Will James Harden Play Tonight? Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers: Injury Updates, Lineup and Game Prediction

Published 03/23/2021, 2:30 PM EDT
Mar 21, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Washington Wizards power forward Rui Hachimura (8) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets shooting guard James Harden (13) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


Two of the NBA’s offensive teams are going to be facing each other. On one side, there are the Brooklyn Nets, who are speculated to be the team that is most threatening to the Lakers from getting their second straight title. With a monstrous Big Three, the Nets are standing second in the Eastern Conference with a 29-14 record. Then comes the Portland Trail Blazers, that don’t even need three players to get them going as long as they have Damian Lillard, the king of the clutch.

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Brooklyn Nets injury updates and lineup prediction

After a shocking loss to the Orlando Magic, the Brooklyn Nets could rally their troops and bring a win against the Washington Wizards. Both James Harden and Kyrie Irving added 54 points on the scoreboard, enough to rattle the Wizards.

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These are the two superstars the Nets are solely relying on. Even without Kevin Durant, the duo is instilling fear in its opponents. It has created one of the best offenses this season. Their new addition, Blake Griffin, also recently played his first game with the team and is likely to play more minutes gradually.

However, this matchup won’t be easy for the Nets. With James Harden questionable because of neck soreness, Kyrie Irving has already clarified that he would be missing the next three games to tend to a personal matter. Durant is not expected to be back anytime soon, and Landry Shamet and Alize Johnson won’t be playing either.

Mar 21, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard James Harden (13) sits on the court after an injury at the end of the second quarter against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This leaves the Nets in the hands of Joe Harris and a bunch of other veteran players. So, the predicted lineup would be Jeff Green, Joe Harris, DeAndre Jordan, Bruce Brown, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

Portland Trail Blazers injury updates and lineup prediction

Portland Trail Blazers‘ backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will expect to take advantage of the injury-plagued Brooklyn Nets. Though they had a poor run against the Mavericks as they only combined for 32 points that ended their winning streak.

But the Nets might have none of their leading stars, the way the Mavericks had Luka Doncic. The Blazers had trouble scoring from beyond the arc. However, their lead scorer Damian Lillard will look to make a comeback that keeps them as the threat they were.

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

With Enes Kanter’s return and Carmelo Anthony‘s excellent contribution off the bench, the Blazers have a good chance at winning this game. With Jusuf Nurkic out, the rest of the roster is intact.

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Thus, the predicted lineup would be Derrick Jones Jr., Damian Lillard, Enes Kanter, CJ McCollum, and Robert Covington.

Game prediction

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The Nets didn’t have anything to worry about without KD. However, a Kyrie and Harden-less roster will give the Blazers a big upper-hand in this matchup. With a close game, expect the Blazers to take this lucky win home.

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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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