After picking up two impressive victories, the Portland Trail Blazers will take on the Memphis Grizzlies tonight.
The Portland Trail Blazers seem to be beginning to turn their season back around. They defeated the first place Toronto Raptors and followed that up with a victory over the surprisingly dangerous Clippers.
Tonight, they will face the Memphis Grizzlies. The Blazers lost to the Grizzlies exactly one week ago. CJ McCollum had a fantastic game scoring 40 games, while Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic struggled to get anything going offensively.
The Blazers scored only 83 points against Memphis. Since then, they have had two of their best offensive games of the season scoring 128 points against Toronto and 131 points against Los Angeles. Everyone on the team has stepped up their game, and the ball movement has improved.
Although Portland’s offense has been outstanding, their defense is still a concern. The Blazers shot 50% from three and scored 131 points against the Clippers but still won by only 4 points.
The Blazers lack of an elite perimeter defender was evident. Tobias Harris scored 39 points, and the Blazers had no answer but to outscore the Clippers. They will not be able to outscore every team every night.
The Grizzlies do not have a wing like Harris and do not have an elite offense. They are only 29th in the NBA in points per game.
However, the Grizzlies are second in the NBA in opponent points per game. They are a strong defensive team, and they play to that strength by utilizing a slower pace.
The pace of play will be the biggest factor in tonight’s game. The Blazers cannot allow Memphis to slow down the game and guard Lillard and McCollum with a set defense. Portland needs to get out in transition and move the ball to be successful tonight.