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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Preview

Portland has a chance to make up for a questionable loss to Memphis earlier this week.

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NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (47-29) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (21-55)

Sunday, April 1st - 6:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Maurice Harkless (out), Ed Davis (out)
Grizzlies injuries: Mike Conley (out), Tyreke Evans (out), Andrew Harrison (out), Chandler Parsons (questionable)
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, NBA League Pass (outside of Portland)
How to stream: YouTube Live TV, Playstation Vue, Hulu Live TV, FuboTV, NBA League Pass (outside of Portland)
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Grizzly Bear Blues

Fresh off a 105-96 win over the Clippers, the Portland Trail Blazers look to officially punch their ticket to the 2018 NBA playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis dropped the Blazers earlier this week with a fourth quarter surge, but this time around, the Blazers will have Damian Lillard back in action after he missed the previous match to attend the birth of his child.

What to watch for

Who will fill in for the forwards? While Lillard is back in uniform, the Blazers will be without Maurice Harkless and Ed Davis, two key cogs of their recent successful run. Portland will need to lean heavily on Zach Collins and Evan Turner to fill their missing teammates’ minutes. We’ll likely also see rookie Caleb Swanigan get some minutes off the bench to spell Nurkic.

Will the Blazers slow down the Grizzlies bench? In their last meeting, the Blazers did a good job shutting Memphis’ starters down, holding them to 47 points. Unfortunately, Portland let the Grizzlies’ reserves go off for 61 points, led by MarShon Brooks with 21 points. With Portland already stretched a bit thin at the forward spots, the bench will need to buckle down extra hard to limit Memphis’ bench production.

What they’re saying

Grizzly Bear Blues breaks down how former Oregon Duck Dillon Brooks is finding his footing:

Dillon has experienced many highs and lows throughout his first NBA season. At times he has scored at will (20 points in the 4th quarter in the March 7th loss to the Bulls) and sometimes he couldn’t buy a bucket (10 games with four or fewer points). Despite the ups and downs of a rookie season, Dillon has had a largely successful year to this point. He was named to Team World for the annual Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend, where he contributed 11 points, 5 rebounds and two assists in Team World’s 155-124 win over Team USA.

But surprisingly enough, Dillon’s best play has been while the Grizzlies were at their worst. In the midst of a 19 game losing streak, Brooks played his best basketball during this stretch, averaging 13.8 points and 2 assists per game. With a lot of key players missing over this unprecedented run of awfulness, Brooks was really able to step up and contribute when the team needed him. Watching him catch fire in the 4th quarter against the Bulls was really something special. He helped bring Memphis back in to a game that they were previously getting blown out of.He’s scored at least 16 points in five of the last six games, and finished with a team-high 23 points in the Grizzlies’ win against the Timberwolves.

Credit health for Selden’s renewed confidence and productivity as the dynamic young off guard the Grizzlies envisioned when the season began. He’d been in and out of the lineup all year with a quadricep injury, and knee soreness.

“Being healthy makes a big difference,” Selden said. “I feel good. I want to finish the season strong.”

The Grizzlies remain optimistic that Selden can emerge as a viable option as a two-way player on the wing with his size and strength on defense, and shooting range offensively.