Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks: Game preview, time, TV channel, how to watch ...

The Portland Trail Blazers will play their first game on Monday at home against Dallas since losing at New Orleans last Tuesday.

Well, at least a team sort of resembling the Blazers will take the court Monday at the Moda Center.

Up until the weekend, the Blazers had been one of a handful of teams yet to lose players to COVID-19 protocols. That changed over the weekend when seven Blazers landed on the protocols list and will be out for Monday’s game against the Mavericks.

The team announced on Sunday that Robert Covington, Ben McLemore, Dennis Smith Jr., Trendon Watford and Keljin Blevins were in protocols. Cody Zeller was listed as being out with a knee injury. However, a team source confirmed Sunday night that Zeller and center Jusuf Nurkic also entered protocols.

The news of Nurkic and Zeller being in protocols was first reported Sunday by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

CJ McCollum (collapsed lung) was also already listed as out. That leaves eight players unavailable for Monday out of 16. The NBA requires teams have eight healthy players to play a game.

Damian Lillard is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report for personal reasons. Should he not play, that would leave the players with just seven of their regular 16 players available.

In preparation for just such a scenario, the Blazers signed three G League players to add to the roster. Forward Cameron McGriff (Greensboro Swarm), guard Jarron Cumberland (Delaware Blue Coats) and guard Brandon Williams (Westchester Knicks) will help the team remain above eight players and could provide minutes should others become fatigued.

The Blazers (13-19) should be well-rested after holding a light practice on Thursday after their game against Brooklyn that night was postponed because the Nets had 10 players in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Nets returned to action Sunday to win 122-115 at the Los Angeles Lakers.

Should Lillard play, the Blazers would likely start the following lineup: Lillard, Norman Powell, Nassir Little, Tony Snell and Larry Nance Jr. at center. If Lillard doesn’t play, expect Anfernee Simons to start in his place.

With Lillard starting, the bench would consist of Simons, CJ Elleby, rookie Greg Brown III and the three G League players.

Monday’s opponent has also been hit by COVID-19. The Mavericks have six players who will not play Monday because they are in protocols. They are All-Star Luka Doncic, Reggie Bullock, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber and JaQuori McLaughlin.

Needless to say, Dallas is a completely different team without Doncic. He was originally out with an ankle injury before landing in protocols. Doncic has not played since Dec. 10. Dallas won its first two games without him but has lost four out of five games since.


What: Trail Blazers (13-19) vs. Mavericks (15-17), 7 p.m. Monday

Where: Moda Center.

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.


Moneyline: POR -120| DAL +110

Spread: POR -1 | Over/Under: NA


Blazers: G Damian Lillard (personal reasons) is questionable; G CJ McCollum (right lung pneumothorax), C Cody Zeller (right patellar fracture), G Dennis Smith (health & safety protocols), F Robert Covington (health & safety protocols), G Ben McLemore (health & safety protocols), F Keljin Blevins (health & safety protocols), F Trendon Watford (health & safety protocols) are out.

Mavericks: Reggie Bullock (health and safety protocols), Trey Burke (health and safety protocols), Willie Cauley-Stein (personal reasons), Luka Doncic (health and safety protocols), Tim Hardaway Jr. (health and safety protocols), Maxi Kleber (health and safety protocols) and JaQuori McLaughlin (health and safety protocols) are out.


The Blazers host Utah on Wednesday then travel to play Friday at the Los Angeles Lakers before returning home for four games starting Jan. 3 against Atlanta.

-- Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook).

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