New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers Predictions, Money Line & Picks
- The Pelicans are on a mini-win streak, but they’re still four games out of eighth in the Western Conference.
- The Trail Blazers are 4-6 in their last ten games, hoping to restart their winning run against the Pelicans.
- Prior to a Portland win in mid-February, New Orleans won four of the last five in this matchup.
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New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers Predictions and Picks
Portland have struggled, as, without CJ McCollum, teams have been able to key in on the Trail Blazers’ fewer offensive options. The Pelicans, however, don’t present the same defensive threats.
Portland Trail Blazers def. New Orleans Pelicans ()
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How to Watch New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers
|New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers Information|
|What||New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers|
|Where||Moda Center, Portland, OR|
|When||10:00 PM EST, March 16th, 2021|
|How to Watch||TNT|
Head-to-Head: New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers
|Portland Trail Blazers||Head-to-Head||New Orleans Pelicans|
|Terry Stotts||Head Coach||Stan Van Gundy|
|22-16 (5th in West)||Standing||17-22 (11th in West)|
|116.4 (6th of 30)||Off Rtg||116.3 (7th of 30)|
|116.9 (29th of 30)||Def Rtg||116.1 (28th of 30)|
|98.4 (20th of 30)||Pace||99.0 (16th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|D. Lillard (29.9)||PPG||Z. Williamson (25.5)|
|E. Kanter (11.8)||RPG||S. Adams (9.2)|
|D. Lillard (7.9)||APG||L. Ball (5.2)|
|R. Covington (1.6)||SPG||L. Ball (1.3)|
|R. Covington (1.2)||BPG||B. Ingram (0.8)|
|E. Kanter (.591)/C. McCollum (9.5)||FG%/FGM||J. Hayes (.729)/Z. Williamson (9.9)|
|C. McCollum (.441)/C. McCollum (4.8)||3P%/3PM||L. Ball (.388)/L. Ball (3.0)|
NOP: Attack the Rim!
The New Orleans Pelicans may just be building themselves some rhythm to open up the second half of the season. After defeating the LA Clippers in their last match, the Pelicans feel stronger than ever.
The Pelicans were able to beat the Clippers by establishing their paint presence early. By attacking the rim and moving the ball early, 12 assists on 14 field goals in the first quarter, the Pelicans were able to establish a scoring rhythm.
They could search for he same success against the Trail Blazers, who are not only missing their second leading scorer, but have very little going for them in terms of rim-protection.
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POR: Limit Fouling, Play Solid Defence
The Trail Blazers lost their last match against the Timberwolves and much of it had to do with their regular defensive struggles. Without much resistance inside, the Trail Blazers committed a lot of fouls.
The Trail Blazers lost their last game by two, and they sent their opponents to the free-throw line 39 times. Whether it was guards on penetration or big men attacking the rim, the Trail Blazers couldn’t slow them down.
Establishing their defensive intensity from the point of attack is crucial and it starts with Damian Lillard. A scoring ace but average-to-negative on the defensive end, if he and his fellow winger defenders can’t limit penetration, they’re in for a similar night against the athletic Pelicans.
Pelicans Key Player: (G) Lonzo Ball
An all-around showing from Lonzo Ball propel the @PelicansNBA over the Clippers! 📈
— NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) March 15, 2021
Inconsistency has defined his career to this point, but Lonzo Ball can change the game when he is in form. He was efficient and impactful all over the court in his last outing, something they’ll want more of against the Trail Blazers.
In the Pelicans’ victory over the Clippers, Ball contributed 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and a steal on 70% shooting from the field.
Ball will have more defensive responsibilities in this game, but his size in the attacking half could really cause problems for Portland.
Trail Blazers Key Player: (F) Carmelo Anthony
— Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) March 14, 2021
With CJ McCollum out for a while longer, NBA veteran and sure-to-be Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony has stepped up his scoring game in hopes of bridging the gap.
Anthony is averaging 20.3 points on 50% shooting from the field in his last five games, showing that he is as dangerous as he’s ever been.
The 18-year NBA veteran is not just a great scorer, but a very talented inside scorer. As one of the Trail Blazers’ only interior scoring presences, he’ll need to diversify his game to create options for his teammates.
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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.
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