The Portland Trail Blazers backcourt is in shambles. Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons were both ruled out ahead of the Blazers game against the Boston Celtics, meaning Dennis Smith Jr. would be getting his first start for the Blazers. However, the Blazers got some good news, as Norman Powell will be in the starting lineup on Saturday night.
Celtics at Blazers – Moda Center – December 4, 2021 – Starters— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) December 5, 2021
Boston – Smart, Schroder, Tatum, G. Williams, R. Williams
Portland – Dennis Smith, CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Robert Covington, Jusef Nurkic
OUT: Boston: Brown, Horford, Langford Portland: Lillard, Simons, Little pic.twitter.com/jeuIgJJZrE
Powell was questionable leading up to the contest after breaking his nose on Friday during a one-on-one practice. Head coach Chauncey Billups said the 31-year-old would be wearing a mask against the Celts. Powell has been a solid contributor for Portland this season, averaging 16.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 19 games, ranking second on the Blazers in Win Shares and third in Box Plus/Minus.
The Blazers need to snap out of their recent funk, dropping four of their past five games. They’ve been much better at home this season, with 10 of their 11 wins coming in their friendly confines.
FanDuel Sportsbook has Portland priced as -0.5 favorites, which has been bought down leading up to tip-off.