Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets Prediction
The third game of the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets is so important for either team’s momentum. In game 1, Portland was able to capture the win by 14. Then in game 2 on Monday, the Nuggets bounced back by blowing the Trail Blazers out by 19. Look here to see what my Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets prediction is.
On Monday night, MVP candidates Nikola Jokic and Damian Lillard were stellar. They led their teams in this high-scoring affair of 128-109. Both teams will want to head into Portland wanting to secure the 2-1 lead in the series. In playoff basketball, anything can happen, so each team must bring their A-game.
The Trail Blazers are trying to get back to winning after they had won 8 of their last 10 games in the regular season. Portland has been playing the best basketball of the year, and they need to repeat what they did in game 1 to win this first-round series.
The Denver Nuggets finished with the 3-seed in the West and are attempting a finals run with MVP probable Nikola Jokic. Their defense needs to be like it was in game 2 if they want to take a game 3 victory.
The Denver Nuggets Have to Keep Hitting Shots
In game 2 of this series, Denver’s starters shot 11 for 19 from beyond the arc, which is incredible in a playoff game. Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon have to continually be consistent in this game tonight and are the x-factors for the Nuggets.
We know Jokic will have another monster game after he put up 38 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists in game 2. Scoring in game 2 was very well balanced as each player that played significant minutes scored between 9 and 18. Coach Michale Malone will want to keep the balanced scoring, aside from Jokic, and have the Blazer’s defense scrambling.
Denver’s defense needs to find a solution of how to stop star duo Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The pick-and-roll action really killed the Nuggets in their first two games against these two. Expect Aaron Gordon to stay on Dame for the majority of the night, as he did in the second half of game 2.
The Trail Blazers Need More Production From Role Players
Game 1 was the Portland we saw towards the end of the regular season. But in game 2, the offense was struggling to make plays and get open shots. Guys like Carmelo Anthony, Jusuf Nurkic, and Robert Covington need to look for their shots more instead of relying on Damian Lillard all game.
Speaking of Damian Lillard, this guy is an outstanding shooter, hitting 9 of his 16 threes. He had 42 points and 10 assists, doing all he can to try and take 2 games in this series on the road. CJ McCollum had 21 points and 6 rebounds on an efficient 9-12 from the field. He will need more help from everyone in game 3.
The Portland Trail Blazers defense played alright, but the Nuggets just had wide-open threes that they knocked down. Coach Terry Stotts will make an emphasis to contest the threes and also defend Nikola Jokic with discipline because of the foul trouble they were in last game. The Trail Blazers should be ready for this one tonight, and I expect a better performance.
Pick and Prediction
The Portland Trail Blazers are -4 favorites tonight, which is surprising to me. I think the Nuggets will continue to dominate and take this game tonight. Jokic and Porter Jr. will have amazing showings and win on the road. I’ll take the Nuggets +4.
Damian Lillard will do all he can and score 39 points, but it won’t be enough for the win. CJ McCollum will stay hot with 25 points. For the Nuggets, the Joker will get his first triple-double in the postseason, slashing 33 points, 12 rebounds, and 13 assists in a victory.
You can watch this game on NBA TV at 10:30 P.M. Eastern time.