New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers 12/10/19: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Daily Fantasy
New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers Preview
In an interconference matchup tonight, the Portland Trail Blazers will host the New York Knicks for the first game of the two-game regular-season series. Portland and New York are both struggling and at the bottom of their respective conferences.
New York has the worst record in the entire NBA and is 15th in the Eastern Conference at 4-19. They have lost their last nine games, making them 1-9 in their last 10. They are on the road tonight, where they have not been able to find success, going 1-9 on the season.
Portland is 9-15 this season and they are 12th in the Western Conference. They have lost their last two games and are 4-6 in their last 10. The Moda Center hasn’t exactly worked out to be much of an advantage for them this season as they are just 4-6 at home. Things could get even more difficult for the Blazers with their starting small forward, Rodney Hood, out with a torn ACL.
Time: 10 PM ET
Arena: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Channel: MSG, NBCSNW
Knicks: Wayne Ellington, Reggie Bullock (O)
Blazers: Rodney Hood, Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic (O)
New York Knicks Starting Lineup
Tonight’s matchup will be the second game since the Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale. In their first game under interim head coach Mike Miller, the Knicks were unable to put a stop to their skid, which is now at nine straight losses, but they did fight all the way through and made a late rally that came just short as they lost 104-103 to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
“You get in those games, you’ve got to make another play, and we just didn’t make another play,” Miller said. “Loved the effort. That was fun.”
“Our focus has been on the consistency on both ends of the floor, that’s where it’s at,” he said. “The players, we have a high character group of players, they’re professional, they come in and work every day. The message is we want to be more consistent. And we’re going to be more consistent in what we do and how we work play to play and possession to possession.”
The Knicks had five players score in double digits, led by Marcus Morris’ 25 points. Julius Randle finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds, and RJ Barret nearly had a double-double as the rookie went for 12 points and nine rebounds.
Mitchell Robinson and Damyean Dotson provided some scoring punch off the bench with 14 and 10 points respectively.
Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineup
Even though the Portland Trail Blazers have had some success against the Oklahoma City Thunder this season, on Sunday night it was the Thunder who blew them out 108-96. Portland opened and closed the game with low-scoring quarters, and they struggled to limit OKC’s three guards: Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroeder.
“I just thought our urgency wasn’t where it needed to be,” Blazers guard Damian Lillard said afterward. “You come out with an opportunity to get some momentum going into another home game with another opportunity to win against a team that we just played a few games ago and blew them away, played a great game. Then the ball’s not going in, so we don’t lock in and stay sharp on the defensive end. We just allowed them to do pretty much what they wanted.”
The Blazers had just three players score in double figures. Lillard led the team with 26 points and seven assists, CJ McCollum had 20 points and Hassan Whiteside finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony, who recently had been named NBA Player of the Week, struggled offensively and had nine points and eight rebounds in the game.
Key Player Matchups
Damian Lillard vs. Frank Ntilikina
Lillard is capable of dropping big numbers. While he is averaging 26.7 points per game to go along with 7.4 assists, a 50-point game is not outside the realm of possibility once Lillard gets going. Ntilikina has really not worked out to be the player the Knicks expected when they took him in the lottery with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He’s averaging under seven points per game and he’s only scored in double figures five times this season.
CJ McCollum vs. RJ Barrett
Unlike Ntilikina, the Knicks seem to have made a solid choice in drafting RJ Barrett with the third overall selection in the 2019 Draft. He is averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in his rookie campaign and has been excited to take on all comers. We know what he’s capable of doing offensively, but his defense will be put to the test tonight against Portland sharpshooter CJ McCollum. McCollum seems to be in constant motion and he is much more than a spot-up shooter.
There really is only one fantasy stud in this game and it’s Damian Lillard. Dame has a great points per $1k ratio and is available for just $8.8k on Fan Duel with a fantasy projection of 48.5 points.
The Knicks have two value players worth taking a risk on. Julius Randle is valued at $6.4k for a 30.9 point projection. Marcus Morris is available for $5.3k and is projected to notch 22.3 points. RJ Barrett is also a nice low-risk player that could pay off.
Bet on Matchup
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