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Game thread: Valanciunas, Nance available for Pelicans matchup with Trail Blazers

Expect an emotional night for CJ McCollum, one of Portland’s greatest shooters ever

Sacramento Kings v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Willie Green will start his latest preferred lineup for the eighth time this season when the Pelicans battle the Trail Blazers: CJ McCollum, Herb Jones, Brandon Ingram, Jaxson Hayes and Jonas Valanciunas.

New Orleans has posted a 5-2 record when this group has been together on the court at tip-off.

Larry Nance Jr., who missed the contest against the Lakers, is available off the bench.

The Trail Blazers will counter with Brandon Williams, Keon Johnson, CJ Elleby, Greg Brown III and Drew Eubanks.

While many Portland fans in the building will have an interest in the basketball game, of course, it’s fair to say that all eyes will be fixated on McCollum. He spent nine seasons with the Trail Blazers, helping lead them to eight straight playoff appearances, but it’ll be the first time they see him wearing a different uniform inside Moda Center.

Chauncey Billups said in his pregame that CJ is going to go through emotions he’s never experienced before, adding “It’s going to be very weird for him playing against us.”

For more on tonight’s matchup, please give our preview a read.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (32-43) at Portland Trail Blazers (27-48)

When: March 30, 2022, 9:00 p.m.

Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, League Pass

Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.