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New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers: Match Preview and Predictions - 21st February 2020

Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans take on the Portland Trail Blazers
Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans take on the Portland Trail Blazers
ANALYST
Modified 21 Feb 2020, 06:50 IST
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Match Details

Fixture: New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers

Date & Time: Friday, 21st February 2020 (10:30 PM ET)

Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR

Last Game Result

New Orleans Pelicans (23-32): 118-123 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder (13th February)

Portland Trail Blazers (25-31): 104-111 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies (12th February)


New Orleans Pelicans Preview

The New Orleans Pelicans have won six of their past 10 games, and still have an outside chance of qualifying for the postseason. Zion Williamson's return from injury handed the Pelicans a much-needed lift, while Brandon Ingram continues to enjoy a breakout season.

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However, the Pelicans will need the likes of J.J. Redick, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart to step up over the final months of the season, and it is worth noting that the team has struggled both at home (11-17) and on the road (12-15).

Key Player - Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson has made an excellent start for the Pelicans
Zion Williamson has made an excellent start for the Pelicans

The Pelicans had to wait a long time to see their number one pick in action, although Williamson has been outstanding throughout his first 10 NBA appearances. The 19-year-old has averaged 22.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.2 assists - and is also shooting 57.6 percent from the field.

Pelicans Predicted Lineup:

Zion Williamson, Josh Hart, Derrick Favors, Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball


Portland Trail Blazers Preview

The Portland Trail Blazers lost their crucial matchup with the 8th seeded Memphis Grizzlies in their final game ahead of the All-Star break - and they now face an uphill battle to make the playoffs. The Trail Blazers find themselves four games back from the Grizzlies in the race to secure the final playoff spot in the West, and Damian Lillard is expected to miss the next week through injury. Portland also suffered a lobsided 117-138 defeat to the Pelicans on Feb. 11, although Terry Stotts' side remains a much tougher proposition on their home court.

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Key Player - CJ McCollum

CJ McCollum will play a big role in the absence of Damian Lillard
CJ McCollum will play a big role in the absence of Damian Lillard

With Lillard sidelined by injury, Portland will be hoping that CJ McCollum can step up. The 28-year-old is currently averaging 21.3 points - but has failed to produce in several big games this season.

Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup:

Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Hassan Whiteside, CJ McCollum, Anfernee Simons


Pelicans vs Trail Blazers Match Prediction

This is a huge matchup for both teams as they attempt to get back in the playoff mix. The Trail Blazers have been competitive at Moda Center this season, although Lillard will be a huge miss, and the Pelicans should have enough to pick up another win over their Western Conference rivals.

Where to Watch Pelicans vs Trail Blazers?

The game will be broadcast live on ESPN from 10:30 PM (ET). You can also stream the game via NBA League Pass.

Published 21 Feb 2020, 06:50 IST
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