New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers – NBA March 16

Pelicans (17-22, 5-12) at Trail Blazers (22-16, 11-7)

  • Time: 7PM PST – 9PM CST – 10PM EST
  • Place: Moda Center, Portland, OR
  • TV: TNT | NBC Sports Northwest | Fox Sports New Orleans

Opening Tip

The New Orleans Pelicans open a back-to-back in the Rose City against the Portland Trail Blazers as the second game will be Thursday evening.

The Pelicans have won two in a row after losing five of six and they are looking for consistency in continuing their winning streak as they sit at 11th in the Western Conference and 3.5 games behind the eight place Dallas Mavericks.

Portland has lost two out of it’s last three after falling to Minnesota, 114-112, in the second game of a back-to-back on Sunday. The Blazers are solidly in the middle of the Western Conference in sixth place which is six games back of the front-running Utah Jazz.

Portland is up 1-0 vs. the Pelicans this season as the Trail Blazers took a 126-124 decision in New Orleans on Feb. 17. Damian Lillard scored 43 points and tied a career-high with 16 assists. Zion Williamson led the Pelicans attack with 26 points.

Key Injuries

  • New Orleans PelicansJ.J. Reddick (heel) – OUT
  • Portland Trail BlazersZach Collins (ankle); Jusuf Nurkić (wrist) – OUT

Pelicans:

  • The total has gone OVER in 14 of the last 17 Pelicans’ games
  • New Orleans is 4-1 ATS in it’s last 5 games
  • The Pelicans are 4-1 SU in their last 5 gave vs. Portland

Trail Blazers:

  • Portland is 1-4 ATS in it’s last 5 games
  • The OVER has been the play in 4 of the last 6 Blazers games
  • The total has gone OVER in 7 of the last 10 games between the Blazers and Pelicans

Last Time Out

New Orleans shot 65.4 percent from the floor and made 12-of-26 from the three-point line in rolling to a 135-115 win over the Clippers on Sunday evening. Zion Williamson led the effort with 27 points and Brandon Ingram scored 23 as New Orleans built a 19-point third quarter lead which maxed out at 33.

Damian Lillard scored 38 points, but the Blazers couldn’t over come Minnesota with a 114-112 loss in Minneapolis. Gary Trent, Jr., added 21 points as the 40 fourth quarter points were the high in one quarter this season.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Pelicans +1.5 (-104) +110 O 238 (-115)
Trail Blazers -1.5 (-116) -130 U 238 (-105)

Advantage, New Orleans

New Orleans Pelicans LogoWith J.J. Reddick out, the Pelicans have got to establish an outside shooter to take advantage of getting potential space inside as Jusuf Nurkić and Zach Collins continues to be sidelined with injuries for the Blazers. Ingram and Lonzo Ball are the best bets as Ball makes 38.8 percent of his triples and has netted 108.

Eric Bledsoe could once again be the wild card on the perimeter given his 69 triples and his playmaking skills. It could be a huge might inside for Zion Williamson who shoots 61.9 percent from the floor, while Steven Adams supplements him perfectly while scoring at a 62.9 percent clip in 27.4 minutes. The Blazers have had a tough time defensively as opponents have continually pounded the paint with their two bigs out.

Key Pelicans Stat

Ingram has stabilized his overall game as he averages a career best 4.7 assists per game and has an assist percentage of 21.4 per 100 possessions.

X-Factor

Jaxon Hayes has been playing at an unbelievable clip in his last five games as he has made 88.9 percent of his shots – 24-of-27 – as he has averaged 11.4 points and 3.8 rebounds. His athleticism gives New Orleans an added advantage in the paint and on the glass.

Advantage, Portland

Portland Trail Blazers LogoC.J. McCollum finally returns tonight after missing 25 games with an injury. He returns for his first game since Jan. 16 as he was set to have a career season in averaging 26.7 points and shooting the three at a 44.3 percent pace. Working him back into the line up beside the dynamic Lillard will be a huge help for a Blazers’ fan that have proven depth in staying in step with a 22-16 record during this period. New Orleans’ defense has been very charitable with allowing the triple as it allows a league last 15.4 made triples as opponents shoot 39.1 percent (28th/NBA).

Key Blazers Stat:

Gary Trent, Jr. was stellar in starting for McCollum as he averaged 18.0 points and shot 39.3 percent from long distance. Trent scored 20 or more points on six occasions as he stood tall with McCollum’s absence.

X-Factor:

Enes Kanter and Robert Covington, Jr. have to provide the physicality in this matchup. As teams attack the rim repeatedly on the Blazers, that is obviously a solid part of the Pelicans game with Williamson and Adams. Kanter has been efficient as he has scored 12.0 points and grabbed 11.8 rebounds per game. Covington has been solid on the boards as well (6.6 rpg).

Winner: Blazers (-1.5) 25, Pelicans 120

The Bets
Portland Trail Blazers -1.5
-116
Portland Trail Blazers
-130
OVER 238
-115
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.