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Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers: Can the Nets Rediscover Their Defensive Form?

Written by: Christian Jope
Updated November 17, 2022
11 min read
  • The Brooklyn Nets are coming off of an embarrassing, 32 point loss in their last game.
  • The Portland Trail Blazers have won four of their last give games.
  • The Nets and Blazers split last year's regular season series, 1-1.

Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers Predictions and Picks

The Brooklyn Nets are in shambles. Despite their offensive potential, their defense is far from being at contender status. Portland on the other hand area a surprise on the defensive side of the ball, and Damian Lillard remains the catalyst for a threatening three-point attack.


Portland Trail Blazers def. Brooklyn Nets

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Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers

Head-to-Head: Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers

Brooklyn Nets
Head-to-HeadPortland Trail Blazers
Jacque VaughnHead CoachChauncey Billups
6-9 (12th in East)Standing10-4 (1st in West)
112.5 (16th of 30)Off Rtg113.0 (13th of 30)
113.4 (20th of 30)Def Rtg110.6 (7th of 30)
97.8 (23rd of 30)Pace96.5 (28th of 30)

Leaders (Per Game)

K. Durant (30.3)PPGD. Lillard (27.9)
N. Claxton (8.5)RPGJ. Nurkic (10.6)
B. Simmons (5.6)APGD. Lillard (6.6)
K. Irving (1.4)SPGJ. Hart (1.3)
K. Durant (1.9)BPGJ. Grant (0.8)
N. Claxton (.718)/K. Durant (10.1)FG%/FGMD. Eubanks (.702)/D. Lillard (8.2)
Y. Watanabe (.514)/K. Irving (2.6)3P%/3PMJ. Nurkic (.545)/A. Simons (3.9)

Injury Report

T.J. WarrenBrooklyn Nets28 Sep 2022Out (Foot)There is no timetable for Warren's return.
Olivier SarrPortland Trail Blazers13 Oct 2022Out (Wrist)Sarr will be re-evaluated before a timetable is set for his return.
Gary Payton IIPortland Trail Blazers1 Nov 2022Out (Core)Payton II is expected to make his debut sometime in mid-November.
Keon JohnsonPortland Trail Blazers15 Nov 2022Out (Hip)Johnson was OUT for Portland's Tuesday (Nov 15) game.
Justise WinslowPortland Trail Blazers 15 Nov 2022 Out (Illness)Johnson was OUT for Portland's Tuesday (Nov 15) game.

Brooklyn Nets Game Notes: Can the Nets Rediscover Their Defensive Form?

Given all of the drama surrounding the Brooklyn Nets this season, they looked encouraging in their opening games under Jacque Vaughn. However, in their most recent game, the Nets fell back into defensive indifference and must recover if they hope to have any chance against the Trail Blazers.

In their 32 points loss to the Sacramento Kings in their last game, the Brooklyn Nets allowed their opponents to shoot a scorching 60.2% from the field and 48.8% from three-point range. To add insult to injury, the Nets committed 17 turnovers and allowed the Kings to improve their shooting efficiency from 56.5% to 63.8% between the first and second half.

In Brooklyn's first six games under Vaughn, they allowed just 94 points per game on 38.8% shooting. If they can recreate some of that defensive form, their chances against Portland increase dramatically.

Nets Key Player: (G-F) Ben Simmons

The Brooklyn Nets can't stave off the controversy. After an embarrassing loss in their last game, questions once again circled Ben Simmons and his ability to produce at a high level for the Brooklyn Nets. Against a strong shooting team in the Trail Blazers, Simmons could be a difference maker if he can get in the game.

In Brooklyn's 121-153 loss to the Sacramento Kings, Simmons posted 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in just 20 minutes of play. He was a minus-3 on the game, second-worst of any Nets bench player that saw more than 20 minutes of play.

The former All-Star is not even starting for the Nets at the moment, and his lack of production is telling of his current form. The Trail Blazers won't give Brooklyn's defence a break and Simmons' defensive impact at the point of attack would be a real game changer for Brooklyn's chances.

Portland Trail Blazers Game Notes: Portland’s Three-Point Shooting Gives Them the Advantage

The Portland Trail Blazers sit atop the Western Conference table off the back of a strong start and impressive victories over some of the NBA's best. They haven't had to endure the toughest schedule, but they've shown their defence isn't what it was in years past.

The Portland Trail Blazers own the league's sixth-best scoring defence, allowing just 107.6 points per game on 45.7% shooting efficiency - good enough for ninth in the league. On top of that, they're third in three-point scoring efficiency at 39.3% per game, with their top five shooters converting on better than 37% from range.

The Nets have length and toughness, which is why they defend the paint so well. When the Trail Blazers take on Brooklyn, don't be surprised to see them spread the court and be more liberal with their three-point shooting. The Nets allow their opponents to shoot 38.7% from three, 28th in the league.

Trail Blazers Key Player: (G) Damian Lillard

Just a year after much of the NBA community thought that Damian Lillard would be relegated to NBA purgatory for the remainder of his career, he's led his Portland Trail Blazers back to the top of the Western Conference.

In his last game, a win over the San Antonio Spurs, Lillard posted 22 points, 11 assists, and 2 rebounds in 39 minutes of play. He struggled to shoot the ball, 8 of 20 from the field and 2 of 9 from three, but his playmaking more than made up for his struggles.

Expect a big scoring night from Damian Lillard. Brooklyn are actually decent when trying to protect the paint, but their inability to defend in transition or at the three-point line creates a perfect environment for Lillard to succeed.



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How to Watch Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers

  • Who: Brooklyn Nets & Portland Trail Blazers
  • Where: Moda Center, Portland, OR
  • When: 10:00 PM EST, Thursday, November 17, 2022
  • How to Watch: YES, Root Sports Plus, NBA League Pass (Stream)

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Christian Jope

1351 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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