The Grizzlies are eighth in the Western Conference standings with a 29-28 record, while the Blazers are two spots ahead of them with a 32-26 record. Both teams are looking to make the playoffs in the 2020-21 campaign.
Fixture: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Friday, April 23rd; 10:00 PM ET (Saturday, 24th April; 7:30 AM IST).
Venue: Moda Center, Portland
Memphis Grizzlies Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies are coming off a 105-117 loss to the LA Clippers and their poor recent form has put a massive dent in their aspirations to make the postseason. They have been a top 10 defense in the NBA, managing an impressive defensive rating of 110.8.
Center Jonas Valanciunas has been an integral part of head coach Tyler Jenkins' plans. He has put up 17 points and 12.6 rebounds on 58% shooting from the field. Dillon Brooks has also been a key contributor for the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 16.6 points and one steal per game.
Key Player - Ja Morant
Ja Morant has been in inspirational form in his sophomore year, putting up 18 points and 7 assists per contest. Despite averaging 7 assists, the young point guard is turning over the ball just thrice, exhibiting his ability to be judicious with the rock.
Morant is the catalyst behind the Memphis Grizzlies' offense and he will have to be at his best tonight if the team wants to stand a chance at winning against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Memphis Grizzlies Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Ja Morant, Shooting Guard - Grayson Allen, Small Forward - Dillon Brooks, Power Forward - Kyle Anderson, Center - Xavier Tillman
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers have been an offensive powerhouse in the 2020/21 season, ranking sixth in the NBA's offensive rating (116.3). The Trail Blazers have lost their last three games and head coach Terry Stotts will be hoping for a reversal in fortune starting tonight.
Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter have played their roles to perfection this year, putting up 13 and 11 points, respectively. Kanter has also averaged 11.6 rebounds and is shooting a staggering 61% from the field.
However, the team will need its off-season additions Robert Covington and Derrick Jones, to step up if they are to make a deep playoffs run.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is having an MVP caliber season, averaging 28 points, 7.6 assists and 4 rebounds on a respectable 37.5% shooting from the deep. Lillard has been the architect of the Portland Trail Blazers' offense, leading the team in minutes, points and assists.
The Portland Trail Blazers are still in the mix for the playoffs, but the franchise will want to finish among the top-four seeds to avoid facing heavyweights in the initial rounds. This will completely depend on Lillard, who will have to improve on an already stunning stat line.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Damian Lillard, Shooting Guard - CJ McCollum, Small Forward - Norman Powell, Power Forward - Robert Covington, Center - Jusuf Nurkic
Grizzlies vs. Blazers Prediction
Despite losing their last three games, the Portland Trail Blazers will go into this encounter as slight favorites. The team has a superstar backcourt and if center Jusuf Nurkic can dominate his relatively inexperienced matchup tonight, the Blazers will win the game with ease.
Where to Watch Grizzlies vs. Blazers
Fans can catch the Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers game on Bally Sports South East-Memphis and NBCS North West. The match can be streamed live with an NBA League Pass as well.