The Portland Trail Blazers will face the Cleveland Cavaliers as they conclude their first multi – game road trip of the 2021-22 season. The Trail Blazers are winless on the road thus far this season, sitting at 0-3 away from the Moda Center.
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021; 4 pm (PDT)
Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland OH
The Trail Blazers are currently 3-4 after losing their last two straight on the road vs the Hornets and 76ers respectively.
The Cavs won their last game against the Hornets after losing two straight to both the Suns and Lakers. They are 4-4 on the season.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers greatest weakness for some time has been their bench, mostly on the defensive end. This season however, their bench has been a pleasant surprise. The Blazers starters however have struggled to start the season, as they negotiate new offensive and defensive schemes set in place by new coach Chauncey Billups.
Lillard has struggled to adapt to playing without the ball in his hands this season. Billups has had CJ McCollum running the offense, with Damian Lillard playing off ball. Picking up the effort and and energy on the defensive end has also perhaps drained Lillard of fluidity on the other end of the floor.
He is averaging just 18.6 points per game on 23% shooting from the floor. He is only averaging 15.3 points a game and 12% from three on the road. He’s surpassed 20 points this season once and failed to reach 20 points three games out of seven.
Lillard will have a chance to break out of his Slump Wednesday against the Cavaliers.
Larry NANCE JR
This game will be the first time Larry Nance Jr returns to Cleveland since being traded this off-season to the Trail Blazers. It will be Nance’s first game playing against the Cavaliers since the 2017-18 season when he played for the Lakers and his first as a Blazer against his former team.
Nance Jr is averaging 5.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this season. His defensive presence has been big for Portland off the bench this season.
He may have to play more minutes against a lengthier Cavalier team.
PG – Damian Lillard | SG – CJ McCollum | SF – Norman Powell | PF – Robert Covington | C – Jusuf Nurkic
The Cavaliers have benefited way from the play of rookie Evan Mobley along with the continued development of their young core of Sexton, Garland, and Okoro. They added Lauri Markkanen to the mix and resigned big man Jarrett Allen. They are working hard to take a step up from the bedrock of the eastern conference.
Three seven footers in their starting lineup, physicality, and a youthful synergy has been successful in the early season for Cleveland.
Their length will definitely help against an undersized Portland Trail Blazers who are running a three guard lineup among their starters.
Mobley is averaging 13.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game his rookie season. He had a career high 23 points against the Lakers. His physicality and energy will be important against the Blazers.
Markkanen is averaging 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his first season with the Cavs after being traded this off-season in the deal that sent Larry Nance Jr to Portland and Derrick Jones Jr and a future pick to Chicago.
He gives the Cavs a versatile big man who can play across several positions, provide length, and can shoot from distance.
PG – Darius Garland | SG – Collin Sexton | SF – Lauri Markkanen | PF- Evan Mobley | C – Jarret Allen