Trail Blazers vs. Pacers NBA Preview

Damian Lillard #0 and Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers  on April 25, 2021 in Portland, Oregon.    Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP
Damian Lillard #0 and Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers on April 25, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP


Which of the Indiana Pacers will be available for Tuesday’s home game with the Portland Trail Blazers? Your NBA picks depend on it.



Portland Trail Blazers vs. Indiana Pacers

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 – 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse


You have to be impressed with how well the Indiana Pacers (29-31 SU, 25-35 ATS) are doing despite all their injuries. They’re in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, but only 2.5 games out of the top six – and an automatic playoff berth – as we go to press. That’s pretty good for a team that hasn’t been at full strength all season.

It’ll be more of the same for Tuesday’s game against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers (32-28 SU, 29-31 ATS). Myles Turner is out indefinitely with a torn right big toe, Domantas Sabonis will miss this contest with a sore lower back, and Jeremy Lamb is questionable with a sore left knee. With Portland at close to 100 percent capacity, this will be a tough challenge for the Pacers; the NBA odds are still pending at press time, but given the situation, I’ll recommend an early lean towards the Trail Blazers.


Oshae, Can You See?


It’s bad enough that the Pacers will be missing their top two bigs, including their best player overall in Sabonis (plus-2.4 VORP at Basketball Reference). Their frontcourt took another hit last week when back-up center Goga Bitadze sprained his left ankle; he’s also questionable for Tuesday, which will put even more pressure on Indiana to perform.

There is one bright spot, though: Oshae Brissett, a 6-foot-7 wing from the Syracuse Orange program, has played very well for the Pacers – so well that they signed Brissett to a three-year contract after a successful pair of 10-days. New head coach Nate Bjorkgren was able to work with Brissett last year when they were both with the Toronto Raptors, so it makes perfect sense that the pieces are fitting together in Indiana, even if Brissett has split his time between the 4 and the 5 after playing most of his rookie season at small forward.


Not Now John


The Trail Blazers haven’t had it easy this year when it comes to injuries, but this is a rare moment of health for Oregon’s lone Big Four franchise: center John Collins (ankle surgery) is their only player in sick bay heading into Tuesday’s contest. Yet the Blazers have still managed to lose their last five games at 2-3 ATS, falling into seventh place in the West as a result.

This could be a simple case of regression to the mean. Portland have a minus-0.5 point differential on the season, so they’re still running a couple of wins above expectation. However, the Pacers have a worse record than anyone the Blazers met during their losing streak, plus they’ll be without Sabonis and Turner at the very least for this matchup. Make your NBA picks accordingly, and enjoy the game.


NBA Pick: Trail Blazers -5 (1.95) at Bet365


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