The Portland Trailblazers head into Dallas with one of the top seeds in the Western Conference. At 33-21 for the season, they are 7-3 over their last ten but only 10-13 on the road. The Mavericks have a very good 19-8 record at home, but just 25-29 on the season and are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.
Portland ranks ninth in points scored and 13th in points allowed. On the other hand, the Mavericks are just 20th in scoring and 11th in points allowed. Those numbers could change after their recent trades which saw them lose DeAndre Jordan, Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews. The Trailblazers are one of the best rebounding teams in the league and solid at ball control, ranked 12th in turnovers. The Mavericks have been very sloppy with the ball, ranking near the bottom in turnovers.
The Trailblazers undoubtedly rely on their back court of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. At 26.8 points per game, Lillard is one of the top scorers in the NBA. McCollum averages 21.4, while hitting 37 percent from beyond the arc. Both are capable of taking over any game. Jusuf Nurkic adds a good complimentary piece inside, dropping 15 points and hauling in ten rebounds per game. Veteran Al-Farouq Aminu adds a rebounding presence, while Seth Curry and Meyers Leonard each hit about 48 percent from beyond the arc.
The Mavericks Are lead by Luka Doncic, who is averaging 20.6 points, seven rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. The problem is they have very little beyond him since the trade deadline.. Tim Hardaway Jr is averaging 12 points in his two games with the club, while Dennis Smith drops 13. Dorian Finney-Smith, Jaylen Brunson and Max Kleber, the other starters at the moment, average a combined 22 points per game this season.
Prior to the trade deadline, the Mavericks would be a good pick in this one at home. However, Portland is on a roll and have too much firepower compared to Dallas. While the Mavericks should keep this close for the first half, the Trailblazers will pull away and likely win by double digits.