Although the Portland Trail Blazers have won five of their last six games, the wins have come against significantly weaker teams. The Trail Blazers could face a tall task against a decked LA Clippers squad, who could debut their new star signing, DeMarcus Cousins.
In the first meeting between the two teams this season, the LA Clippers had a 23-point blowout victory.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 45 points, but their efforts went in vain, as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George dropped 51 combined points.
Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Clippers | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Tuesday, April 6th; 2021; 10:00 PM ET (Wednesday, April 7th; 7:30 AM IST).
Venue: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA.
LA Clippers Preview
The LA Clippers recently suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of a hapless Orlando Magic team.
The Magic came back from a 16-point deficit to upset the Paul George-less Clippers. The Clippers subsequently lost to the Denver Nuggets 101-94 before beating an injury-riddled LA Lakers team.
Serge Ibaka and Patrick Beverly continue to be out as the LA Clippers' defense wears a depleted look. The LA Clippers are 26th in the league in blocks and 16th in steals while committing the 10th-highest turnovers this season.
Although the LA Clippers are scoring the most threes this season, they are also letting their opponents drop threes on them. Their perimeter defense has gone down, as the opposition is shooting nearly 40% from beyond the arc against them.
The Denver Nuggets shot 52% from the three-point line against the LA Clippers on Thursday.
Key Player - Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard is quite easily the best player on the LA Clippers roster. Once averaging the same numbers as his star teammate, Paul George, Leonard has taken it up a notch lately.
Leonard is now averaging almost 3.5 points per game, which is better than that of George. He has also recorded the second-highest rebounds and assists for the team this campaign.
Kawhi Leonard is also leading the LA Clippers in steals with 1.8 swipes per game. Regarded as one of the best two-way players in the league, Leonard has shouldered the burden of the team's victories on his broad shoulders.
LA Clippers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Reggie Jackson | Shooting Guard - Paul George | Small Forward - Kawhi Leonard | Power Forward - Marcus Morris Sr. | Center - Ivica Zubac.
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers continue on their mission to grab a high playoff seed for the postseason. They are currently sixth in the Western Conference but only two wins behind the fourth seed.
Their road ahead, starting with the LA Clippers, is riddled with challenges in the remainder of the regular season. Four of their next five games are against the LA Clippers, Utah Jazz, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, so Damian Lillard and co. will have to pull up their socks.
Norman Powell has fit in amazingly well at the Portland Trail Blazers, recording a 22-point debut with the team. He has started in all five games he has played in and is averaging 15.2 points and 2.4 steals per match.
Powell's addition to the Portland Trail Blazers' roster has certainly boosted the team's chances of beating some of the tougher teams in the league.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
Damian 'Dame' Lillard has been putting on a show this season. He is sinking game-winners night after night, averaging the second-highest points per game in the month of March.
Dame leads the league this season in total points scored, scoring 1391 points in 47 games. His performances have kept the Portland Trail Blazers afloat in the absence of Nurkic, Collins and McCollum. Lillard is in the conversation for his first-ever MVP award this campaign.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Damian Lillard | Shooting Guard - CJ McCollum | Small Forward - Norman Powell | Power Forward - Robert Covington | Center - Enes Kanter.
Trail Blazers vs Clippers Match Prediction
It could be a mouthwatering duel when Kawhi Leonard and Damian Lillard lock horns with each other. Both players have been in sizzling form of late.
The Portland Trail Blazers rank 29th in defensive rating, and that could be their Achilles heel against an extremely efficient LA Clippers team.
Where to watch the Trail Blazers vs Clippers game?
The Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Clippers game will be locally televised on Bally Sports SoCal (Southern California) and NBC Sports Northwest. The match can also be live-streamed with an NBA League Pass.