Damian Lillard's otherworldly 2019-20 campaign has helped cover up what has been a disappointing season from the Portland Trail Blazers. Coming off a trip to the 2018-19 Western Conference Finals, few believed Portland would be the No. 9 seed in the West coming out of the 2019-20 All-Star break.
There are a number of reasons for this – with injuries being the biggest culprit. And yet, all hope isn't lost. Portland (+200) has the second-best odds to make the playoffs of any Western Conference team currently in contention for the No. 8 seed, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
While Portland is 4.5 games behind the upstart Memphis Grizzlies, there are a lot of reasons to believe the Trail Blazers can make a run.
For one, Memphis has the league's toughest remaining schedule (.554), while Portland has the sixth-easiest (.467). Of course, the New Orleans Pelicans (+250), who are just 1.5 games behind the Blazers, also stand to benefit from this, as they have the league's easiest remaining schedule (.449).
The Trail Blazers could also have re-enforcements on the way, as both of their injured big men, Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic, could be making a late-season return in March, though that's far from a guarantee.
But thanks to Lillard, who averaged more than 30.0 points per game in both January and February, this team is always going to be dangerous. With two games against Memphis remaining, Portland certainly has a chance to strike and make a late-season run.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.