The Portland Trail Blazers will continue their ongoing road trip with a visit to Barclays Center to take on the Brooklyn Nets. This will be the second meeting between the two sides this season, with the Nets having won the previous encounter.
Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Brooklyn Nets | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, April 30th, 8 PM ET (Saturday, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers are finally finding some rhythm after losing five straight games last week. They've won two matchups on the trot, including the game against the Memphis Grizzlies, where five players scored 15 or more points. The Blazers are still occupying one of the play-in tournament spots, but they're just one game behind the sixth-seeded Dallas Mavericks.
CJ McCollum was the most efficient shooter for the Portland Trail Blazers last night. He scored a game-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting. McCollum was supported well by Norman Powell, who managed 24 points of his own on 57.1% shooting.
Jusuf Nurkic wasn't fit the last time the Portland Trail Blazers played the Brooklyn Nets this season, but he'll enter tonight's contest in good form. Nurkic has averaged 17 points, 13.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 blocks through the last four games.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard hasn't really shot the ball efficiently of late, but it's hard to write him off. Lillard has averaged 23.6 points over the last five games, well below his season average of 28. As we've seen in the past, though, it takes Dame Dolla just one game to rediscover his form. The Portland Trail Blazers must win against the Brooklyn Nets if they want to reclaim the sixth seed and Lillard will be looking to showcase his clutch gene on Friday.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
G Damian Lillard, G CJ McCollum, F Norman Powell, F Robert Covington, C Jusuf Nurkic
Brooklyn Nets Preview
The Brooklyn Nets have finally started to consolidate their hold on the top seed in the Eastern Conference standings. Steve Nash's men have won four straight matchups, with the latest win coming against the Indiana Pacers last night thanks to a 42-point effort from Kevin Durant.
The Brooklyn Nets have had to deal with nagging injury troubles, though. Their superstars have oscillated in and out of the lineup throughout the season. That is likely to be the case against the Portland Trail Blazers as well. Durant will probably sit out the second half of the back-to-back while Kyrie Irving is expected to return from a groin injury. James Harden is on the sidelines as well.
Alize Johnson made his return yesterday after observing the NBA's health and safety protocols. Johnson torched his former side by racking up 20 points and 21 rebounds off the bench. He was one of six Brooklyn Nets players to score in double digits against the Pacers.
Key Player - Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving will have to take up the mantle for the Brooklyn Nets right away after returning from his one-game spell on the sidelines. He struggled to impact proceedings against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday but has had a decent run in April overall, averaging 23.7 points, 7.9 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Irving did not play in the previous fixture against the Portland Trail Blazers this season. His matchup against Damian Lillard will be interesting to watch.
Brooklyn Nets Predicted Lineup
G Kyrie Irving, G Landry Shamet, F Joe Harris, F Jeff Green, C DeAndre Jordan
Trail Blazers vs Nets Match Prediction
The Brooklyn Nets have been in good form of late but they've relied on Kevin Durant to get them across the finish line. With him likely to sit out on Friday, the Portland Trail Blazers will enter Friday's game feeling confident about their chances.
The Blazers have shown some improvement defensively over the last two outings. Even though Damian Lillard isn't producing at a high clip, his teammates have stepped up to the plate. Expect the Blazers to eke out a win in a game that could go down to the wire.
Where to watch Trail Blazers vs Nets?
National telecast of this matchup will be carried by NBA TV, while local coverage of the same will be available on NBC Sports Northwest and YES2. You can also live stream this game via the NBA League Pass.