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Portland Trail Blazers vs. New York Knicks Preview

It’s an early one.

New York Knicks v Golden State Warriors Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers (22-34) vs New York Knicks (25-31)

The Portland Trail Blazers take on the New York Knicks at the Moda Center for the fifth and final game of a long home stand. The Blazers come into this contest just after a win against the Los Angeles Lakers following six straight losses. The Knicks enter the matchup on the fifth game of a five game road trip where they are 1-3 so far.

Saturday, February 12- 2:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: Root Sports NW, NBA League Pass
Blazers injuries: Damian Lillard (out), Nassir Little (out), Keon Johnson (out), Eric Bledsoe (out), Didi Louzada (out), Joe Ingles (out)
Knicks injuries: Derrick Rose (out), RJ Barrett (out), Luka Samanic (out), Nerlens Noel (day-to-day)
SBN Affiliate: Posting and Toasting

What To Watch For

  • New guys. With Josh Hart and Elijah Hughes not currently listed on the injury report, we may see their Trail Blazers debut. Both players came over in trades from an eventful week of trades from the Blazers. How the two wings fit into the Blazers rotation and the roll they play going forward in the season will be the biggest question for their first appearance in red and black.
  • Highlight plays. The Blazers brought in some finishers around the rim, making this the first time in a couple years they have real lob threats. Elijah Hughes and Greg Brown have proven themselves to be serious interior threats and have some highlight reel dunks already (Hughes more so in college). With the Blazers playing for a draft pick at this point in the season there isn’t much to root for except for some fun basketball being played.
  • Anfernee Simons. Simons has been on a tear since entering the starting lineup this season. He has scored less than 17 points just three times in the 20 games since entering the starting lineup. With the Blazers in full on tank mode this season, Simons will be getting the keys to the offense even more than he had in the last couple weeks and a couple gaudy scoring numbers are almost certainly in store.

What Others Are Saying

Joe Flynn from Posting and Toasting recapped a shocking win for the Knicks over the Golden State Warriors.

The New York Knicks semi-shocked the basketball world Thursday night (Friday morning on the East Coast), handing the Warriors just their fifth loss of the season, 116-114. It got a little dicey at the end, as both Alec Burks and Cam Reddish missed a free throw, leaving the Warriors a chance to tie or win at the end. For some reason, Thibs left Evan Fournier in for defense, and he naturally got shook by Klay Thompson. Fortunately, Klay bricked an open foul-line jumper to seal a Knicks win.

Julius Randle continued his West Coast resurgence with 28 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. He didn’t have the three-ball working, but he was a beast down low.

Alder Almo of Empire Sports Media asks many questions that the Knicks will have to answer as the season winds down.

The Knicks’ failure to make a move after the Reddish trade leaves Thibodeau in a predicament that has kept the team from building consistency and chemistry.

How will they evaluate Reddish if he’s not in the rotation? The Knicks gave up a future first-round pick and Kevin Knox for Reddish.

Will Quentin Grimes stick in the rotation even when Rose returns after the All-Star break?

Will they shut down Kemba Walker again or just buy him out?

The Knicks have an open roster spot, but adding another solid player to complicate their rotation should be farthest from their mind. They are running out of games to figure out who they are with the season slipping away. Their last 27 games are the fourth-toughest remaining schedule in the league, per Tankathon.