The Portland Trail Blazers are in the news for the wrong reasons and it may affect how we view them against the spread on Monday against the visiting Los Angeles Clippers. Let’s see the NBA odds.
L.A. Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Monday, December 06, 2021 – 10:00 PM EST at Moda Center
Ben Simmons To Portland?
Damian Lillard was doing a pretty good job of masking his displeasure with the way the Blazers have started the season, but with everything these days, the truth eventually finds its’ way out of the locker room and onto Twitter or the front page of newspapers.
A report out this morning is shedding some light on the issues that the Blazers have and how it may end up shaping the rest of this season. The report from the Athletic paints some light on the situation in Portland. From their front office issues to players not gelling with new head coach Chauncey Billups, things haven’t been going great in Portland for a while now.
However, new this morning is that Lillard would like to play with Ben Simmons, which would immediately improve the terrible Portland defense. This may not seem like much, but it also makes public what was already suspected; Lillard doesn’t want to play with this current iteration of the Blazers anymore.
Will he request a trade for himself, or will he use his star power to force the front office to trade some of the other parts? Lillard is the only player on Portland who can influence the front office’s decision-making and with the West becoming a haves and have-nots conference, the Blazers’ only chance this season is to shake it up to tank for NBA picks, or shake it up and try to make another deep run in the playoffs.
Only the latter will make Lillard happy, so it may be a question of when they will trade C.J. McCollum, not if. That being said, until they do that, things may not be kumbaya in the City of Roses.
The Sharp Pick
Tonight against the Clippers, the Blazers will once again be without Lillard as he makes his way back from injury and that is a tall order against a very good Clippers team. LA has the league’s fourth-best defense and they will use that to their advantage against the banged-up Blazers. Even though LA’s defense doesn’t travel that well, I think they overcome some recent inconsistency and get back on track here on the road.
With Portland without Lillard and Anfernee Simons tonight, they will be left without much ball-handling and distributing. McCollum can initiate the offense, but, if the Clippers focus their defense on McCollum with traps and long shows on pick and rolls, I don’t think Portland has enough offense to compensate for heavier defense against McCollum.
LA’s offense has been the issue at times lately, but versus this Blazers defense, I doubt they have too much trouble. The Clippers only lost to the Kings by 6 on Saturday night and that was with their three best guards shooting a combined 12-for-47 (25.5%). If they can just make a couple more shots against a worse defense tonight, for my best bets, I expect the Clippers to cover spread on the road.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.