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Portland Trail Blazers vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Match Preview and Predictions - 18th January 2020

Achyut Dubey
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 19 Jan 2020, 00:20 IST

Portland
Portland's injury lineup is getting lengthier.

Match Details

Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Oklahoma City Thunder

Date & Time: Saturday, 18 January 2020 (9:00 PM ET)

Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

Last Game Results

Portland Trail Blazers (18-25): 112-120 loss to Dallas Mavericks (17 January, Friday)

Oklahoma City Thunder (23-19): 108-115 loss to Miami Heat (17 January, Friday)

Portland Trail Blazers Preview

CJ McCollum rolled his left ankle against the Dallas Mavericks and hobbled to the locker room, not returning for the rest of the game. As the Portland Trail Blazers get ready to face Oklahoma City Thunder on the second night of a back-to-back, his appearance is questionable.

The Blazers are battling through an injury-marred season, currently down at the 10th spot on the West standings with a fairly underwhelming 18-25 (0.419) win-loss record. They have now lost six of their last 10 matchups.

Key Player - Damian Lillard

Lillard
Lillard's scoring average is 7th best in the league right now.

Despite putting together a career-high scoring year, Damian Lillard's efforts seem to be falling short in the bigger scheme of things. Across the 41 games he has started in so far, Dame is averaging a blazing 27 points per game, on 45% shooting from the floor.

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Attempting around 19 field goals per game, Lillard has also managed to stuff his 2019-20 stat-sheet with numbers like 7.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1 steal per game - all this while committing under 3 turnovers on average.

Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup

Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Kent Bazemore, Damian Lillard, Anthony Tolliver


Oklahoma City Thunder Preview

Coming into this one, the Oklahoma City Thunder have endured two straight losses to a couple of East powerhouses in the Raptors and the Heat. Having lost four of their last seven games, the Thunder are currently 10.5 games behind the West leaders in the Lakers.

Their 23-19 (0.548) win-loss record makes them positive contenders to bag a playoff berth this year.

The OKC roster is likely to miss key pieces in Terrance Ferguson (illness) and Steven Adams (knee) when they take the court against the lowly Blazers.

Key Player - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

SGA is carving out an All-Star spot for himself this year.
SGA is carving out an All-Star spot for himself this year.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been scoring at a career-high pace of 19.9 points per game to start his 2019-20 campaign, and is leading the rebuild for OKC in impressive fashion.

The 21-year-old shooting guard is making 47% of his field-goal attempts, and stacking up 1.2 steals per game as well. His pace and high-IQ plays on the court have seen a growing level of maturity with every passing game, as he continues to flourish in the Thunder way of basketball.

Thunder Predicted Lineup

Danilo Gallinari, Nerlens Noel, Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander


Blazers vs Thunder Match Prediction

The Thunder would be desperate to get back in the win column after getting thumped by two elite teams. And facing the ailing Trail Blazers provides the perfect opportunity to impress the home crowd.

OKC will try and make it a one-sided affair from the tip-off, as the Blazers will most likely miss a vital piece in their backcourt.

Where to watch Blazers vs Thunder?

There will be local coverage of the clash on NBCSNW and Fox Sports Oklahoma from 9:00 PM (ET). You can also live stream the game via NBA League Pass.

Published 19 Jan 2020, 00:20 IST
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