The Portland Path Blazers’ Jan. 16 contest in opposition to the Atlanta Hawks is the primary of two conferences between the 2 groups this season. The second matchup will come throughout the second half of the season.
Saturday marks the primary recreation for the Blazers with out beginning middle Jusuf Nurkic after Nurkic fractured his proper wrist in Thursday’s loss to the Pacers.
Nurkic will reportedly have surgical procedure to restore the fracture and is predicted to be out for no less than eight weeks.
The Blazers will now look to Enes Kanter and Harry Giles to fill the void down low. Portland’s head coach Terry Stotts stated Thursday evening he would consider each Kanter and Giles earlier than making a call on who will begin.
Portland can even be with out rookie CJ Elleby (left foot pressure) and massive man Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) for Saturday’s recreation vs. Atlanta.
The Path Blazers are assembly Friday to set a course for what to do after the lack of middle Jusuf Nurkic to a damaged proper wrist Thursday evening.
Stand pat or make a transfer to search out one other large? Make a significant deal or just add a backup?
There usually are not quite a lot of nice choices within the close to time period and if the group desires to make a giant transfer it should doubtless have to attend till Feb. 6 — when gamers acquired as free brokers throughout the offseason could be dealt.
For now, it’s the standard checklist of free brokers who’re unemployed for any variety of causes. In different phrases, restricted large males who in all probability would come right here solely to fill a task because the third middle behind Enes Kanter and Harry Giles. An emergency possibility.
With Kanter and Giles, the Path Blazers are significantly better geared up than most NBA groups to face up to the lack of a high quality beginning middle. Kanter, actually, stuffed in capably two years in the past throughout the group’s run to the Western Convention finals, after Nurkic suffered a fractured leg.
Giles, a younger participant who was as soon as regarded as among the finest prospects within the nation, has performed nicely in largely restricted appearances and his teammates have spoken extremely of his expertise and work ethic.
The harm to Nurkic ought to definitely open the door for Giles to get extra taking part in time.
However Coach Terry Stotts has virtually at all times been reluctant to make use of younger gamers for prolonged minutes. After a stable exhibition season, Giles has been in that spot.
If the group makes a transfer for a younger prospect, it isn’t doubtless he can be utilized in a key function. There isn’t any assure, actually, that Giles will probably be used for prolonged minutes behind Kanter. The Blazers have had some success with a small-ball lineup that options Robert Covington at middle.
One risk can be to thrust Giles into the beginning lineup and hold the bench rotation intact by utilizing Kanter in his identical function.
Stotts used that gambit with Noah Vonleh, who began 56 video games in 2015-16 however averaged solely 15.1 minutes per recreation.
Learn extra right here.
The Blazers are -5.5 level favorites in opposition to the Hawks, odds offered by our companion PointsBet.
Right here’s what you’ll want to know concerning the Portland and Atlanta matchup —
LAST SEASON: The Path Blazers and Hawks cut up the season sequence in 2019-20, 1-1. Portland has received three consecutive house video games in opposition to Atlanta.
Damian Lillard scored 30 factors (8-17 FG, 3-9 3-PT, 11-12 FT) to go along with seven rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block in opposition to Atlanta on Nov. 10, 2019. Lillard has scored no less than 30 factors in two straight video games reverse the Hawks.
In two video games in opposition to the Hawks final season, CJ McCollum averaged 29.0 factors (51.0% FG, 26.7% 3-PT, 57.1% FG), 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and a couple of.0 steals. McCollum has averaged 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 10 profession video games in opposition to Atlanta, his highest and second-highest averages respectively in opposition to any group.
Anfernee Simons averaged 15.0 factors (55.0% FG, 62.5% 3-PT, 100% FT), two rebounds and 1.0 assists in two video games in opposition to Atlanta final season, together with a 20 level outing on Nov. 10, 2019.
Trae Younger averaged 30.0 factors (33.3% FG, 19.0% 3-PT, 88.9% FT), 6.0 rebounds and 12.5 assists in two video games in opposition to Portland final season. His 29.0 profession scoring common in opposition to the Path Blazers is his third highest in opposition to any group.
In two video games in opposition to Portland final season, De’Andre Hunter averaged 18.0 factors (50.0% FG, 55.6% 3-PT), 4.5 rebounds and 1.00 assists.
POINT SPREAD: — Path Blazers: -5.5 (-115) – Hawks: +5.5 (-115)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Saturday, January 16
The place: Moda Heart | Portland, OR
Begin time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official community of the Portland Path Blazers
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