Lillard's absence complicates Portland's woes

Lillard's absence combounds Portland's woes

Mired in a five-game losing streak, Portland hardly resembles the team that advanced to last year’s Western Conference semifinals. An injury to Rip City’s top performer isn’t about to help matters, either.

Having rolled his left ankle in the fourth quarter of Friday’s 110-90 defeat to San Antonio, Damian Lillard won’t suit up for tonight’s contest against Toronto. Online sports book Bovada.lv therefore gives the Raptors odds of -360 to handle their business on the road. Conversely, the Trail Blazers typify +280 underdogs.

Bet on the Action

Not only does Lillard currently rank sixth in the league in scoring, his usage rate trails only the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook among Northwest Division standouts. Even in the midst of a 3-9 December, the Weber State product’s been marvelous for coach Terry Stotts. Now reigning Most Improved Player C.J. McCollum must shoulder the offensive load for the foreseeable future.

On the flip side, Toronto’s Dwane Casey knows he can rely on both DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry to lead the way. The duo combined for 60 points and 10 rebounds in a pre-Christmas victory at Utah. Impressively, the Raptors (21-8) haven’t dropped a tilt away from Air Canada Centre since Nov. 21.

NBA Quick Links: Free Matchup Reports | Injuries | Odds Comparison | Scoreboard | Betting Trends

For all his brilliance, Lillard still couldn’t mask the entirety of the Blazers’ (13-19) shortcomings by himself. So how will this group react without its floor general? We genuinely expect an inspired effort, particularly in the first half. Eventually, however, the visitors’ superiority should put a hush over the Moda Center crowd.

MONDAY NBA FREE PICK: TRAIL BLAZERS +8

Loading...

NBA Headlines

NBA Predictions & Picks

Thumbnail Celtics vs. Heat Game 3 Prediction The Miami Heat will look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead against the Boston Celtics tonight when the two teams meet in Game 3 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference...
Thumbnail Nuggets vs. Lakers Game 1 Prediction Following their upset series win over the Clippers, the Nuggets will attempt the same feat against the NBA’s predominant L.A. team, the Lakers, in the Western...
Thumbnail Heat vs. Celtics Game 2 Prediction Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals will take place tonight in Orlando where the Celtics will look to even their series versus the Heat at 7:00 p.m. ET. Listed...
Thumbnail Nuggets vs. Clippers Game 7 Prediction Not many NBA pundits thought that the Nuggets-Clippers Eastern Conference semifinals series would be this competitive but here we are, with Tuesday night being...
Thumbnail Heat vs. Celtics Game 1 Prediction Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals starts Tuesday night in the NBA bubble as the Heat take on the Celtics at 6:40 p.m. ET. With the Celtics listed as a small...