The Trail Blazers have started this season out with a strong 2-0 start. Washington has gone the opposite way to begin this season. They have dropped their opening two games this season. Washington will look to turn their luck around with a road win on Monday night.
Portland finished last season in third place of the Western Conference with a 49-33 record. The Trail Blazers could not carry that strong regular season into the playoffs as they got swept by the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round. The Trail Blazers have had a strong start to this season but will have a four-game road trip after their game against Washington.
Washington ended last season with a 43-39 record. The Wizards were in the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Washington ended up getting knocked out by the Toronto Raptors in six games in the first round. The Wizards lost their first two games at home, which means they will need to get it going on their current five game road trip.
Last Season’s Matchups
The Wizards and Trail Blazers met up twice last season. Washington hosted the first game of the season and lost a close one. Bradley Beal dropped 26 and Otto Porter had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards. Damian Lillard put up 29 points, while C.J. McCollum had 26 points in Portland’s 108-105 win.
The second game of last season’s series shifted to Portland. Damian Lillard had 30 points, but it was not enough for the Trail Blazers. Bradley Beal dropped 51 points in route to the Wizards win. Beal’s huge night helped lead Washington to a 106-92 win.
Portland did not have to face John Wall either time they played them last season. Wall will be in the lineup on Monday night. I believe that this should help boost Washington’s chances. Both teams seemed to match up well in the season series, which makes me think that we could be in for another good game on Monday night.
Opening to this Season
Washington has struggled to begin this season. The Wizards lost their season opener to Miami 113-112. Washington then faced the Toronto Raptors and lost 117-113. The Wizards have struggled to stop opposing defenses this season. Washington has allowed 115 points per game, which is near the bottom of the league.
Portland was able to spoil LeBron James debut with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Trail Blazers won 128-119 against the Lakers. In their second game of the season, Portland beat the San Antonio Spurs 121-108. The Trail Blazers offense has been extremely strong to start out the season and they will look to continue to roll against the Wizards.
Obviously, the Trail Blazers have gotten off to the better start, but Washington is going to turn it around at some point. I believe the Wizards could turn it around against Portland. Washington has had some really solid offense so far, but they will need to slow down the Trail Blazers dominant offense.
Portland’s Starting Guards vs Washington’s Starting Guards
One of the top matchups to watch in this game will be between the starting Guards of each team. Damian Lillard will start at Point Guard for the Trail Blazers, while John Wall will start for Washington. Lillard has averaged 28.5 points and 6.5 assists per game to start this season. Wall has averaged 25.5 points and 7.5 assists per game. His defense will be key against Lillard on Monday night.
C.J. McCollum is going to start at Shooting Guard for Portland. Bradley Beal is starting for the Wizards. McCollum has averaged 22.5 points per game to begin this season. Beal is averaging 26 points and 4 assists per game this season. Both players could find themselves in a shooting contest back and forth on Monday night.
I believe that both teams starting Guards will play a crucial role on Monday night. Both games last season saw the Guards on either team go off. I believe that it should be no different this time around. John Wall’s defense on Lillard could really be a big difference in this game.
Portland has started out this season super strong, while the Wizards have struggled. I believe that Washington could find a way to turn around their luck on Monday night. The Wizards matchup really well with the Trail Blazers Guard core, which is their strongest suit. If Washington can tighten up defensively, I believe they could pull off the upset.
BetOnline has the Trail Blazers favored by 4 ½ points. I believe that the Wizards have a legitimate chance to pull off the win. Their offense has been playing really well to start out this season, which could lead to a shootout with the Trail Blazers. I think that Washington can go toe to toe with Portland in a high scoring game. I am taking the road underdog with the points.