The Portland Trail Blazers are entering Saturday’s matchup with a long injury list, missing a number of starters for this matchup. That didn’t hamper them on Thursday when they stunned the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers were a 10-point favorite on the online betting odds but the Trail Blazers won – without Damian Lillard. Now they’ll visit one of the most surprising teams in the league: the New York Knicks. It’s not that the Knicks are that good – they’re currently 10-13 – but they’re not atrocious. They have been competitive. However, they have lost five out of their last seven games and come into this contest in a funk. Can they get the win?
Portland Trail Blazers vs New York Knicks
Date: Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
NBA Odds: TBD
Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers have been on the wrong end of the injury bug, missing key players such as CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic for an extended amount of time. Neither is expected to make it out on the court for this matchup as McCollum missed the team’s last seven games while Nurkic has missed eight. But it doesn’t stop there, as Derrick Jones Jr. and Robert Covington have also missed a few games each with both of them not playing against the Philadelphia 76ers. With all of their injury issues they have relied heavily on the leadership and play of Damian Lillard, who is averaging 29.1 points and 7.2 assists per contest. Lillard’s health plays a large factor in this matchup, but he should be ready to go. Portland will need to rely upon the next man up mentality if it wants to beat a young and inspired Knicks team.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are allowing the second-fewest points per game at 104.1. They are currently behind the number one spot by 0.1 points. This team has benefited tremendously from the play of their young stars such as Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and Mitchell Robinson but also from their rookie Immanuel Quickley. Quickley has been labeled as the steal of the draft by some analysts and is averaging 12.4 points per game in only 19 minutes per contest. Barrett and Randle lead the charge offensively though with Robinson and Nerlens Noel locking it down on the defensive end. Despite being known as the laughingstock of the league for quite a long time, this team seem to be a completely different squad than we are used to seeing. With their outstanding team defense, it is very likely that they can take down this Blazers team that is missing a few key pieces.
Prediction: Knicks 110, Blazers 105
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