Will Damian Lillard Play Tonight? Portland Trail Blazers vs Charlotte Hornets – Team News, Lineups, and Predictions

Published 03/01/2021, 2:30 PM EST
Jan 30, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) celebrates after making the game winning three point basket at the buzzer against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


The Portland Trail Blazers will take on the Charlotte Hornets in an inter-conference clash. For the Trail Blazers, they are coming into the game off the back of a four-game losing streak. While Damian Lillard has been playing some excellent basketball, the Trail Blazers have squandered some of their earlier momentum in the season.

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The Charlotte Hornets, on the other hand, have had a very similar period. They entered their game last night against the Sacramento Kings after a three-game losing streak. LaMelo Ball has been very good for the Hornets so far, and so has Gordon Hayward. But the string of consecutive losses for the franchise could derail their playoff hopes going into the tail end of the season.

With that in mind, take a look at the Hornets visiting the Trail Blazers.

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Portland Trail Blazers – Team News

Jan 30, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) celebrates with his teammates after making the game winning three point basket at the buzzer against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Trail Blazers have several key players injured going into the game. CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, Harry Giles, and Zach Collin are all unavailable due to significant injuries. All these players are crucial to the Trail Blazers, especially McCollum, who was putting MVP level numbers prior to his injury. Fortunately, Damian Lillard is still fit and expected to play.

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Predicted Lineup – Damian Lillard, Gary Trent Jr., Robert Covington, Derrick Jones Jr., Enes Kanter

Charlotte Hornets – Team News

Feb 7, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) looks to pass ahead of Washington Wizards guard Raul Neto (19) in the second half at Spectrum Center. The Charlotte Hornets won 119-97. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

The Hornets are also struggling with several injuries of their own. Gordon Hayward and Cody Zeller missed the Hornets’ last game with the Warriors, and are questionable for the next game as well. Devonte’ Graham is still injured right now, and will also be unavailable for the game.

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Predicted Lineup: LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, PJ Washington, Jalen McDaniels, Bismack Biyombo

Portland Trail Blazers vs Charlotte Hornets – Prediction

Jan 24, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots over New York Knicks guard Elfrid Payton (6) and guard Alec Burks (18) during the first quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Both teams are attempting to turn around their poor form. The Hornets got a much-needed win against the Kings, whereas the Trail Blazers have been on the receiving end of multiple consecutive losses. LaMelo Ball has had an incredible rookie season so far and could help the Hornets take advantage of the Blazers team.

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Prediction: LaMelo Ball helps the Hornets to an important win over the Trail Blazers.

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Who will win between the Trail Blazers and the Hornets? It proves to be an interesting game with two excellent point guards. However, injury problems have left both teams a little light in their depth. Therefore, the coaches will have to get creative with their player selections.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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