Coming off of a refreshing home stand and an uplifting 125-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, the Portland Trail Blazers will look to keep the good times rolling against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, possibly righting some of the wrongs that were experienced last year in the playoffs.
Going into the game, Portland is a bit banged up, with both Moe Harkless (knee) and Seth Curry (sick) questionable to play. Rodney Hood (knee), who sat out Tuesday's game, has said that he will be good to go on Friday.
As for the Pelicans, only E'Twaun Moore is listed as out on the injury report, but that doesn't include the amount of effort or minutes we will see from Pelicans star Anthony Davis. The perennial all-star demanded a trade earlier in the season, and has been less than involved with the team since the trade deadline passed. You can read about it all here.
The Blazers have a complicated history vs. New Orleans. Coming off of a disheartening sweep in the first round of the 2018 playoffs, Portland has bounced back to the tune of two wins this season, outscoring the Pelicans by an average of 14 points.
If the Blazers hope to make it three-straight victories over NO, they will look to ride the hot hand, which most likely means that CJ McCollum will be getting a lot of looks on Friday night. However, the momentum could easily shift towards Damian Lillard, as he enters the game just three points shy of moving into 2nd place on Portland's list of all time scorers, passing Lamarcus Aldridge.
Portland is currently favored by 8 points on the road, but a win on Friday would go a long way in keeping the Blazers in the driver's seat in the Western Standings, as well as helping to ease the collective psyche of Rip City following the 2018 debacle.
With just 15 games left on the schedule, Portland can't afford to drop games like this one. Look for the Blazers to get the job done in the Big Easy on Friday night.