Portland Trail Blazers vs Brooklyn Nets: Injury Report, Predicted Lineups and Starting 5s - April 30th, 2021 | NBA Season 2020-21

Damian Lillard and James Harden
Damian Lillard and James Harden
Raunak Jaiswal

In-form teams the Portland Trail Blazers and Brooklyn Nets will collide for the second time this season on Friday night. The Blazers will be looking to move above the play-in seeds, while the Nets will be looking to improve their grasp on the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Portland Trail Blazers lost their way in the last two weeks and dropped five consecutive games to slip into the seventh seed in the West. Terry Stotts' men have found a reprieve, though, and are rallying back after recording two wins on the trot against the Indiana Pacers and the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Brooklyn Nets themselves alternated between a win and loss for the majority of April before finding some form in the last 10 days. The Nets have won four games in a row and currently have a 43-20 record. Kevin Durant has been in incredible touch of late, averaging 30.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and six assists through the last three outings.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Brooklyn Nets: Injury Report

Portland Trail Blazers

Zach Collins
Zach Collins

The Portland Trail Blazers were ravaged by injuries early on during the season but most of their players have recovered in time. CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic were both sidelined for extended stretches earlier this year but the two are fit and firing right now.

Power forward Zach Collins remains the only long-term absentee for the Portland Trail Blazers. Collins underwent surgery to repair a fractured ankle and hasn't featured during the 2020-21 campaign yet.

Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant

The Brooklyn Nets will most likely be without two of their three superstars on Friday night. James Harden is nowhere near a return from his hamstring issue, but Kyrie Irving should return to the lineup after missing out last night due to a groin injury.

Kevin Durant played 36 minutes against the Pacers yesterday and will likely be rested for the matchup against Portland, which falls on the second night of a back-to-back. There's still no timetable for the returns of Nicolas Claxton (health and safety protocols), Chris Chiozza (fractured right hand) and Bruce Brown (right knee soreness).

Portland Trail Blazers vs Brooklyn Nets: Predicted Lineups

Portland Trail Blazers

It'll be the usual starting five for the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will form the team's backcourt while Norman Powell will occupy the small forward's role.

Robert Covington missed all of his shots from the field against Memphis on Wednesday but still makes the cut due to his defensive prowess. Jusuf Nurkic has grown in explosiveness over the last few weeks and he'll occupy the five to round out the starting lineup.

Backup big man Enes Kanter will supplement the team with his energy on the boards. Anfernee Simons and Carmelo Anthony will be the main offensive threats off the bench.

Brooklyn Nets

Head coach Steve Nash will be forced to tinker with the starting five in the absence of Kevin Durant. Jeff Green could potentially move to power forward with Blake Griffin featuring as the starting center. Joe Harris will complete the Brooklyn Nets' frontcourt.

Kyrie Irving will return to the starting lineup with Tyler Johnson moving to the bench again. Landry Shamet will play as Irving's partner in the backcourt.

Alize Johnson had a 20-20 outing last night against the Indiana Pacers and he'll be called upon to contribute again on Friday. Mike James will also continue to get regular playing time due to the absence of other personnel.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Brooklyn Nets: Predicted Starting 5s

Portland Trail Blazers

Point Guard - Damian Lillard | Shooting Guard - CJ McCollum | Small Forward - Norman Powell | Power Forward - Robert Covington | Center - Jusuf Nurkic

Brooklyn Nets

Point Guard - Kyrie Irving | Shooting Guard - Landry Shamet | Small Forward - Joe Harris | Power Forward - Jeff Green | Center - Blake Griffin

Also read: Portland Trail Blazers vs Brooklyn Nets Prediction & Match Preview - April 30th, 2021 | NBA Season 2020-21

Edited by Raunak Jaiswal
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