Maybe the Portland Trail Blazers’ best opportunity to win on their current four-game trip will come Friday at the New York Knicks.
The Blazers (10-8) lost their first two games of this outing at Milwaukee (12-5) and Cleveland (12-6). The Knicks (9-9) aren’t quite on the same level.
For starters, the Knicks rank 29th in three-point shooting (31.6%) and 19th in offensive rating (112.1). So, in theory, the Blazers should be able to keep New York at around 110 points after giving up 117 per game in their last three losses. The big trick could be generating offense without Damian Lillard, who will once again be out with a right calf injury.
Portland’s offense hasn’t been clicking lately as turnover issues persist. But, the Knicks rank 22nd in defensive rating (114.4), presenting an opportunity for the Blazers to put up a big game offensively.
However it comes about, the Blazers simply need a win after having lost four consecutive games and five out of their last six. Despite the downslide, Blazers coach Chauncey Billiups says the team has remained engaged and focused.
“I think our mood has been very good,” Billups told reporters in Cleveland. “Especially to be in a tough spot that we’re in right now, on a losing streak. For me, these are times when you learn the most about your guys. When you’re losing. When you have a tough stretch. As opposed to when you’re winning. It’s always fun and easy when you’re winning. So, this is when you learn about your guys. I like where we’re at. We’re scrapping. We’re positive. We’ll keep at it.”
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS AT NEW YORK KNICKS
What: Trail Blazers (10-8) at Knicks (9-9), 4 p.m., Friday.
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York.
Radio: Rip City Radio (KPOJ 620 AM).
TV channel: Root Sports Plus (in Portland: Comcast 1253, DirecTV 687-1).
Watch the game live online: You can watch this game live for FREE with fuboTV (free trial). You can also get this game on DirecTV Stream’s “CHOICE” package (promotional offers), if you are out of fuboTV trials, or simply prefer that platform and their pricing plans. If you already have a cable or satellite provider that carries Root Sports and want to watch online, you can watch this game live on Root Sports Live. Games can also be watched through EvocaTV with a monthly subscription.
ODDS (Oregon Lottery/DraftKings)
Moneyline: POR +180 | NYK -210
Spread: POR +5 | Over/Under: NA
Blazers: Drew Eubanks (left lumbar spasm) is questionable. Damian Lillard (right soleus strain), Keon Johnson (left hip pointer), Gary Payton II (return to competition reconditioning) and Greg Brown III (G League) are out.
Knicks: Cam Reddish (sore right groin), Mitchell Robinson (sore right knee) and Derrick Rose (sore right toe) are questionable.
The Blazers conclude their four-game trip with a 12:30 p.m. game Sunday at Brooklyn (9-10).
— Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook). Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts