New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers
|Date & Time||Tuesday December 10, 2019, 10:00 PM (EST)|
Portland -10; Total 218
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Two teams in desperate need of a win will face off on Tuesday when the New York Knicks (4-19) head west to Moda Center to take on the Portland Trail Blazers (9-15). The Knicks enter the game having lost nine in a row, while Portland has lost three of four.
Portland has struggled all season long and comes in also losing seven of its last 11. The Trail Blazers have just one win against a team with a winning record, and that was in the third game of the season in a 121-119 win over Dallas. Portland also has six losses against teams with losing records this year. Overall, the Trail Blazers are just 8-6 against teams with losing records this season.
The most recent loss was a 108-96 loss to one of those teams with a losing record, Oklahoma City. The Thunder held Portland to 36.0 percent shooting from the field and 27.3 percent from 3-point range to pull out the win, outscoring the Trail Blazers 26-18 in the fourth quarter. Damian Lillard scored a game-high 26 points on 8-of-24 shooting overall and 2-of-12 from long range. He added seven assists in the loss. CJ McCollum added 20 points on slightly better 9-of-21 shooting, while Hassan Whiteside scored 14 points with 10 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony and Kent Bazemore scored nine points apiece on 4-of-18 and 3-of-11 shooting respectively.
Lillard leads his team and ranks seventh in the NBA in scoring with 26.7 points per game. He adds 7.4 assists per game as well. McCollum scores 22.0 points per game, and Anthony has averaged 15.9 points per game in his 10 games with Portland. Whiteside averages a double-double with 15.3 points and 12.4 rebounds per game, Rodney Hood scores 11.0 points per game, and Anfernee Simons adds 10.0 points per game.
The Knicks seem to get worse as the season goes on. Despite a one-point loss to Indiana at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, New York dropped a 37-point decision to Denver last Thursday, and a 40-point loss to Milwaukee the previous Monday. The Knicks have lost by 29 or more points three times in the last six games. However, even though they have lost 19 times this season, they have lost by less than 10 points 10 different times, including six losses by five points or less.
In Saturday’s one-point loss to Indiana, Julius Randle missed a potential game-tying field goal with 0.1 seconds left to fall short against the Pacers in interim coach Mike Miller’s first game at the helm. Marcus Morris Sr. tied for the game-high in scoring with 25 points while Randle scored 16 points with 12 rebounds. Mitchell Robinson came off the bench to score 14 points with seven rebounds, RJ Barrett scored 12 points with nine rebounds, and Damyean Dotson added 10 points in the loss.
Morris leads the Knicks in scoring on the season with 18.6 points per game, and he adds 5.8 rebounds per game. Randle adds 16.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and Barrett scores 14.3 points per game. Those are the lone New York players to average in double figures.
Portland is stagnant, but the Knicks are showing signs of life with their new coach, coming within a free throw of sending a solid Indiana squad to overtime. When Portland wins, it only wins by double figures half of the time, and it doesn’t win often. But the Knicks don’t win by double figures much, even though they lose all the time.
Be clear, this game is a mess to pick but go with the team who is getting 10 points and seems to be playing better recently. So take the Knicks plus the points, and hope that it doesn’t come down to Randle needing to make a free throw to cover.