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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Brooklyn Nets Preview

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Portland looks to finish its four-game homestand 4-0.

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NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (45-27) vs. Brooklyn Nets (38-36)

Monday, March 25th - 7:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: CJ McCollum (out)
Nets injuries: Allen Crabbe (out)
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, NBA TV
How to stream: YouTube Live TV, Playstation Vue, Hulu Live TV, FuboTV
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Nets Daily

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off their third straight win, a nail-biter against the Detroit Pistons. A four-point play by Damian Lillard and a floater by Al-Farouq Aminu in the closing minutes helped the Blazers complete the comeback win. It was their third straight game also without CJ McCollum, who remains out for the game against Brooklyn.

This Nets squad is full of ex-Blazers, but they’re led by All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell. Russell’s 21 points helped the Nets officially eliminate the Los Angeles Lakers from playoff contention in their last game out. They are currently clinging to the No. 6 seed in the East, a half-game up on the Pistons.

What to watch for

  • Damian Lillard’s passing. Lillard has taken on a dedicated facilitator role with McCollum out. He’s averaging 12 assists per game in the three McCollum-less games. Impressively, his focus on assists hasn’t come at the cost of scoring: he’s also averaging about 30 points per game in that same stretch.
  • A reunion in Portland. Allen Crabbe, Shabazz Napier and Ed Davis all have former Portland ties. While Crabbe has made a return since his trade, it’ll be the first time Napier and Davis appear in Portland as Nets. The ovation is sure to be loud.
  • Blazer’s Edge Night kiddos. The Moda Center will be full of kids on Monday night, thanks to the numerous donations for Blazer’s Edge night. We’re hoping they’re treated to a win.

What they’re saying

Net Income of Nets Daily breaks down the anxiety of a playoff run for Brooklyn:

“No,” Atkinson answered when asked if he’s enjoying the run. “There is zero enjoyment in this. That’s terrible to say. I love the players, I love being in the locker room, and I really enjoy this [media] part too, around people that love the game. So that’s cool. Just the anxiety and the stress, the goal we want to get to, I still feel like we’re miles away from it.

“Every game it’s more and more pressure and anxiety, and you carry that around every second of the day. So that’s where the ‘enjoy’ kind of goes out the window.”

Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily speculates about Kevin Durant’s recent plan to tour Brooklyn with D’Angelo Russell:

It sounds great and all for KD, but this is some really interesting news for Brooklyn and its fans, thier hopes and dreams. Of course, there will be no tampering (wink, wink), but the fact that KD will be IN Brooklyn WITH the face of their franchise (and not Manhattan) ... it says all you need to know.

Note that the Blazers would clinch a berth in the 2019 NBA Playoffs with a victory tonight.