The Memphis Grizzlies will have the chance to sweep the Portland Trail Blazers when the two teams meet for the third time in less than a week on Wednesday. The result of this matchup will have a huge bearing on the Western Conference Play-in Tournament.
Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Memphis Grizzlies | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 28th, 9 PM ET (Thursday, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers were finally able to end their five-game slide against the Indiana Pacers last night. Terry Stotts' men have won only four of their 14 games so far in April and will be hoping to build some momentum. They've slipped into the play-in tournament but are just one game behind the sixth-seeded Dallas Mavericks.
Anfernee Simons' red-hot shooting was the main reason why the Portland Trail Blazers returned to winning ways yesterday. Simons made nine straight three-pointers to record 27 points. CJ McCollum also impressed with a 20-point outing on 9-of-13 shooting.
Robert Covington managed to bounce back from a woeful outing against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. Covington managed 15 points and 11 rebounds against the Pacers. Meanwhile, Jusuf Nurkic has recorded three straight double-doubles. He needs to be a better defensive anchor for the Portland Trail Blazers, though.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is taking some time to return to full form after suffering a hamstring injury. Lillard has averaged 23.8 points, 5.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds through the last four games but is shooting well below 40% from the field. He went a combined 16-of-49 in the last two games between the Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies. Having said that, Damian Lillard still leads the NBA in clutch points scored this season and can impact the dying embers of the game almost at will.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
G Damian Lillard, G CJ McCollum, F Norman Powell, F Robert Covington, C Jusuf Nurkic
Memphis Grizzlies Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies have had a topsy-turvy run of late. They've evenly split their last 10 games and concluded a seven-game road trip with a loss against the Denver Nuggets on Monday. Despite this, Taylor Jenkins' men are barely 2.5 games behind the Dallas Mavericks and still have a chance to escape the play-in tournament.
The Memphis Grizzlies finally have a fully healthy squad at their disposal. Jaren Jackson Jr. has featured in three games since returning and has averaged 16 points and six rebounds per outing. He scored 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting in the first matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers last Friday.
Dillon Brooks is another player who excelled during the back-to-back stretch between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trail Blazers last week. Brooks managed a combined 43 points in two outings. He struggled on Monday against the Indiana Pacers and will be looking to return to form again.
Key Player - Ja Morant
Ja Morant hasn't taken the leap that he was expected to this season. He leads the Memphis Grizzlies in scoring but has even faded into the background in several matchups. Having said that, he's been on an absolute tear in the last five games, averaging 29.2 points, 7.6 assists and 6.6 rebounds. Morant scored a combined 61 points in the last two games against the Portland Trail Blazers and he'll to looking to carry this momentum forward.
Memphis Grizzlies Predicted Lineup
G Ja Morant, G Grayson Allen, F Dillon Brooks, F Kyle Anderson, C Jonas Valanciunas
Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies Match Prediction
The Portland Trail Blazers have unlimited potential offensively, but they're simply broken on the defensive end. They've found it difficult to get stops down the stretch, which essentially nullifies Damian Lillard's clutch gene. Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies have already beaten the Blazers twice this season and they'll be well-rested on their home turf. Expect Morant and co. to win this matchup.
Where to watch Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies?
Local coverage of this game will be available on NBC Sports Northwest and Bally Sports Southeast–Memphis. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.