When: Saturday, February 20 at 10 p.m. ET
Where: Moda Center in Portland, Oregon
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: Ish Smith (Quad, Out); Thomas Bryant (Knee, Out)
Blazers: CJ McCollum (Foot, Out); Harry Giles III (Calf, Out); Jusuf Nurkic (Wrist, Out); Zach Collins (Ankle, Out)
First and foremost Bradley Beal was named a 2021 All-Star starter while Damian Lillard was “snubbed” as a starter putting Luka Doncic over him instead. Beal has been proving himself time and time again what kind of player he is and why he deserves to be an All-Star. Lillard has as well but the news doesn’t help the Washington Wizards as on Saturday he may just remind everyone why he deserved to start in the first place.
Saturday night’s game will literally be Beal and Russell Westbrook vs Lillard. We’ve see Lillard and Westbrook go at it time and time again whether it was while Westbrook played for the Oklahoma City Thunder or his time as a Houston Rocket. It’ll definitely be a sight.
This is the second meeting between the two teams. The first game was in the beginning of February where the Wizards lost 132-121. Beal had 37 points, Rui Hachimura only missed two shots having 24 points and Westbrook had his normal triple-double. As for the Portland Trail Blazers they went 21-46 from three-point range and all their starters were in double figures.
The biggest thing for the Wizards tonight is to keep playing as hot as they’ve been doing and work their way from the bottom up. In doing so the defense has to show itself at some point or Washington will be back at square one.
Portland is on a win streak of their own winning six consecutive games; Lillard scoring 43 in the last game. And although Lillard may be the focal point, the Wizards can’t allow Gary Trent Jr. to get hot nor Carmelo Anthony to come off the bench and get double digits.
It’s definitely tough since Washington hasn’t truly played defense all season. But who knows maybe things will change soon enough.
Since the Wizards are on the road out west it’ll be a late game for the east coast. Game time is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.