New Orleans Pelicans @ Portland Trail Blazers

Published: December 14, 2015

Tonight, the New Orleans Pelicans (6-17) play the Portland Trail Blazers (10-15) in Portland for the second and final time this season. The Trail Blazers lead the series 1-0, and given the teams’ relative positioning, a tie-breaker scenario could be important down the road. The game tips just after 9 pm CT (UTC -6), and is on the Pelicans Radio Network (99.5 FM locally) and Fox Sports New Orleans.

The Pelicans will start Davis, Gordon, Evans, Gee, and Ajinca. Holiday will come off the bench, and Ryan Anderson returns to the active line up. Toney Douglas is inactive due to the 13 player active roster limit, and Pondexter remains the only Pelican that is Out. The Trail Blazers will start Aminu, Vonleh, Lillard, Plumlee, and McCollum.

The Trail Blazers have a good offense that relies on offensive rebounding, which can slow them a bit and make them vulnerable in transition. As such, their defense overall is not terribly stout, though they have some good defensive players. They do not generate or commit many turnovers, and they do not rely on getting to the line. Their defense does limit their opponents efficiency.

For the Pelicans to win, I’m looking for some good defensive rebounding, something the Pelicans are actually ok at, and some aggression on offense. They need to pass more, as we’ve been preaching, and Portland may be a team to get that going against. Portland is not really vulnerable to sending people to the line, but some aggression out on the wings, particularly in transition, could pay dividends.

If Portland can keep is slow, have their way on the boards, and have their guards go off, it’s not going to be pretty. That said, this is a winnable game.

See you after the game.

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