TIPOFF: Raptors at Portland Trail Blazers


Wednesday, 10 p.m., Moda Center, TV: TSN; RADIO: AM1050


Not quite the start you would expect from a Blazers’ team that still owns one of the best backcourts in the NBA in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The issue is everything else in the starting lineup has changed with Kent Bazemore, Mario Hezonja and Hassan Whiteside now starting alongside Dame and CJ. Familiarity is not a strength yet in this group and it explains their slow start. The backcourt is actually doing their thing with Lillard averaging 33 points and McCollum just under 20, but there are some growing pains going on here with the rest of the lineup.


Normally this would be Lowry, but the thumb fracture has him on the sidelines. VanVleet has been logging big minutes in Lowry’s absence and that could catch up with him, but he’s been solid to very good since Lowry went down. Lillard has been the Trail Blazers’ rock, putting up scoring, assist and rebound totals, but he can’t do it all himself.


The Raptors have won seven of the last eight meetings with Portland, including four straight at home, but lost here last season in their lone visit … Portland is ninth in the league in offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) but just 18th in the league in defensive rating … Where Toronto sits fifth in net rating in the league, Portland is back in 17th … Lillard is second in the league in scoring with his 33 a night while the 330 points through 10 games is a mark only achieved by 12 other players in NBA history.