Both sides were off to a shaky start but have found their groove recently and subsequently shooting up in the rankings in the Western Conference.
The Memphis Grizzlies have put on a beautiful display of winning basketball that has got them on a hot streak of five consecutive wins. In this run, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated top contenders in the league as they bested the Brooklyn Nets 115-110 and in their last game defeated the Phoenix Suns 108-104.
The Memphis Grizzlies will be without Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee), Jontay Porter (knee), and Jonas Valanciunas (Covid-19 protocols) in their matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers have been firing on all cylinders lately, winning four of their last six games. That said, the team is facing their own injury concerns for the next few weeks as two of their top contributors have been sidelined due to injury.
Jusuf Nurkic underwent a surgery to repair a fracture in his right wrist and will be re-evaluated in six weeks. The Portland Trail Blazers' leading scorer, CJ McCollum, was diagnosed with a small hairline fracture and a sprain in his left foot and will be re-evaluated in four weeks before the coaching staff takes a call for his return to the game.
Fixture: Memphis Grizzlies vs Portland Trail Blazers - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, January 22nd, 2021 10:00 PM ET. (Saturday 8:30 AM IST)
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Memphis Grizzlies Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies are coming off one of their best games, defeating the in-form Phoenix Suns 108-104. Memphis had seven players scoring in double digits for their seventh win of the season. Ja Morant led the effort with 17 points, 10 assists, and 3 rebounds in 34 minutes from the floor.
With this victory, the Grizzlies eliminated any doubts surrounding their recent success and they proved that they have the talent to take on any team in the league. The Trail Blazers will have their hands full against a determined Grizzlies side looking to extend their winning run.
Key Player - Ja Morant
Ja Morant was the driving force behind their last win and could be the key player in their next matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. It will be a showdown at the point position between him and Damian Lillard that could determine the fate of the game.
This season, Morant is averaging 22.6 points, 7.0 assists, and 2.0 rebounds on 53% shooting from the floor.
Memphis Grizzlies Predicted Lineup
G Ja Morant, G Dillon Brooks, F Kyle Anderson, F Brandon Clarke, C Xavier Tillman.
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers have marked an improvement this season but will face an uphill battle on Friday as they match up against a red hot Memphis Grizzlies unit.
With CJ McCollum out, the onus of leading the side will fall on the shoulders of none other than Damian Lillard. Carmelo Anthony could see more minutes and will be expected to perform as he did in the Bubble last postseason.
The Portland Trail Blazers will have to decide whether they want to come out attacking with an offensive mindset or try and beat the Memphis Grizzlies by playing stellar defense for a change.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is one of the best guards in the league today. His long-range game is at par with the best three-point shooters in the NBA. He will have to dig deep and post a monster performance to steal the win from the in-form Memphis Grizzlies side.
Damian Lillard is the Portland Trail Blazers' best bet for success not just in this matchup but for the rest of their season. This season, he has been averaging 28.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists while shooting at 44.1% from the field and at 36.9% from beyond the arc.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
G Damian Lillard, G Gary Trent Jr., F Derrick Jones Jr., F Robert Covington, C Enes Kanter.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Portland Trail Blazers Match Prediction
The game has the makings of a high-scoring affair that could swing either way. That said, the Portland Trail Blazers will be shorthanded with Nurkic and McCollum on the sidelines.
The Memphis Grizzlies have been tearing it up lately and show no signs of stopping anytime soon. They enter this contest with a big win under their belt that gives them the edge.
Still, the Portland Trail Blazers have a determined Damian Lillard on their side and could be the team to break Memphis Grizzlies winning run on Friday night.
Where to watch Memphis Grizzlies vs Portland Trail Blazers?
The local coverage of the game between Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers will be available on FOX Sports South East and NBC Sports Northwest. Fans can also live-stream this matchup via the NBA League Pass.