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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview

The Blazers look to keep getting wins at home.

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Portland TrailBlazers v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers (14-10) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (10-16)

The Portland Trail Blazers take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at home in the Moda Center. The city of Portland is bracing for a snowstorm, and Trail Blazers fans are bracing for another game without several key players. It’s been several weeks since both Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum were taken out with injuries that benched them for the foreseeable future, and even though the Blazers have held their own, the team is feeling their absence.

Friday, February 12 - 7:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, League Pass, or see games all season on fuboTV, follow on ESPN+, or the ESPN/Disney Bundle*
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out), CJ McCollum (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out), CJ Elleby (probable)
Cavaliers injuries: Matthew Dellavedova (out), Kevin Love (out), Larry Nance Jr (out)
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What To Watch For

  • Damian Lillard. Portland’s star went 6 for 21 (28.5%) in last night’s game against the 76ers, which is significantly lower than his average 45.4%. While many teams would take a win against a tough team like the 76ers and turn around and blow their next game, Damian Lillard isn’t on other teams. He has shown time and time again what he does when he’s the underdog or underestimated. It would be a very Dame-like thing to come out the very next night and absolutely kill it.
  • Cleveland’s size. Cleveland is a big team, and with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins injured and unable to play for Portland, the Blazers aren’t so big. Portland’s been able to hold their own against their opponents, even with their big men injured and watching from the bench. But Cleveland’s size could potentially be a problem for the Blazers.
  • Carmelo Anthony. The man has been on fire. In the last two games, he has put up some big numbers. In the February 9th game against Orlando he had 23 points, and last night against Philadelphia he had 24 points. When Melo is on, he’s on — and he has been bringing some major heat. If he can keep his streak alive against Cleveland, he will be one to watch.

What Others Are Saying

Cleveland’s Collin Sexton has made some noise in the run for the All Star team. Clutch Points’ Julio Luis Lunar outlines just how good Sexton has been looking:

Three years into his career and Sexton is finally entering the All-Star conversation. He’s currently averaging career-highs in points (23.6), assists, (4.1), and three-point percentage (43%) this season. The Young Bull is also leading Cleveland to its best start ever since James departed with a 10-15 record.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com examines the tough loss the team faced against the Nuggets.

“We can’t allow this ever again,” Isaac Okoro said. “I felt like from the jump, we weren’t playing with energy. We weren’t playing with competitiveness. We came into the game lackluster. We were going through the motions. I mean, we have to hit them in the mouth first before they hit us in the mouth. We just came out the game with no energy.”