NBA Matchup: Portland Trail Blazers vs New Orleans Pelicans
Date: 21 December 2021
Time: 8 P.M. ET
The New Orleans Pelicans will host the Portland Trail Blazers at the Smoothie King Center for the first time in the 2021-22 NBA season. Both the Blazers and Pelicans enter this matchup on a two-game winning streak.
Portland Trail Blazers season so far
The 2021-22 NBA season had been challenging for the Portland Trail Blazers. Currently placed at the 11th position, this has been Portland’s one of the worst starts to a season in the past few years. They had an incredible 10-1 home record, but as injuries piled up, the Rip City season started going downhill.
The Blazers have lost seven out of their last 10 games while putting up 104.5 points, 42.6 rebounds, 21.5 assists, 7.0 steals and 5.4 blocks per game while shooting 43.5% from the field. Portland is the third-worst defensive team because teams have averaged 111.3 points against them. Blazers’ main weakness is its three-point defence, which opponents shoot a league-best .376 per cent against.
Damian Lillard: VERY good basketball player pic.twitter.com/vRvp4yCt6X
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 19, 2021
After a slow start to the season, Damian Lillard has picked up his game for Portland. Lillard is shooting 39.8% and averaging 23.2 points for the Trail Blazers. Alongside Dame Dolla, CJ McCollum is putting 20.6 points on 42.4% from the field and 39.3% from the point line. Ben McLemore is also averaging 2.4 made 3-pointers over the last 10 games for Portland.
New Orleans Pelicans season so far
With Zion Williamson missing a chunk of the season, the New Orleans Pelicans started the season behind the eight ball. But throughout the season, they have unexpected moments like Jonas Valanciunas turning into Stephen Curry to shoot 7 for 7 from beyond the arc against Clippers or Devonte Graham’s almost full-court game-winner against OKC.
In the last ten games, they have had a 5-5 record, averaging 109.9 points, 48.3 rebounds, 27.0 assists, 8.1 steals and 3.8 blocks per game while shooting 45.6% from the field.
B.I. with another big game 👏
3 steals pic.twitter.com/IvvgtYzZNv
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 20, 2021
Brandon Ingram is continuing to grow as an Allstar with stats of 23.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists for the Pelicans. Alongside B.I., Pelicans rely on Valanciunas (18.9), Josh Hart (11.8) and Devonte Graham (13.8) for production. The latter two of that quartet have come alive in December to give their squad an altogether new look.
Portland Trail Blazers vs New Orleans Pelicans Match Prediction
The matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans will be decided on the performances of each team’s best players. So if Damian Lillard continues his hot streak as he is scoring over 75 points in the last couple then the Pelicans could suffer a blowout. Similar, The Blazers have a 2-11 away record which gives a slight edge towards the Pelicans who are coming together as a team in the last few games.
But the Portland Trail Blazers will mostly win this game because Damian Lillard averages 26 points against the Pelicans. Historically, the Pelicans and the Portland Trail Blazers have played 65 games in the regular season with 29 victories for the Pelicans and 36 for the Trail Blazers.
Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard – Hamstring – Game Time Decision
CJ McCollum – Chest – Expected to be out until at least Dec 27
Cody Zeller – Kneecap – Expected to be out until at least Dec 27
New Orleans Pelicans
Daulton Hommes – Lower Leg – Game Time Decision
Zion Williamson – Foot – Expected to be out until at least Jan 31
Kira Lewis Jr. – Knee – Out for the season
How to watch Portland Trail Blazers vs New Orleans Pelicans?
The game will be televised on NBC Sports Northwest and Fox Sports New Orleans. With an NBA League Pass, the game can be live-streamed as well.