Portland Trail Blazers (32-28) vs. Indiana Pacers (29-31)
Bring it in everyone, time for a hug. We all need to stick together to get through the rest of this season because the Portland Trail Blazers are not doing well. The schedule says the Blazers head off on a six-game road trip, starting in Indianapolis tonight, where they face a Pacers squad suffering from an injury bug. Let’s just spin the wheel and hope for the best.
Tuesday, April 27 - 4:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, NBA League Pass or see games all season on fuboTV
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out)
Pacers injuries: TJ Warren (out), Domantas Sabonis (out), Myles Turner (out), Goga Bitadze (questionable), Jeremy Lamb (questionable),
SBN Affiliate: Indy Cornrows
What To Watch For
- Ball movement. There is none of it. The ball seems to stop in the hands of a couple of players so there’s no surprise some teammates might not be happy with what’s happening. The ball stopping is leading to bad shot selection and wasted offensive possessions and when you’re not defending anything (we’ll get to that shortly) fans may be more inclined to throw something at their respective NBA-watching devices/television sets.
- Dame looks cooked. We’re starting to see the impact of what happens when a man is lumped with the responsibility of carrying a team for two thirds of a season. If the Blazers have any hope of doing something in the playoffs, should they rest him. Or does doing that cause them to drop into the bottom half of the play-in picture.
- Defense. Defending well solely in isolated possessions gets you nowhere. This team has not submitted an all-round 48-minute defensive performance this season. Because you know what, it only takes a four or five minute lull, to completely lose control of a game — and that’s exactly what’s happening right now.
What Others Are Saying
Edmond Sumner has been a bright spot for the Indiana Pacers this season writes J Michael at the Indianapolis Star.
Sumner is one of the bright spots in what has been an underwhelming first year with Bjorkgren. The Pacers (28-31) have a lot of injuries, but he’s getting a longer leash to play free even if he makes mistakes. He already has appeared in a career-high 46 games after 31 last year
He shot 34.4% and 43% overall in each of his first 2 seasons. He’s at 53.1% now and averaging a career-high 7.0 points per game. Not bad, especially for a player who is in the second year of a 3-year deal that pays him $2.1 million for 2020-21. The Pacers hold his option for next season at $2.3 million.
Tony East from Forbes discusses the Pacers signing big man Amida Brimah to a two-way contract.
Brimah, 27, has previous ties to the Pacers organization — he was on the training camp roster in both 2019 and 2020 and played for the team’s G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, in the G League bubble earlier this year. He averaged 1.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks per game in three appearances for the blue and gold during the 2019 preseason. He played for just under 16 total minutes.
Brimah will provide much-needed center depth to the hobbled Pacers. In order to bring him in, the team inked him to a two-way contract, which in a typical season allows teams to send players up and down between the NBA and G League.