Washington – Portland
Both teams had their winning streaks end over the weekend, streaks that helped them come near a playoff spot and keep their playoff spot alive.
Wizards had 4 wins streak snapped, while Blazers had three games winning streak snapped. Both teams lost games that it was pretty obvious they would lose. Wizards played B2B, without Porter and Beal, against best team in B2B spots, Boston (also played B2B). They put up a good fight though.
Portland are at Sixers level, so the loss on the road wasn’t that surprising, but the blowout probably was.
Tonight Wizards get Beal back and only Porter is questionable from important misses (Gooden isn’t that important imo).
Portland trail Utah by 1.5 games for 8th spot in the West, while Wizards trail 2 games behind Boston (so that was a huge game for them obviously) for the 8th spot in the East. But, Wizards have 19 – 20 record, while Blazers are only 18 – 25.
Wizards really don’t want to lose twice in a row at home, while Blazers will probably return home, from three games road trip, empty handed.
Lillard put up one man show to close the game against the Thunder, to win the Thunder, but it was really incredible performance by him. He can do it again, but on the road he is not as good.
As a rule of a thumb, Portland struggles against teams with good back court and flourishes against teams with poor back court.
Wizards with Beal and Wall one of the best back courts in the league. Even if Porter sits, Nene, Gortat and Dudley or who ever will play most minutes as SF, are much better than Aminu, Vonleh and Plumlee. I mean that’s not the same league even.
Bench been doing good job for the Wizards, Portland’s bench on the other hand is really hit or miss. Too many players there can go cold at once and naturally, like most of the bench players in the league (and young players – and Portland’s bench fits both), they play much better at home than on the road.
My line for this game is 7.5 points, maybe even slightly higher.
Wizards should win this one and when I’m confident in that, 4.5 points line rarely stops me.
Pick: Wizards -4.5, 1.95 odds – 7 units play – Pinnacle
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