Blazers’ Defense Still Missing After Two Straight Losses

Jordan Sharp

Saturday, November 24, 2018 9:57 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 9:57 PM UTC

The Portland Trail Blazers’ hot start has quickly faded after getting blown out in two games in a row. With the Clippers coming to town, there should be an urgency to not lose three in a row, and with LA’s shaky defense, the Blazers may storm back offensively in this one.

Jordan’s NBA Picks: 7-8

Clippers (12-6 SU & 11-7 ATS) vs. Portland (12-7 SU & 11-8 ATS)Sunday, 9:00 PM ESTFree NBA Pick: OVERBest Line Offered: at BetOnline

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Then Blazers may have lost big to two really good teams over their last two, but the Clippers have continuously been undervalued, and I could see them covering this game. With that being said, the total is a much better value because the Blazers’ hot start on defense seems to have been an anomaly.

Blazers’ Defensive Breakdown

Portland has allowed 268 points over their last two games, so a return home could help things a little bit. However, the Clippers have a diverse and talented group on offense, and they are very tough to slow down. LA is averaging 113.7 points per 100 possessions, which ranks sixth0best heading in to play on Saturday.

For Sunday’s game, LA could use their speed to match pace with the Blazers. Both teams are playing at paces of more than 100 possessions per game, and with offenses scoring like these two teams are, this one might end up a like a Sunday shoot-out.

In their last game against one another, the Blazers edged out the Clippers 116-105 in Portland. While the under cashed in that one, I expect the Clippers to put up more than 105 points in this one. Part of the reason the Clippers have cashed the over in 12 of their 18 games this season has been their offense.

Since that loss on November 8, LA is averaging over 121 points per game, and while some of those were against lowly Eastern Conference opponents, the heat will hopefully carry over into Sunday evening.

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The Trail Blazers lost by 43 points, the largest loss by a conference leader since the East and West conferences were established in 1970-71 (min. 15 games played).

h/t @EliasSports

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 22, 2018
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The Sharp Pick

These two teams have combined to cash the over 23-14 this season and while the Clippers are the main contributors to that, the Blazers opened the season with five straight over tickets winning, and they have cashed the over in five of their last six games heading into Sunday.

Portland has allowed 121.5 points per game over their last six coming into this one, so they too have gone in a different direction since their last game against the Clippers.

I think the sportsbooks are trying to pass off that this will be a similar game as their last meeting, and I disagree. The Clippers are playing better, while the Blazers are struggling on defense. This begs to be closer and higher scoring than their first meeting.

In their last game Tobias Harris only put up 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting. Since then he is 16-for-35 (45.7%) from beyond the arc and he is shooting nearly 52% from the floor in his last seven games.

If Harris can come with a big game, the Clippers are going to score at least 115 points in this one. I think the Blazers will match or exceed that total, so bet the over with confidence.

Final Score Prediction: Clippers 116 – Blazers 120

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