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Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans Preview

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Portland travels to the bayou to try and get back into gear against a depleted Pelicans squad.

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers (5-9) at New Orleans Pelicans (4-9)

November 19, 2019 - 5:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out), Pau Gasol (out), Damian Lillard (out)
Pelicans injuries: Zion Williamson (out), Darius Miller (out), Derrick Favors (out), Josh Hart (out), Jahlil Okafor (game-time decision), Lonzo Ball (game-time decision), Brandon Ingram (game-time decision), Frank Jackson (game-time decision)
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW
How to stream: Blazer’s Edge Streaming Guide
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: The Bird Writes

Update: Damian Lillard is a late scratch for the Blazers with back spasms:

Standing at 1-1 on a six-game road trip, the Portland Trail Blazers head into the Big Easy to try and take a game from the new look New Orleans Pelicans. Monday night went badly for the Blazers as they were blown out of Houston by the Rockets 132-108. CJ McCollum had 25 in the effort, but Damian Lillard and Rodney Hood went cold. James Harden poured in 36 for the Rockets.

For the Pelicans, they took care of business against the equally injury ravaged Golden State Warriors on Sunday 108-100. J.J. Redick had 26 to lead New Orleans, while rookie Nickeil Alexander-Walker put in 19 off the bench. Eric Paschall scored 30 for the Warriors.

What to watch for

  • The circus begins. This is expected to be where new acquisition Carmelo Anthony makes his debut. Whether Anthony is the dazzling scorer he was in Denver, the beleaguered star struggling like he was in New York, or the dazed and possibly washed up player he was in Oklahoma City and Houston, all eyes will be on this game.
  • Do not underestimate. Last time the Blazers faced a team depleted of its resources in a very winnable game, Portland gave Golden State their first home win. The Pelicans have eight players, including their two best, on the injury report. While some of them are merely game-time decisions, the Blazers need to take care of business and not play down to the level of the opponent.
  • Get the guards in sync. CJ McCollum has heated up after an ice cold start to the year, but at the same time, Damian Lillard has slowed down, shooting 8-of-46 over the last three games. Getting both of Portland’s star guards in gear will be required if the Blazers want to right the ship.

What they’re saying

Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune had positive things to say about rookie center Jaxson Hayes:

There were some uneven moments, but for the most part, Hayes did a bang-up job in his first career NBA start. He scored 10 points, went 4 of 6 at the free-throw line, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked three shots in 32 minutes in New Orleans’ 108-100 win over Golden State on Sunday.

Willie Lutz of The Pelican Debrief tried to find optimism in the Pelicans’ slow start:

Even as they continue to look for a clear path towards consistency, this team is showing plenty of positives through its cracks. After all, this team has done a nice job turning a 1-7 start into something positive pretty early in the campaign.