Will Damian Lillard Play Tonight? Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Clippers: Game Prediction, Injury Updates and Lineup

Published 04/20/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
Mar 19, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots the ball during the second half against the Dallas Mavericks at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports


The LA Clippers unmatched run was just recently snapped by the Eastern Conference leaders, the Philadelphia 76ers. However, they quickly made their comeback as they triumphed over the Minnesota Timberwolves and improved their record to 40-19.

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The Clippers are still third in the competitive Western Conference, despite winning eight of their nine last games. And now they are up against the Portland Trail Blazers, who aren’t any less in the West.

The Blazers are standing sixth in the league and have a playoff spot if they don’t slip further. Though they will enter this matchup after a disappointing loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the Blazers shouldn’t be underestimated. Damian Lillard is having a stellar season and has maintained their dominance throughout.

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Who will end up victorious in this matchup?

LA Clippers injury report and lineup prediction

The LA Clippers were missing Kawhi Leonard from their lineup for a while, and his absence played a huge role in their loss against the Sixers. But as soon as he returned, the team showed prowess on both ends of the floor and won against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

His comeback will be a huge push for the Clippers to chase the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns, so they can surpass them and get to the top of the Western Conference. Their second key player, Paul George, may have also missed some games but has contributed majorly to their success this season.

Apr 18, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) and guard D’Angelo Russell (0) in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

However, in the injury department, they haven’t been that lucky either. With Serge Ibaka and Patrick Beverley still out, they have had to rely on the rest of the supporting cast. Ivica Zubac has been doing just doing the starting position in Ibaka’s absence.

Thus, the predicted lineup would be Luke Kennard, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr., and Ivica Zubac.

Portland Trail Blazers injury report and lineup prediction

The Portland Trail Blazers are in the playoff contention all because of their offensive production. But their eventual downfall will be because of their poor defense. They have been making up for it with their offensive threats, but for how long?

However, the Blazers haven’t been immune to the injury plague like the Clippers. The only difference is that it has hit them much harder and throughout the season. So far, Damian Lillard was carrying the team even amidst those issues, but with him sitting out of games now because of his hamstring, is a cause for grave concern.

Apr 13, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) passes the ball against Boston Celtics point guard Marcus Smart (36) during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Their recent loss to the Charlotte Hornets is also a result of that. With Jusuf Nurkic also listed as day to day, the onus of leading the team will fall on CJ McCollum, who finished the night with 22 points against the Hornets.

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With that, the predicted lineup would be Robert Covington, CJ McCollum, Enes Kanter, Norman Powell, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Game prediction

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The LA Clippers have far more manpower on the offense than the Blazers, and with Lillard out, the Blazers won’t be able to hold the fort. So, the Clippers are the obvious favorites to win this matchup.

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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