The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers will face off against each other in the first game of the 2022–2023 NBA season that takes place outside of either team’s conference on Thursday, January 12 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
Gary Payton II PROBABLE, Darius Garland READY for Blazers vs. Cavaliers
- The Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers have now lost four consecutive games in a row, which occurred on Tuesday. The Trail Blazers started a four-game homestand with a loss to the Orlando Magic by a score of 109-106. This result came after the team had lost three straight games on the road.
In spite of being 8.5-point favorites against the Magic, the Trail Blazers were ultimately victorious by a margin of as many as 19 points.
The Trail Blazers had a field goal percentage of 48.3 and a free throw percentage of 84.2 percent during the game. Despite this, the Trail Blazers were only able to shoot 6-for-35 from 3-point range and turned the ball over 17 times.
Jusuf Nurkic scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, while the team’s star player, Damian Lillard, scored 30 points and dished out five assists.
The Portland Trail Blazers are currently ranked 11th in the Western Conference. They shoot 37.2% from beyond the arc and average 114.0 pp100, which is tied for 14th in the NBA (tied-6th). They are ranked 16th in the league in allowing opponents to score 113.9 points in return on 53.8% shooting from inside the arc (13th) and 35.9% shooting from beyond the arc.
- Gary Payton II
Despite suffering a sprained right ankle, Payton has a good chance of playing against the Cavaliers on Thursday.
- Damian Lillard
Lillard has been diagnosed with a left ankle sprain, and as a result, his status for Thursday’s game against the Cavaliers is currently listed as questionable.
- Nassir Little
According to Casey Holdahl of the Trail Blazers’ official site, Little (hip) was seen taking jump shots during Portland’s shootaround session before Thursday’s game against the Cavaliers.
- Justise Winslow
Winslow sustained a Grade 2 sprain to his left ankle, and the Trail Blazers announced on Monday that he will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ five-game road trip begins on January 6 with a loss to the Denver Nuggets (121-108). Cavaliers lost 116-114 to the Jazz in Utah on Tuesday, after beating the Phoenix Suns 112-98 on January 8.
Donovan Mitchell scored 46 points against his former team, the Cavaliers, but Cleveland struggled in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers shot just 10-for-37 from beyond the arc and allowed a whopping 15 offensive boards, despite having an 18:6 assist-to-turnover ratio and forcing the Jazz into 16 turnovers.
Cleveland is currently the fifth best team in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers are ranked second-worst in the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing just 109.8 points per 100 possessions to their opponents.
At 51.9%, opponents’ point total inside the 3-point line is fourth best in the league (28th). Cleveland then responds with 114.7 points (11) on 55.3% shooting from inside the arc (also 11th) and 36.3% from 3-point range (12th).
- Jarrett Allen
Allen (illness) could play against Portland on Thursday.
Evan Dammarell of FearTheSword.com reports that Windler (ankle) will sit out Thursday’s game against the Trail Blazers.
- Dean Wade
According to Evan Dammarell of FearTheSword.com, Wade (shoulder) will not play in Thursday’s game against the Trail Blazers.
- Ricky Rubio
Thursday’s game against Portland is in doubt for Rubio (knee).