Portland Trail Blazers are currently at 9th position in the West, which is just a spot short of Play-offs ticket. This season, Portland holds a record of 21-28, which should improve if they want to go on and play in the Play-offs. Looking at the past 5 games Portland played, they managed to win 3; Celtics (123:127), LA Lakers (105:98), Grizzlies (112:109) and lost 2; 76ers (93:92), GSW (111:113). Both of the losses were really close, but at the end of the day a loss is still a loss. Looking back at the match against Golden State Warriors on Monday, Trail Blazers came really close to winning a match against one of the strongest teams in the NBA. The match started in favour of GSW, who got a 9 point lead in the first 12 minutes (24:33). Portland attacked back in the second half and reduced the margin to 3 points (50: 53). 3rd quarter was again in favour of Golden State, who outscored their opponents by 7 points, resulting in a 10 point lead (74:84). Some teams would give up at this point, but that was not the case for Trail Blazers. They outshined GSW in the last quarter with 37 points, compared to 29 of the visitors. Despite a great performance from Portland it was sadly not enough and they lost by 2 points (111:113). Statistics: Portland had 49.9% accuracy from the field, 18 turnovers and 11 steals. GSW shot worse, with 45.6%FG, they also accumulated 18 turnovers and 13 steals. Top scorers: Durant (33pts), McCollum (28pts) and Thompson (27pts).
Charlotte Hornets are coming into this match-up with 4 consecutive losses behind them. Washington Wizards (99:109), GSW (103:113), NY Knicks (110:107) and Sacramento Kings (106:109) all proven to be too strong for them, on the other hand, Hornets managed to defeat Brooklyn Nets on 22th of January (112:105). With that, they are holding a poor record of 1-4 in the last 5 games played. Charlotte is currently at 8th position in the East (23-25), but if their performance does not improve, they won’t stay there much longer. It’s not only last 5 games that they performed poorly, but looking even further, Charlotte Hornets won only 4 games out of 15. That is concerning. The recent match against Sacramento Kings could easily go the other way if Hornets performed a bit better in the first half, as Kings accumulated a 8 point lead before heading into locker rooms. 3rd quarter ended in a tie (33:33), so it all came down to last 12 minutes. Hornets were fighting (29:24), but were not able to close the gap. Match ended in a 3 point win for Kings (106:109). Statistics: Hornets shot 48% from the field and accumulated 11 turnovers and only 4 steals. Kings on the other hand shot with 51.9% accuracy, had 9 turnovers and 6 steals. Top scorers: Cousins (35pts), Walker (26pots) and Batum (19pts).
Verdict & Prediction
Hornets are really struggling in the last few matches and to be fair that is the case for a while for them. One of the biggest problems is their away performances, as they won only on 2 occasions in the last 10 matches. This surely works in Trail Blazers favour. In addition to that, Zeller will not be able to help his team against Portland. All in all, Portland is playing much better than Hornets and I expect them to win today, despite missing one of their players (Davis).
Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers -3.5 points
Odds: 2.01 SBOBET, 2.00 Pinnacle