Portland Trail Blazers at Cleveland Cavaliers Game Preview
Portland is off to Cleveland for a must-win game on Wednesday night. They are hanging tight with Portland and Dallas, and a few more wins could keep them out of the play-in tournament. They are currently the #7 seed, but a win here could change that. The Lakers have a very tough schedule, while Dallas will see the Cavs twice in the coming days.
Dame and CJ need to work together to bring the team closer to the common goal. Lillard has not been the same player of late, and they need more from him when he’s out there. His impact has been minimal compared to what we know him to be capable of. It is stretches like this that separate him from legitimate MVP conversations. They will absolutely need to pull together and win this one.
Cleveland comes off a tough OT loss to Phoenix the prior night. They took them to overtime, despite only using a seven-man rotation in the second half. Isaac Okoro dropped 32 points, more than anything a single person could have expected from him.
Collin Sexton silenced some critics with another stout 29-7-7 effort. And they never stopped battling. The team obviously ran out of gas in the five-minute extra time, but it was a great effort. No doubt.
The spread for Wednesday night is favoring the visitors heavily. POR -11.
Portland Seeking Road Victory
A win on Wednesday would do a lot to relax Portland. Any losses they incur over the final week-and-a-half will be detrimental to their chances of holding a top-six playoff spot. The Lakers have a tough schedule ahead, while Dallas has some easy games on theirs. It’s hard to say who the Blazers would match up well within round one, but the higher their seed, the better.
There is no easy matchup, regardless of circumstance. If they slip to the play-in, they would have to go no worse than 1-1 to make the postseason. And if they qualify, Denver, the Clippers, or the Suns would likely await them. There is nothing easy, and after being dominated by the Lakers last year, they know how tough things can truly get.
Cavs Seeking to End Seven-Game Skid
It’s been a while since the Cavs won. Two weeks to be exact, which marks the last time they played against Charlotte. They have been fighting hard in most games until the third quarter. And in the Phoenix game, they did so for 48 minutes. Fans will be happy with the effort and that the team lost despite bringing it, thanks to a higher lottery opportunity.
As shown by Okoro’s performance last night, Koby Altman knows how to draft. Fans don’t seem to like him as a GM, but getting Sexton, Garland, and Okoro is masterful work. And if Kevin Porter Jr. would have panned out in Cleveland, he’d be getting even more praise for his decisions.
At the end of the day, Cleveland will continue to play hard. They are lottery-bound, and we’ll see who they wind up with.
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