Portland Trail Blazers will be hosting Washington Wizards tonight in an important matchup. While this is a cross-conference matchup, there are plenty of storylines to feed this game. Bradley Beal was selected as an all-star starter in the East for the first time, while Damian Lillard got snubbed for a starter spot in the West.
Along with that, it is yet another opportunity to see Damian Lillard on the court against rival Russell Westbrook. While Brodie is an all-time great, his decline has been evident all season. Meanwhile, Lillard is sneaking into the MVP races. But what about their teams?
The Portland Trail Blazers will continue to miss two of their best players, Jusuf Nurkic (wrist) and CJ McCollum (foot). Along with that, Harry Giles III (calf) and Zach Collins (ankle) will also be unavailable for selection.
The Washington Wizards will miss Ish Smith (quad) and Thomas Bryant (knee). Bryant will be out for the entire season.
Portland Trail Blazers vs Washington Wizards: Lineups
The Trail Blazers will start the game with Damian Lillard, Gary Trent Jr., Derrick Jones Jr., Robert Covington, and Enes Kanter. Meanwhile, the Wizards will be lining up with Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, Garrison Matthews, Rui Hachimura, and Moritz Wagner.
READ MORE: Damian Lillard Joins Former MVPs On Historic Clutch Time Performance Numbers
Can the Wizards pull one over Portland?
For our prediction, we will be going with Portland. The Trail Blazers are capable of winning any game, just as long as they can keep the game within 10 points heading into the last six minutes of the fourth quarter. However, Lillard is facing someone who can go bucket-for-bucket with him in Bradley Beal.
Outside the stars, Washington will struggle with containing Enes Kanter, who has been an X-Factor for Portland this season. While the Wizards have improved, Portland is just a bad matchup for them. The game will come down to whether Westbrook can make his shots consistently.
Beal and Lillard are guaranteed to go for big numbers, so the supporting cast will be the key in this game. Portland definitely had a deeper team than Washington, and that should help them win this mid-February matchup.
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