The Trail Blazers (8-6) and New York Knicks (8-9) will tip-off from Moda Center Sunday night at 7:00p.m. PST.
Sunday’s game against the Knicks is the first of two meetings between the two this season. The second matchup is slated for Feb. 6.
This will also be the first game for Portland since Monday’s matinee against the San Antonio Spurs after Wednesday and Friday’s contests against the Memphis Grizzlies were postponed due to ongoing contract tracing within the Grizzlies organization. The two postponed games will be rescheduled for the Second Half of the season.
Sunday, the Trail Blazers will be without CJ McCollum (left midfoot fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) versus New York.
For the Knicks, Frank Ntilikina (right knee; sprained) and Austin Rivers (right Achilles; sore) are questionable and Reggie Bullock (neck; sore) is doubtful.
Ahead of Sunday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider, Dwight Jaynes examined how the Knicks have improved their defense so quickly:
The Portland Trail Blazers began this season with the stated purpose of improving their defense. Two solid defenders (Robert Covington and Derrick Jones) were added to the mix and the emphasis was said to be improving to at least the NBA average.
But talking about it is one thing. Doing it is quite another.
Which brings us to Sunday night’s Trail Blazer opponents, the New York Knicks.
The Knicks, perennial doormats of the league and a punchline for basketball jokes for years, will check into Moda Center with an 8-8 record. It took New York 32 games last season to post its eighth win.
A record built on much-improved defense -- again, something the Knicks have never been very good at doing.
More than that, the Knicks didn’t make any big-name free agent signings or major trades in the off-season. What they did do, however, is hire a coach known for his emphasis and knowledge of team defense in the NBA.
While the Trail Blazers were talking, the Knicks were doing -- with a lot of players previously known as mediocre or poor defenders.
Read more here.
The Blazers are -4 point favorites against the Knicks, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about the Portland and New York matchup --
- LAST SEASON: The Trail Blazers and Knicks split the season series in 2019-20, 1-1. Portland has won six of the last seven overall matchups between the two teams.
- Damian Lillard averaged 21.0 points (40.0% FG, 45.0% 3-PT, 100% FT), 6.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in two games against New York last season.
- In two games against the Knicks last season, Carmelo Anthony averaged 21.0 points (53.3% FG, 66.7% 3-PT, 50.0% FT), 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals.
- Robert Covington recorded 20 points (7-14 FG, 6-11 3-PT), 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block for Houston at New York on March 2, 2020. He averaged 15.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in two games against the Knicks last season.
- Julius Randle averaged 18.5 points (53.8% FG, 40.0% 3-PT, 71.4% FT), 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in two games against Portland last season. Randle's career-high in scoring (45) also came against the Trail Blazers on Mar. 15, 2019.
- In two games against the Trail Blazers last season, Mitchell Robinson averaged 18.0 points (84.2% FG, 57.1% FT), 6.5 rebounds and 1.00 block.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -4 (-110) – Knicks: +4 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Sunday, January 24
Where: Moda Center | Portland, OR
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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