing four-on-three. Frequently, though, Portland seems uncertain in those situations and is plagued by turnovers. There were seven in the third quarter Friday.
· When the pick-and-roll breaks down, the Trail Blazers often default to isolations – one-on-one stuff. That leads to a lot of one-pass or no-pass possessions that frequently conclude with a contested shot.
· To be fair, when CJ McCollum is healthy, the default against the blitz is to dump the ball out to McCollum, who can often get a decent shot or make a play in isolation.
· Portland is a good pick-and-roll team but is running it so much that the top-tier teams are seemingly able to lock in their strategy against it and do a good enough job of dealing with it.
· What often seems the most aggravating part of this is that when the Trail Blazers try to blitz pick-and-rolls, which isn’t too often, their opponents seem to pick it apart very easily.
· If it works against the Trail Blazers, it should also work for them.
· There are some very good offensive players on this team, but I would think a less-predictable attack would be beneficial.
Read more here.
The Blazers are -7.5 point favorites against the Hornets, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Monday’s matchup --
- Damian Lillard led Portland in the game on Jan. 13, 2020 with 30 points (10-16 FG, 5-10 3-PT, 5-7 FT), three rebounds and nine assists. Lillard's career-high in blocks came on Jan. 11, 2019 when he recorded four against the Hornets, and has scored at least 20 points in each of his last three games against Charlotte.
- Carmelo Anthony recorded 17 points (7-13 FG, 1-4 3-PT, 2-2 FT), six rebounds and a season-high eight assists in the meeting against Charlotte last season. Anthony scored a career-high 62 points against the Hornets on Jan. 24, 2014 while with the Knicks, and is averaging 25.2 points over 34 career games against Charlotte. He holds a career scoring averaging of at least 25 points against just four teams (ATL, CHA, NYK, WAS).
- Devonte' Graham led the Hornets on Jan. 13, 2020 with 27 points (9-17 FG, 8-13 3-PT, 1-1 FT), three rebounds and 10 assists. It marks one of Graham's four career games with at least eight three-pointers.
- Terry Rozier had 25 points (8-18 FG, 4-8 3-PT, 5-6 FT), seven rebounds and three assists against Portland on Jan. 13 last season. It was his first career 20+ point game against the Trail Blazers.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -7.5 (-105) – Hornets: +7.5 (-105)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Monday, March 1
Where: Moda Center | Portland, OR
Start time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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