NBA Picks: Clipper vs. Trail Blazers

Joe Catalano

Saturday, January 26, 2013 4:08 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 4:08 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Clippers (32-12) come limping into the Rose Garden, losing 3 consecutive games. They face a Portland Trail Blazers (21-21) team that lacks consistency, but is confident right now.

Especially confident after a 20 point thrashing of a good Indiana Pacers team. How will L.A. fare without “CP3”, who will be missing a 3rd consecutive game with a bruised knee cap?

Tip-off is scheduled for Saturday at 10:00 pm ET at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.

5 Dimes Sportsbook currently lists the Blazers as a slim 1.5 point NBA betting odds favorite and the total for the game is 191.5.

This is a major opportunity for Portland to go over the .500 mark when the Clippers are “hurting” at the moment. Can they capitalize on this golden opportunity and 1.5 points seem kind of light.

Who’s Team Is It?

First, people were saying that the Clippers were LA’s team and that Chris Paul was the best point guard in the NBA. Paul had been slumping and people began to second guess their initial thoughts and say that Paul was overrated. Now the Clippers go into a bit of a drought, scoring under 100 points in 5 consecutive games, and we’re left to think that this team can’t win without CP3.

Dragic and More Dragic

By watching the Clippers 93-88 loss to a poor Suns team, you would think that the Clips are a sub .500 team themselves. Goran Dragic dominated the action offensively as he put up shot after shot and drove to the hoop at will. It was so predictable yet the Clippers defense was helpless. Aside from hurting his ankle in this game, Blake Griffin looked lost.

Maybe Griffin really needs CP3 in the game to excel whether Paul is scoring or not. Blake was 5 for 9 for 12 points and 8 rebounds in the Phoenix loss. He might have been efficient shooting-wise, but he simply couldn’t find his place in the offense as his 9 shots can attest to.

Look for the Clippers to use point guard, Eric Bledsoe, a lot in this game. Bledsoe is instant offense at times and a very active player on the boards. The Clippers will also need the help of Lamar Odom. Odom has never regained his offensive touch since leaving the Lakers but he’s been able to gather some rebounds and has been a factor coming off of the bench.

Big Players, Big win!

The Trail Blazers are coming off of a huge victory over an Indiana team that sports Paul George and David West. Portland’s inside of Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, and J.J. Hickson were dominant and have a major advantage in the Clippers game, where they have an edge in size and talent.

Underperforming

You look at the Blazers’ roster and they should be the team that’s 32-12 and not the Clippers. They have so much size on the inside and offensive talent at the guard position. Maybe lack of depth outside of the starters hurts, but I think to myself, “Why isn’t this team winning?”

[gameodds]5/134830/43/us[/gameodds]

Rookie of the Year

You can leave out the fact that J.J. Hickson is a walking double, LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the best scoring big men in the NBA, and Nicolas Batum is one of the hottest rising talents in the league, and you still have the performance of Damian Lillard.

I picked Lillard as one of my darkhorses for Rookie of the Year, but I highly doubt that anyone else did. This guy can shoot the lights out and plays like a veteran. If he has a poor game, he doesn’t get discouraged, he keeps shooting the basketball.

At 18.3 points, 6.6 assists, and, 3.5 rebounds per game, Lillard is a gem and will only get better.

Portland needs to play up to their talent level and it starts tonight against the Clippers.

Outcome

Without Chris Paul, the Clippers just aren’t the same. Blake Griffin had been playing out of this world, but was brought back down to earth against Phoenix. Griffin is also hampered by an ankle injury. Portland should win this game at home easily. 1.5 points are a joke. Take Portland for your NBA betting ticket tonight.

NBA Picks: Portland Trail Blazers -1.5

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