Portland Trail Blazers
(15-14, 14-13-2 ATS)
Golden State Warriors
(10-18, 13-14-1 ATS)
This is the finale of a Christmas Day five pack for those trying to beat the NBA lines to sink their teeth into, and the duel can be seen nationally on ESPN.
For the Trail Blazers, they are already going to have to try to beat the NBA lines without superstar Brandon Roy in all likelihood, as he is dealing with a knee injury that has sidelined him once again. Now, to make matters worse, Joel Przybilla, Marcus Camby, and Dante Cunningham are all in doubt, which really leaves a very short bench to work with.
The only scorers that are really going to be of any note in this game for Portland are Wesley Matthews and LaMarcus Aldridge, and the pressure has really fallen upon their shoulders for the majority of the season. Both are coming off of huge games against the Milwaukee Bucks, as they combined for 51 points and 25 boards in a dominating performance.
It would really be helpful if Andre Miller could regain his shooting touch and start to play like the man that was one of the top scorers on this team for years. He is averaging just 13.0 points and 7.3 assists per game, and he has only had one double digit scoring performance since December 13th.
You’d like to think if the Warriors are going to beat the NBA lines in this one that Stephen Curry would need to get back into the lineup, especially against a fantastic defensive team like Portland. Curry has missed six straight games with an ankle injury, and the team’s second leading scorer is up in the air for what would be his first Christmas Day game.
As always, when you’re talking about the Warriors, you have to talk about how strong Monta Ellis is. With Curry out of the fold, Ellis really has to go off for at least 30 points for Golden State to have a chance. He is averaging 25.6 points per game this year and has truly been fantastic.
The trio of David Lee, Dorell Wright, and Reggie Williams has shined as well, particularly in games in which Curry has been out of the lineup. These three are averaging a combined 41.2 points per game.
Though the Blazers aren’t going to have enough bodies to beat some of the best teams in the NBA, they’re probably going to use this long stretch of off days to prep for this one to the fullest. Anyone can score on this Golden State team, and as long as Portland stays true to its defense and doesn’t get pushed into a scoring feast, it should beat the NBA odds late on Christmas night.
NBA Free Pick: Portland Trail Blazers