The Pacers had a wild off day on the road as they reportedly dealt Victor Oladipo for Caris LeVert, pending the Pacers, Rockets and the league finalizing the deal. But the show goes on in Portland on Thursday night against the Blazers.
After struggling to slow down their opponents for two and half games, the Pacers found their defensive backbone in the second half against the Warriors, allowing just 38 points which in turn allowed the Pacers to rally for a much-needed road win.
They will need to maintain that mindset to keep pace with the Blazers who boast a top three offense which they use to mask their bottom quarter of the league defense. The Pacers do catch the Blazers on a back-to-back after they ran past the Kings on Wednesday lead by their lethal backcourt duo. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 68 points (!), 23 assists (!) and 12 three-pointers.
Portland has struggled to defend around the rim which should put Domas Sabonis and Myles Turner in position to continue having a big impact on the Pacers’ success. Portland has always been a rough place for the Pacers to play, in fact they have lost the last 11 games in the Moda Center which was named the Rose Garden with the nasty streak started. In the midst of a major trade, the team dynamic will be different but should also provide some juice after a day off which they will need to snap that losing streak in Portland.
Where: Moda Center, Portland, OR
When: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Indiana
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon, Edmond Sumner, Justin Holiday, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner
Blazers: Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Derrick Jones Jr., Robert Covington, Jusuf Nurkic
IND: Victor Oladipo (traded) - out, T.J. McConnell (personal) - out, Jeremy Lamb (knee) - out, Brian Bowen II (groin) - out, Goga Bitadze (ankle) - out, T.J. Warren (foot) - out, Jalen Lecque (ankle) - out
POR: Damian Lillard (ankle) - probable, Jusuf Nurkic (quad contusion) - questionable, Keljin Blevins (personal reasons) - out, Zach Collins (ankle fracture) - out
Enemy view: Blazers Edge
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