It doesn’t get much better in the NBA than going to the home of the Lakers and leaving with a win in the back pocket. The Knicks did just that on Sunday night and now look to finish the road swing strong as they take on the Blazers tonight.
New York will have revenge in the back of their minds after the Blazers stunned them in the Garden in overtime without Damian Lillard earlier this season. Jerami Grant had 44 points, Anfernee Simons had 38 points and Josh Hart had 10 points and 19 rebounds for the Blazers in the win. It was a very different time on Nov. 25, 2022.
As Hart returns to his former employer for the first time, there are three big pieces of injury news that could make a big impact on the game.
Jalen Brunson remains a game-time decision after missing the Laker game. On the Portland side of things, Damian Lillard is a game-time decision as is Grant. The Blazers have already proven to the Knicks that they can win with important players out. However, that was with Grant and Hart available to them.
The Knicks are coming off of ending a three-game losing skid while the Blazers are trying to avoid losing their fourth straight game. Portland is returning home after a tough spurt in which they lost to the Pelicans, Sixers and Celtics all on the road. After a long six-game road trip the Blazers finished 2-4 with wins over the Magic and Pistons.
Portland is just two games out of the play-in tournament despite a tough season due to trades and injuries. The Knicks will need to ready because it’s the NBA and sitting ducks can be just as dangerous if you play to their level.
The Knicks are going into another classic “trap game” coming off a big win at the end of a tough road stretch. New York recently lost one of these games in a similar situation against the Hornets on Mar. 7 at The Garden. That led to the three straight defeats before the win in Los Angeles last time out. Will the Knicks learn their lesson this time? On the road, the stars available will need to set the tone and players like Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes will need to provide a boost.
I’m going with the Knicks to win this one and finish the road trip strong before they return home for some big games at MSG. Tip time is scheduled for 10 p.m. on the east coast. We will have all of the coverage as always right here on the site.