It’s been a while but hosts Danny Marang and Brandon Sprague are back (and mostly healthy) to bring you pregame coverage of tonight’s game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks... or a facsimile of those teams at least.
With the league hit hard by COVID health and safety protocols (77 total players as of this writing), both the Blazers and Mavs will be missing big time contributors. For the Mavs, a total of 7 players are listed as OUT for H&S reasons: Luka Doncic, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr, Reggie Bullock, Willie Cauley-Stein, Maxi Kleber an JaQuori McLaughlin.
Meanwhile, the Blazers currently have Damian Lillard as QUESTIONABLE for personal reasons and CJ McCollum as OUT due to his return from a collapsed lung. While, Jusuf Nurkic, Cody Zeller, Dennis Smith Jr, Ben McLemore, Robert Covington, Keljin Blevins and Trendon Watford are all listed as OUT for H&S protocols.
Portland comes in with only a handful of healthy players - Anfernee Simons, Norman Powell, Nassir Little, Larry Nance Jr and Tony Snell are the only active rotation players if Lillard remains out. The league has mandated that teams hit by COVID must sign replacement players so Portland heads into the game with 3, maybe 4 new faces: Jarron Cumberland, Cameron McGriff, Brandon Williams with Reggie Perry not yet announced by the team but reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Suffice it to say - after 2 weeks off, this is jumping into the deep end of what has been at bare minimum a very weird season. But weird is something we do well, so come hang out with the fellas and try to enjoy tonight’s game!