The Portland Trail Blazers (25-17) are looking to conclude their five-game homestand on a high note when they welcome in the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets (29-14) Tuesday.
This will be the first of two meetings between the Trail Blazers and Nets during the 2020-21 season. The final game will be played on April 30 in Brooklyn.
Last season, the two split the season series, 1-1 with the Blazers win coming in the Orlando Bubble on Aug. 13. That victory clinched the eight-seed instead of the ninth spot prior to the Western Conference play-in game.
For Tuesday’s contest, Jusuf Nurkic (right calf strain) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) are out.
But it’s Brooklyn who will be without at least two of its stars.
The Nets have listed James Harden (neck; soreness) as questionable, while Spencer Dinwiddie (right knee; partially torn ACL), Kevin Durant (left hamstring; strain), Kyrie Irving (personal reasons), Alize Johnson (not with team) and Landry Shamet (right ankle; sprain) are out.
Ahead of Tuesday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes explained how the Madness isn't just for NCAA basketball, it's also part of the NBA this season:
A few thoughts on basketball, and how madness exists in the colleges and the pros:
· I haven’t found the NCAA’s March Madness very compelling in recent years, partly because I’ve grown so tired of all the cliches from those who still believe the college game is somehow more interesting than the NBA.
· “The kids in college play harder,” is the persistent cliche that rankles me the most. They don’t. They play 40-minute games, seldom on back-to-back nights, with timeouts every few minutes and STILL don’t have to exert the kind of effort that’s needed to survive in the NBA. It takes NBA rookies a full season, sometimes, to understand the effort needed just to stay on the court.
· Which reminds me, it takes forever to play the final five minutes of a college game – it’s crazy. Cut back on the timeouts.
· And why do the best players not play the entire 40 minutes? There are so many rest breaks built into the college games they should have no problem playing an entire game.
· Pac-12 fans, coaches and players complaining about a lack of respect? Yes, the conference is having a great run this season. But seriously, did you see this coming? And is this a sign that the conference has become a basketball power again? The women's side has been strong for years now, but I'll wait for the men's teams to show it for more than one season.
Read more here.
The Blazers are -3.5 point favorites against the Nets, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s matchup –
- Damian Lillard averaged 51.0 points (58.2% FG, 50.0% 3-PT, 95.8% FT), 3.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 1.00 steals in two games against Brooklyn last season, including a 60-point outing on Nov. 8, 2019 in which he recorded a career-high 19 made field goals. Lillard has scored at least 30 points in four of his last five games against the Nets.
- CJ McCollum averaged 16.5 points (20.0% FG, 87.5% FT), 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.00 steals and 1.50 blocks in two games against the Nets last season. McCollum has finished with at least 20 points in three of his last four games against Brooklyn.
- On Nov. 8 of last season, Anfernee Simons recorded 15 points (5-14 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 3-4 FT), four rebounds and two assists against Brooklyn.
- James Harden scored 44 points (12-21 FG, 6-13 3-PT, 14-16 FT) to go with four rebounds and 17 assists against Portland on Dec. 26, 2020 while with Houston.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -3.5 (-110) – Nets: +3.5 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Tuesday, March 23
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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