Updated: Apr 10, 2019
Photo by Ann-Marie Sorvin of USA TODAY Sports
Tonight the surging Portland Trail Blazers (38-23) head to Toronto to take on the Raptors (45-17). The Trail Blazers are currently on a five game winning streak which includes four road wins against some of the East elites.
In the first meeting, the Blazers got the win at home 128-122. However, the Raptors were missing their starting point guard Kyle Lowry. In this matchup, Portland will be missing Enes Kanter (immigration issues) and Evan Turner (knee soreness). Meanwhile the Raptors will not have backup point guard Fred VlanVleet.
Both teams have upgraded their respective rosters since their last match up, with Toronto acquiring Marc Gasol at the trade deadline and Jeremy Lin after being bought out by the Atlanta Hawks. The Blazers of course adding the likes of Rodney Hood from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Enes Kanter after being bought out by New York.
Match up to watch:
With Enes Kanter out, does Terry Stotts play Zach Collins as the lone “big”? Or does he go with a lineup we’re more familiar with of Meyers Leonard and Zach Collins together at the four and five? Collins has already seen a bump in minutes with Evan Turner missing time. Will Leonard finally get a chance at some run time after moving to a full time bench role after the Trail Blazers acquired Kanter?
With a win tonight the Blazers would move into third place in the Western Conference, ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder (38-23). The Thunder own the regular season head-to-head tie-breaker with Portland. This means Portland will have to end the season with a better record than the Thunder to clinch the three seed for the second year in a row. Comment below with your thoughts on how tonight’s match up plays out! Tip off is at 5pm on ESPN.