The red-hot Portland Trail Blazers will head over to the Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks for their second meeting of the 2020-21 NBA season. The Portland Trail Blazers bested the New York Knicks in their previous matchup, riding on Damian Lillard's 39-point performance.
It will be a bittersweet homecoming for former Knick Carmelo Anthony, who has played some of his best basketball at this venue. The 36-year-old will enter this contest with a significant milestone achieved, as he climbed to 13th on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list.
The Portland Trail Blazers have been on a roll with a two-game winning streak. As a result, they have earned the fifth-best record in the West (12-9). In their previous outing, the Portland Trail Blazers made a mockery of the top team in the East as they schooled the 76ers for a 121-105 game-time decision.
The short-handed Trail Blazers were without Damian Lillard in the matchup. They saw inspiring performances from Carmelo Anthony and Gary Trent Jr., both of whom scored above 20 points. As a team, the Blazers saw as many as six players scoring in double digits for their twelfth victory of this campaign.
Meanwhile, the New York Knicks split the two-game set with Chicago Bulls by registering a win in their last matchup. The Knicks did well from the three-point line, sinking 11 of 22, for an impressive 50% shooting from downtown.
It was the usual suspect, Julius Randle, with a team-high 27 points in an extended 38 minutes from the floor. Randle received assistance from his backcourt teammates, Elfrid Payton and RJ Barrett, who combined for 37 points on the night.
Trail Blazers vs Knicks Injury updates
The injury report for the Portland Trail Blazers is worrisome for coach Terry Stotts. Damian Lillard (abdomen) has been listed as doubtful for returning to the floor ahead of their matchup with the New York Knicks. That said, there is a high probability that Dame Dollar could suit up before tip-off.
Nassir Little has been ruled out for this contest, and Derrick Jones Jr has been listed as questionable for Saturday night's game. The Portland Trail Blazers have already been severely depleted, with Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum out for an extended period.
The New York Knicks don't have any significant injuries to report and will be rolling out with an entire roster for this matchup. The Knicks will aim to take advantage of a short-handed Portland Trail Blazers' side, but that is easier said than done. Knicks' coach Tom Thibodeau will seek to even the season series with a win at home.
Trail Blazers vs Knicks Predicted Line-ups
The Portland Trail Blazers have put the league on notice by defeating the 76ers without their superstar Damian Lillard. The Blazers will aim to keep their hot streak alive by stealing the win on the road against the New York Knicks on Saturday.
As mentioned earlier, there is a good chance that Damian Lillard will suit up for this matchup and join his backcourt partner Gary Trent Jr. in this game. Robert Covington and the red-hot Carmelo Anthony will feature as the two forwards. Meanwhile, Enes Kanter will roll in as the primary center for the Portland Trail Blazers in this contest.
The New York Knicks could come out packing a punch in this enticing matchup. Thibodeau will rely on the in-form duo of RJ Barrett and Elfrid Payton in the backcourt. Playing the wing will be the two forwards Julius Randle and Reggie Bullock. Randle has been on fire this season and could prove to be a difficult defensive assignment for his Trail Blazers counterpart. Mitchell Robinson could come in at the center position as he battles with Kanter underneath the rim.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
G Damian Lillard, G Gary Trent Jr., F Robert Covington, F Carmelo Anthony, C Enes Kanter
New York Knicks Predicted Lineup
G RJ Barrett, G Elfrid Payton, F Julius Randle, F Reggie Bullock, C Mitchell Robinson