Los Angeles Clippers vs Portland Trail Blazers 12/6/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers Matchup Preview (12/6/21)

Portland hosts the Los Angeles Clippers in an early December matchup between two teams missing key players. This season has not been kind to either team, especially the Portland Trail Blazers, who have the worst defense in the NBA and will miss Damian Lillard for at least a few more games due to an abdominal injury. Some sources believe Lillard has been battling this injury since the beginning of the season, which would make sense. Still, that would not help their miserable defense, regardless of Lillard’s health. Suddenly, it seems that perhaps Terry Stotts was not a part of the problem in Portland at all: the Blazers were going to be tragic on that end of the floor no matter what.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers Betting Odds

There is absolutely no part of me that believes the Portland Trail Blazers will win this game. We don’t know what the spread is yet; however, in my opinion, there is just such a slim chance of the Blazers even being competitive without Damian Lillard. They are also fighting off other minor injuries to C.J. McCollum and Anfernee Simons: it is not ideal. The Clippers are a good defensive team, and Portland has struggled mightily in the past few games. The Blazers gave up 145 points to the Boston Celtics, who are not far removed from failing to score 90 points in an NBA game against the Sixers. G-League teams could put up 100 points on this Blazers defense. There may not be a number that scares me off the Clippers against the spread.

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TV Schedule

Date: 12/6/21
Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Moda Center – Portland, OR
Channel: NBA League Pass

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Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup

PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Eric Bledsoe
SF: Paul George
PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
C: Ivica Zubac

Los Angeles Clippers Analysis

Los Angeles has dropped four of its past five games against average teams, including the Sacramento Kings (twice) and New Orleans Pelicans. The one other loss was expected, as the Clippers faced the Warriors, one of the two best teams in the NBA. The Clippers are in a decent position right now, especially defensively. They rank sixth in opponent points per game, fourth in defensive efficiency, and seventh in opponent eFG% (effective field goal percentage) and still don’t have Kawhi Leonard back from his knee injury that he sustained in last year’s playoffs. Leonard has made terrific progress in his rehabilitation, and I would have to imagine that he will be back before the season’s end. If Leonard comes back from his injury and resembles the same player he was before, the Clippers will improve vastly on offense, where they have struggled at times. Additionally, you can expect the Clippers to rocket into a top-three defense in the NBA once Leonard is back. All they have to do is stay in playoff contention until Leonard returns, and they will be in great shape.

Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineup

PG: Dennis Smith Jr.
SG: C.J. McCollum
SF: Norman Powell
PF: Robert Covington
C: Jusuf Nurkic

Portland Trail Blazers Analysis

This season has two main storylines for the Portland Trail Blazers: their miserable defense and Damian Lillard’s struggles. We have covered Lillard’s slow start in great depth, but now there is a new twist in the story. It was discovered that Lillard might have been playing through a somewhat significant abdominal injury in the first two months of this season. If that is the case, then everything makes much more sense. Abdominal injuries make it difficult to be explosive, shoot, and play sufficient defense. Lillard will be out for the next several games as it has become too significant of an injury to ignore any longer. An absence of Lillard’s injury would certainly help him and the Blazers offensively but would not help much on the other end of the floor. The Blazers rank dead-last in defensive efficiency, which is not all that close. They also rank 30th in opponent FG% (effective field goal percentage) and opponent 3P% (three-point percentage).

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers Daily Fantasy Picks

After an injury-riddled start to the 2021-22 season, Marcus Morris has finally been able to return to the court and the Clippers’ starting lineup. He has been back for two weeks but has really found his groove in the past two games, scoring 21 points in each outing. His season average of 11.5 points per game should gradually increase throughout the year as long as he remains healthy.

Who got the most minutes for the Portland Trail Blazers in their blowout loss to the Boston Celtics on December 4th? The answer might surprise you. Dennis Smith Jr got 37 minutes on Saturday, which was a team-high. Since Damian Lillard will be out for this game, and likely at least another one or two, Smith Jr could be a great play. In his 37 minutes, he was able to post 21 points, six assists, and four rebounds, which are tremendous stats for a player who does not usually get much tick. Whether or not Anfernee Simons returns from his ankle injury will determine Dennis Smith Jr’s efficacy as a legitimate DFS option in this matchup. Keep an eye on the injury report, and you should get a good idea within the next 12-24 hours. Assuming for a moment that Simons does play, then go with him. He has developed substantially over the last year offensively and can eventually become a big-time scorer.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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