Knicks game preview: Trailblazing to prayer against Damian Lillard

The New York Knicks will battle the Portland Trail Blazers in a brief return home.

The New York Knicks have adventured through a lackluster five-game streak, losing each matchup. They allowed over 125 points in each of the past three games, with the Orlando Magic dropping 131 points in Sunday’s game.

This drop-off in defense happened with head coach David Fizdale’s most recent lineup change, which brought Emmanuel Mudiay, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier in and removed Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson and Noah Vonleh.

For now, it seems Mudiay, Knox and Trier will remain with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Mitchell Robinson. Fizdale’s lineups alter every few games, though, so it’s likely this group splits, especially if the points-allowed totals increase by the game or stay within this league-worst range.

They will compete against the Portland Trail Blazers. At 11-5, they are tied for first place in the Western Conference.

When asked about stopping Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, in relation to the defensive problems, Fizdale told Mike Mazzeo of The New York Post that it will take “prayer.”

Through the season’s first month, Lillard has averaged 26.6 points, 6.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds. McCollum has 20.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Look for more Ntilikina to cover one of these guards early and often. Though it’s at the expense of New York’s offense.

Trey Burke has provided steady offensive production off the bench and could be part of the answer. His 24 and 31 points in the past two games, respectively, have boosted the Hardaway-led backcourt. Will the Knicks receive another standout game from the new Roc Nation client?

Either way, it’s a tall task for the Knicks to combat.

Viewing information for the Knicks vs. Trail Blazers are below:

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 20
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Manhattan, NY
Venue: Madison Square Garden

NSNW, MSG and NBA TV will host this game between New York and Portland. Since NBA TV is a national channel, this matchup will not be available to watch on NBA League Pass.

The Knicks have a five-game losing streak to break at home. Can they knock off one of the Western Conference’s elite?