Back Lillard & Blazers At Knicks In Tuesday’s Lone National TV Game

Matthew Jordan

Monday, November 19, 2018 8:46 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 8:46 PM UTC

Expect a nice serenade from New York Knicks fans on Tuesday for Damian Lillard when he brings his Portland Trail Blazers to the Garden.

Portland (11-5 SU, 11-5 ATS) at NY Knicks (4-13 SU, 7-9-1 ATS)Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV)Free NBA Pick: Blazers ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Just four games on the NBA slate Tuesday, and the lone national TV matchup is Portland’s lone trip to the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden, to take on the Knicks.

From an actual game perspective, this isn’t all that interesting. The Blazers are pretty good and the Knicks are pretty bad. Portland should win fairly easily. The story line here is Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard. Over the summer, Lillard put out a few controversial tweets that he might want out of Portland eventually.

According to ESPN loudmouth (but usually accurate at least when it comes to the NBA) Stephen A. Smith, Lillard would prefer to be sent to the Knicks if he were to demand a trade. Right not, that’s not a worry as the Blazers are playing well. They aren’t true contenders in the West because no one is behind Golden State. Another first-round sweep, though, could prompt Blazers management to make some major changes and Lillard would bring back a nice haul. He’s signed through the 2020-21 season.

Can’t even speculate what New York might send back in a deal as we know Kristaps Porzingis is untouchable and the Knicks would have to nearly match Lillard’s $30 million (or so) salary. Just for fun, we tried the ESPN trade machine and a deal of Lillard for Tim Hardaway Jr., Lance Thomas and young point guard Frank Ntilikina works.

Portland swept the Knicks last year, winning both by double digits. Lillard averaged 34.5 points, his third-highest against any team in the 2017-18 season. Tim Hardaway Jr. averaged 17.5 points for New York.

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Which two teams does Damian Lillard see himself playing for?

(@stephenasmith) pic.twitter.com/dFlwpyOB5Q

— ESPNLosAngeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) July 5, 2018
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Blazers Have Been Good Bet

Portland has been the best ATS team in the league thus far and stopped a two-game SU losing streak Sunday with a 119-109 victory in Washington. Lillard had 40 points, CJ McCollum 25 and Jusuf Nurkic 13 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists (he’s never had a triple-double, and the Blazers haven’t had one in nearly five years). It was Lillard’s third 40-point game of the season, an NBA high. Portland was 30-for-35 from the line compared to Washington going 10-for-21. Unusual a road team gets that many more attempts.

The Blazers are a bit thin right now because both Seth Curry (right knee) and Moe Harkless (left knee) are out. Harkless hasn’t played since Oct. 27 and Curry has missed the past two. You know Harkless would like to go here because he’s from St. John’s.

New York lost its fifth straight Sunday, 131-117 in Orlando, and is just terrible defensively in allowing 114.7 points per game. Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina and Damyean Dotson are the team’s top defenders, but they don’t play heavy minutes. Robinson, a rookie, tends to get in foul trouble, Ntlikina simply stinks offensively, Dotson just stinks overall. Mario Hezonja (illness) didn't play vs. Orlando, his former team, after getting a DNP-CD on Friday.

The Knicks’ four wins are all over bad teams: Atlanta twice, Dallas and Brooklyn.

  • Knicks are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Trail Blazers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Eastern Conference.
  • Trail Blazers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.

We expect a big game from Lillard on the biggest stage in the NBA and a Blazers cover for a Tuesday NBA pick. Secondary lean to the ‘over.’

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