Will Damian Lillard Play Tonight? Atlanta Hawks vs Portland Trail Blazers: Injury Updates, Lineups, and Prediction

Published 01/16/2021, 3:00 PM EST
Dec 23, 2020; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) catches a pass against Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale (23) during the second half at Moda Center. The Utah Jazz won the game 120-100. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports


The Portland Trail Blazers are back in action tonight as they host the Atlanta Hawks. They play at the Moda Center at 10 pm EST, as both teams aim to shake off their blowout loss from their previous game.

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The Blazers had a surprise loss in their previous game against the Pacers. They were on a four-game winning streak and were rising up the standings in the Western Conference. But they put up no fight against the Pacers and lost 87-111 after a poor shooting display.

The Hawks started the season with four wins in five games and were looking strong. But they completely lost their momentum since then and have won just once in their last six games. They will aim to return to winning ways tonight, as they hope to qualify for the playoffs this season.

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Atlanta Hawks expected lineup

The Hawks have three players on their injury list, and two of them are their starters. Danilo Gallinari (Ankle) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (Knee) will continue on the sidelines, along with defensive specialist Kris Dunn (Ankle).

Dec 30, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) dribbles the ball while being defended by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

So they will continue with a lineup of Trae Young and Cam Reddish as their guards, DeAndre Hunter and John Collins as their forwards, with Clint Capela as their center.

Portland Trail Blazers expected lineup

The Trail Blazers suffered a big injury blow in their last game, as Jusuf Nurkic injured his wrist. He is expected to be out for two months, further thinning their big man rotation. They lost Zach Collins to injury earlier, so this hurts them a lot.

Dec 26, 2020; Portland, Oregon, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) is fouled while shooting by Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum (3) during the second half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

So their lineup will now feature Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum as their guards, Derrick Jones Jr. and Robert Covington as their forwards, and Enes Kanter as their center.

Predictions

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The duo of Lillard and McCollum have been lighting up the NBA so far. They are playing like the best backcourt in the league offensively and have broken multiple records. So if this duo can continue firing, they will be able to pile on the misery for the struggling Hawks. Their big man rotation could leak a few extra points so their backcourt will have to step up to make up for it.

It could be a close game, but the Blazers will remain the favorites to win the tie.

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Aaron Mathew

1664 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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