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Portland Trail Blazers vs Los Angeles Clippers: Match Preview and Predictions - 3rd December 2019

SENIOR ANALYST
Preview
03 Dec 2019, 08:40 IST

Will Kawhi Leonard feature in this encounter against Portland?
Will Kawhi Leonard feature in this encounter against Portland?

Match details

Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Los Angeles Clippers

Date & Time: Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 10:00 PM ET

Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

Last game result

Portland Trail Blazers (8-12): 107-103 win against the Chicago Bulls (29th December, Friday)

Los Angeles Clippers (15-6): 150-125 win against the Washington Wizards (1st December, Sunday)


Portland Trail Blazers preview

Last year's Western Conference Finalists, the Portland Trail Blazers are still nowhere near the levels they would have hoped to be, however, they finally seem to be gaining some momentum. Currently on a three-game win streak, defense still remains an issue for Terry Stotts' men.

Having said that, Hassan Whiteside proved that he still is a rim-protecting behemoth after recording 10 blocks against Chicago in Portland's last encounter. The duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum continue to rack up points and Carmelo Anthony has turned out to be a valuable signing.

Key player - Carmelo Anthony

Melo has proved since his return that he very much belongs in this league
Melo has proved since his return that he very much belongs in this league

Recently announced as the Western Conference Player of the Week, Melo has revived his career with the Blazers. He averaged 22.3 points and 7.7 rebounds last week on 57.4% accuracy from the field. Lillard and McCollum get double-teamed regularly which leaves Anthony wide open on several occasions and so far, he has made the most of it.

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Trail Blazers predicted lineup:

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Rodney Hood, Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside


Los Angeles Clippers preview

Barring an unexpected hiccup against the San Antonio Spurs on the road, the Los Angeles Clippers have been in red hot form, winning 8 of their last 9 games. The duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard finally seems to be gelling together well on offense and defense.

While Kawhi's load management remains a concern, the ability of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell to close out games has turned out to be enough in most cases. They still haven't reached their ceiling, but Doc Rivers' men mean business and it shows in their two-way play.

Key player - Paul George

George will be raring to go against the Blazers
George will be raring to go against the Blazers

You simply can't forget the dagger three by Damian Lillard in the face of Paul George that literally forced the OKC Thunder into a rebuild. PG13 has history with the Blazers and he would want to get back at Lillard and co. What better way than torching them in a game? Averaging 23.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game this season, George is making his treys at a 39.2% clip and Portland's shaky perimeter defense only helps his cause.

Clippers predicted lineup:

Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Maurice Harkless, Ivica Zubac


Trail Blazers vs Clippers match prediction

While a lot depends on the availability of Kawhi Leonard for the game, the Clippers have enough options to take care of the Blazers at home. Portland may have addressed their offensive issues with the addition of Melo but defense remains a problem, especially down the stretch. The fact that Doc Rivers' side has the 5th best offensive rating in the league is indicative of their prowess to rack up the points, even in the clutch. It should be a close encounter but the Clippers should get another win.

Where to watch Trail Blazers vs Clippers

There will be national broadcast of the game on TNT. You can also live stream the match-up via the NBA League Pass.

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