After losing to the Orlando Magic on Friday, Steve Nash's side returned to winning ways on the weekend with a win over the Washington Wizards. Kyrie Irving and James Harden lit up the Brooklyn Nets box score against the Wizards, combining for 54 points.
Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers backcourt pairing of Damian Lillard and McCollum will look to disrupt the Brooklyn Nets' recent dominance with a scoring clinic of their own. The two have already put up 60+ points between them twice this season since McCollum returned from injury last week.
Fixture: Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Tuesday, March 23rd; 10:00 PM ET (Wednesday, March 24th; 7:30 AM IST).
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR.
Brooklyn Nets Preview
The Brooklyn Nets are living off James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris' shooting at the moment. In Kevin Durant's absence, the Brooklyn Nets are still putting fear into their opponent's and have the best offense in the league.
Moreover, their latest addition, Blake Griffin, made his debut on Saturday night. He is likely to pick up more minutes or perhaps make his way into the starting lineup in place of Jeff Green on Tuesday.
Kyrie Irving has put up two 40+ point displays since the All-Star break. But the Brooklyn Nets guard is not expected to make the team's three-game road trip this week due to personal reasons.
That leaves the door open for a replacement in the Brooklyn Nets backcourt. When Irving was absent in the Brooklyn Nets' win against the Indiana Pacers last week, Landry Shamet stepped in to fill his shoes. This time, though, it could be Tyler Johnson who gets a call-up.
Key Player - James Harden
With Irving out, James Harden will inevitably pick up his load of offensive duties for the Brooklyn Nets.
Harden has barely had to tap into his elite-mode scoring with the Brooklyn Nets' strong offense. But he may have to produce another 40+ point display as he did the last time Irving was sidelined if the Brooklyn Nets are to overcome the Portland Trail Blazers.
In his last 17 games, Harden has averaged close to a triple-double, tallying 26.8 points, 10.7 assists and 9.2 rebounds per matchup.
Taking up the point position for the Brooklyn Nets this season has brought out the best of 'The Beard's' playmaking abilities as James Harden is all set to be a more frequent mention among MVP conversations.
Brooklyn Nets Predicted Lineup
G James Harden, G Landry Shamet, F Joe Harris, F Jeff Green, C DeAndre Jordan.
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers backcourt duo had a rare off night on Sunday, as Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for only 32 points against the Mavs.
In a game where Luka Doncic lit it up from downtown, the Portland Trail Blazers struggled to shoot the 3-ball. That meant their 3-game winning streak came to an end. But the Portland Trail Blazers will worry less knowing they have to face an Irving-less Brooklyn Nets who have a bottom-10 defense.
Looking to continue their surge up the Western Conference standings, the Portland Trail Blazers could pose a genuine threat to the LA franchises when Nurkic is back and they have their full rotation.
Carmelo Anthony has been electric off the bench this season, while Enes Kanter's return is proving to be a coup by the Portland Trail Blazers' front office.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
On a night when no Portland Trail Blazers player scored 20 points, Damian Lillard was yet again the team's leading scorer on Sunday, registering 19.
Lillard is having an MVP-worthy season, averaging 30.3 points and 7.6 assists per outing. He also grabbed a 50-point piece against the New Orleans Pelicans last week, including 20 in the fourth quarter to carry the Portland Trail Blazers to victory.
In what has been a success story this season for the Portland Trail Blazers, Lillard has yet again been at the heart of their offensive threat.
The Portland Trail Blazers rank sixth in the league for offensive efficiency, with the 30-year-old adding 6.5 wins due to his output alone.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
G Damian Lillard, G CJ McCollum, F Robert Covington, F Derrick Jones Jr., C Enes Kanter.
Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers Match Prediction
Even without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, this game promises to be a fascinating matchup between two of the league's elite offenses.
However, the Portland Trail Blazers will fancy their chances, particularly with home-court advantage, as they are 14-8 on the season.
This game will present a stern test to the Brooklyn Nets defense, which, although has seen some improvements recently, is still not ready for the postseason. Enes Kanter could be a menace in the paint for the Brooklyn Nets, where they may seek to use Griffin's size and athleticism to gain some more minutes on the floor.
A close game can be expected, but the Portland Trail Blazers could just edge this one out.
Where to watch the Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers matchup?
In the USA, Tuesday night's marquee game will be shown on the Yes network for Brooklyn Nets fans and on NBC Sports Northwest. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.