Los Angeles Clippers vs Portland Trail Blazers Preview (11/29/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

Two west coast teams, the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers, battle one another without their best players. Check out the analysis for this matchup, including how much the absence of these stars will affect the outcome of the game. We also cover the new projected starting lineups, current betting odds, and my betting picks for the game. Take a look!

Los Angeles Clippers Vs. Portland Trail Blazers Betting Odds

The Los Angeles Clippers are 3.5-point road dogs versus the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland will miss star point guard Damian Lillard, Gary Payton II, and Keon Johnson, while Los Angeles won’t have sharpshooter Luke Kennard, Kawhi Leonard, or Paul George.

Los Angeles Clippers Vs. Portland Trail Blazers Prediction

I can’t think of a more underwhelming matchup for Tuesday’s slate of NBA games. It has nothing to do with the teams, as both are competitive and in playoff contention. However, it has everything to do with the injury report for both teams, which includes Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Luke Kennard, and Gary Payton II. Brutal.

Interestingly enough, the Clippers put together an impressive effort at home against the Indiana Pacers without Leonard and George, holding them to just 100 points, despite ranking seventh in the league in points per game with 115.7. This is not an uncommon thing for the Clippers, though. They stand second in both opponent points per game and defensive efficiency.

Meanwhile, Portland had started off the 2022-23 season strong but merely holds a 4-5 record without Damian Lillard. The Trail Blazers have dropped five of their past six games, with two of those coming at home against the Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz.

I was bearish on the Portland Trail Blazers heading into the season, and despite a hot start, I’m expecting regression for this team. An injury to Damian Lillard furthers this concern, especially against a Clippers team that limits opposing offenses so well. I will go with the Clippers against the spread in this spot.

Betting Trends

  • Los Angeles is 5-4 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Portland is 4-4 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 12-27-2 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

The key matchup in this superstar-less battle is between Ivica Zubac, who is coming off a career game, and Jusuf Nurkic. Check out the analysis for this bout below to see if I think Zubac can roll his last game into this one!

Ivica Zubac vs. Jusuf Nurkic

We witnessed what could only be described as a remarkable phenomenon on Sunday night when Ivica Zubac dropped 31 points and pulled down 29 rebounds against the Indiana Pacers. Obviously, the rebounds were a career-high, but he only scored one less point than his career-high, too. Indiana has allowed the most points to opposing centers, but that hardly takes away from this feat. Here’s a list of players who have achieved those marks in one game: Moses Malone, Kevin Love, Wilt Chamberlain, Dwight Howard, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes, Bob McAdoo, Willis Reed, Gus Johnson, Nate Thurmond, and now Ivica Zubac. There are a lot of Hall-of-Famers on that list.

Zubac has not been known to be much of an offensive threat in his first seven (this is his eighth) seasons; mainly, lobs and put-backs are how he finds his scoring. However, this outburst is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, Zubac is only 25 years old, so he could still potentially take another step forward in his offensive skill level. Second, numerous NBA players, including LeBron James, took to Twitter to compliment Zubac and seemingly share their opinion that he’s an underrated in the league.

How will Zubac perform against the Portland Trail Blazers? In 15 games against Portland, Zubac has averaged roughly nine points and seven rebounds. Meanwhile, on the other side, Jusuf Nurkic has averaged roughly 20 points and 12 rebounds on 57% from the field in his past three games. Expect Zubac to come back down to reality in this game. Nurkic has a clear advantage. Advantage: Nurkic.

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup

PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Terance Mann
SF: Amir Coffey
PF: Marcus Morris Sr
C: Ivica Zubac

Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineups

PG: Anfernee Simons
SG: Josh Hart
SF: Justise Winslow
PF: Jerami Grant
C: Jusuf Nurkic

Key Injuries

Los Angeles Clippers Injuries: Kawhi Leonard (Out), Paul George (Out), Luke Kennard (Out)

Portland Trail Blazers Injuries: Gary Payton II (Out), Keon Johnson (Out), Damian Lillard (Out)

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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