NBA Starting Lineups and Match Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers vs Oklahoma City Thunder - Game 4
Portland Trail Blazers (53-29) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (49-33)
22nd April 2019, 7:00 am IST,
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Head to Head (Playoffs):
Games played: 19 games
Won by Oklahoma City Thunder: 9 games
Won by Portland Trail Blazers: 10 games
The Portland Trail Blazers face the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma. The series is very delicately poised 2-1 in the favour of the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been disappointing in this series, losing the first 2 games, but managed a roaring comeback in Game 3 to win the match and get a foothold in the series. They will be looking to tie things up heading into game 5.
The Trail Blazers, on the other hand, were made to rue their missed chances in Game 3. The Blazers will now look to win game 4 tomorrow which would enable them to finish things off in front of their home crowd in game 5.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Guards Andre Roberson and Hamidou Diallo are out with a knee and an elbow injury respectively.
Portland Trail Blazers: Center Jusuf Nurkic is out with a leg injury.
Players to watch out for:
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been powered throughout the regular season by a herculean career year for Paul George, but when it has mattered, Westbrook has always stepped up for his side.
He has been superb this series for them, averaging 23.7 points, 10.7 assists, 8 rebounds in 37.7 minutes. Westbrook has been known to get it done both on offense as well as defense.
If the Blazers are to stand any chance of winning tomorrow, they will need to defend Westbrook harder than they did in Game 3 and need to snuff out his offensive game.
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Damian Lillard has been running the show for the Portland Trail Blazers ever since his rookie season and has shown no signs of slowing down. He has continued his stellar display throughout this playoff series as well, leading the Blazers to a 2-1 lead.
Lillard has been averaging a massive 30.3 points, 5.3 assists, 4 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game in 37.7 minutes on the court. He has been unstoppable this season and will look to play at the same level tomorrow night in game 4 as well.
The Thunder need to find a way to stop this onslaught from Lillard if they are to level the series.
Predicted Starting Lineups:
Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard (G), CJ McCollum (G), Maurice Harkless (F), Al-Farouq Aminu (F), Enes Kanter (C)
Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook (G), Terrance Ferguson (G), Paul George (F), Jerami Grant (F), Steven Adams (C)
Predicted Match Result: Oklahoma City Thunder to beat the Portland Trail Blazers
This series is one of the closest in the playoffs this season as both teams are just so evenly matched. Even though the Blazers have been playing really well this season, Lillard has been the only one outperforming everyone on the Thunder roster.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder were superb in Game 3 at home and their form, along with the home court advantage, should make them unstoppable in Game 4.