NBA Thursday Night Picks: Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers

Dallas at Portland

Time: 9:30 PM CST (TNT)

Spread: DAL -4

Total: 229

Odds c/o 5dimes

The Dallas Mavericks are 14-5 SU on the road where it visits the No. 10 seeded 19-26 Portland Trail Blazers in the second game of a TNT Thursday night doubleheader. The Mavericks are 4-point favorites with the over/under set at 229 points according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes.

DALLAS news & notes:

The Dallas Mavericks have won six of its last 10 overall SU and four of its last five overall.

Luka Doncic has gone atomic since returning from injury, but it came with the nasty fact that the other star, Kristaps Porzingis, is now out with right knee soreness.

With Doncic out, the Mavericks got a good look at Kristaps Porzingis, who turned in another strong game in the Mavs’ loss to Boston. He tallied 23 points on 8 of 19 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and a steal but is out for an indefinite period now. It has been hard to keep its core healthy. Porzingis is slated to return tonight.

Last outing, Doncic had 35 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the 120-112 win over Portland the last outing. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 29 points and five made triples.

On the season Porzingis is averaging 17.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, but all suggestions are that he was able to greatly increase his usage percentage with Doncic unavailable. The Mavericks need to get another guy to step up, because Doncic left a 29.3 point, 8.9 assist hole when he sprained his ankle. While he is expected to make a full recovery and is already back in triple-double form (!), the Mavs are still in overhaul replacing his production. Although the Doncic-Porzingis punch is a strong one, the Mavericks still seem to be lacking a “third star” to complete the picture.

PORTLAND news & notes:

Portland has won just four of its last 10 overall, and at 19-26 it trails the No.8 seeded Memphis Grizzlies by 2  games for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.

Carmelo Anthony has been the headliner for news in Portland, and the free-agent acquisition seems to be nothing but good for the Blazers’ rotation. Melo is averaging 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in 32 minutes a night through his first 23 games (all of which he has started). It has pushed Mario Hezonja back out of the starting lineup, where he was having his struggles. The Blazers also seemed to legitimately have added a true No. 3 option behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who combine to average 48.8 points and 11.4 assists per game in the backcourt.

The Blazers are arguably a better team on paper this year than last, but injuries have prevented it all from fully translating. Hassan Whiteside is something of an upgrade over the injured Jusef Nurkic, but losing Zach Collins to injury was a bit of a blow to a team thin on frontcourt depth. Rodney Hood has been a pleasant surprise as a second-unit scorer, though, with his 50.6 percent shooting and 11 points per game. The Blazers simply need a healthy roster before it can build the chemistry and momentum that it really should.

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