Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers
Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 10:00 PM (Moda Center)
Trail Blazers -4.5; Total 219.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
Portland will hope that the addition of Carmelo Anthony to its roster will continue to bring success when the Trail Blazers (6-12) host the Oklahoma City Thunder (6-10) at Moda Center on Wednesday. Portland is coming off of a 23-point win over Chicago on Monday when Anthony led his team with 25 points, marking the Trail Blazers’ first win in five games.
Portland is a team that came into the season with high hopes and one of the best players in the league in Damian Lillard, but the season has not gone its way as the Trail Blazers have won just three of their last 13 games. But the signing of Anthony and his recent performance against Chicago gives Portland fans hope that their team may be turning the corner, albeit way behind in the Western Conference playoff race.
Anthony was dominant against the Bulls, scoring 25 points on 4-of-7 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, while Lillard scored just 13 points but added 12 assists, showing the early chemistry between the two star players. CJ McCollum added 21 points, Rodney Hood scored 16 points, Hassan Whiteside added 13 with 12 rebounds, and Skal Labissiere scored 12 points off the bench.
Lillard remains an elite scorer, ranking fifth in the NBA in scoring with 27.3 points per game, while McCollum is 19th in the league with 22.1 points per game. In his short sample size of four games, Anthony is averaging 16.0 points per game, while Whiteside adds 14.8 points and 12.0 rebounds, good enough for the seventh-best rebounding total in the NBA. Rodney Hood scores 11.7 points per game and Anfernee Simons scores 10.6 points per game mostly off of the bench.
After trading away Russell Westbrook and Paul George, Oklahoma City must have known that this year would probably be a year of transition. And that it is. Despite some solid play from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari, who the Thunder acquired in the George deal, as well as leadership from Chris Paul, who they acquired in the Westbrook deal, it is still just good enough for a 6-10 record.
Despite winning just two of their last eight games, Oklahoma City will hope to start just its second winning streak of the year after knocking off Golden State 100-97 on Monday for its first road win of the season. Dennis Schroder led the Thunder in scoring coming off the bench for 22 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range, while Paul had identical numbers from long range in scoring 20 points with seven rebounds and five assists. Gallinari added 15 points, seven rebounds, and six assists while Gilgeous-Alexander scored 12 points in the win.
Those four are Oklahoma City’s four top scorers on the season, with Gilgeous-Alexander leading the team with 19.3 points per game, while Gallinari scores 18.6 points per game, Paul adds 16.2 points and 5.7 assists per game and Schroder scores 15.1 points per game off the bench. Steven Adams adds 9.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game for Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City has had its struggles on offense, ranking just 24th in the NBA scoring 106.7 points per game, but on the road, the Thunder drop to 29th out of 30 teams in scoring averaging just 99.9 points per game. However, Portland’s defense ranks just 22nd in the league allowing 115.1 points per game, which may be an opportunity for the Thunder to score. Portland’s offense and Oklahoma City’s defense both rank 10th in the league with the Trail Blazers scoring 112.7 points per game and the Thunder’s defense allowing 107.1 points per game.
Taking the Trail Blazers to win, let alone to win by 4.5 points, might seem crazy, but it is the play here. Portland already beat Oklahoma City this season on the road by three, and that was before Anthony joined the team. If Portland can replicate its offensive output on Wednesday that it did on Monday against Chicago, it should be a runaway. Take Portland minus the points and put your trust in Anthony to continue to mesh with Lillard and McCollum in the Pacific Northwest.