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

Published 03/28/2021, 11:00 AM 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 Toronto Raptors will be gearing up to face an enormous challenge as they are scheduled to play against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Raptors are hardly anywhere near playoff reckoning. Standing eleventh in the Eastern Conference with an 18-27 record, they are struggling each game.

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Portland, on the other hand, is standing fifth in the Western Conference. With a 27-18 record, they are on a two-game winning streak and are ready to stretch it to three. Can the Raptors, who have lost 10 out of their last 11 games, keep up with the Blazers?

Portland Trail Blazers injury updates and lineup prediction

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Despite not having their star player, Damian Lillard, the Blazers had a smooth win against the Orlando Magic. To be fair, Orlando had traded away their entire core before the trade deadline. So, no surprise there.

In fact, the Blazers’ newly acquired Norman Powell added 22 points in his debut night with them, along with five three-pointers. Even CJ McCollum added 22 points to the scoreboard. Following that, Robert Covington and Enes Kanter were the second-highest scorers.

Mar 26, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Norman Powell (24) celebrates a three-point shot against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

With Lillard questionable for this matchup as well, CJ will be taking the lead again. He is averaging 24.3 points and 4.7 assists, and with the way Powell is playing, it seems like they are in safe hands. Zach Collins is still ruled out along with Nassir Little.

So, the predicted lineup would be Norman Powell, Derrick Jones Jr., CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, and Robert Covington.

Toronto Raptors injury updates and lineup prediction

The Toronto Raptors‘ last outing was against the Phoenix Suns, in which they lost 104-100. This franchise has shown no consistency in the season so far. For the first three quarters against Phoenix, they were constantly leading and then trailing and failed to contain them in the paint.

Pascal Siakam is the prime scorer on their team. He put up 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists against the Suns. Following him were Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby, who added 22 and 15 points, respectively.

Mar 24, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) moves to the basket as Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton (5) defends during the first half at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre’ Bembry, Paul Watson, and Patrick McCaw are ruled out for this game. But their absence should not play a tremendous disadvantage to the team.

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With that, the predicted lineup would be Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr., and OG Anunoby.

Game prediction

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The obvious favorites to win this matchup are the Portland Trail Blazers. Not only do they have momentum on their side, they also have more efficient scorers who will take them to victory against the Raptors.

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Yashima Bhatia

1346 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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