The Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets will meet for the fourth and last time in the 2022-23 NBA regular season. Will the Blazers even out the regular-season series against Denver? Or, will the Nuggets run away with a 3-1 head-to-head slate?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, January 18, at 10 AM, Manila time
Away: Portland Trail Blazers (21-22/10-14 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Damian Lillard
- SG: Anfernee Simons
- SF: Josh Hart
- PF: Jerami Grant
- C: Jusuf Nurkic
Portland is probably wishing it could face the Dallas Mavericks all the time. The Trail Blazers are 2-0 straight up in their last game games, both against the Mavs. Those wins came after a five-game losing skid for the Blazers, who will once again look to ride the hot hand of Damian Lillard. The superstar point guard has been money of late. He’s averaged 42.0 points on 56.9 FG% and 39.4 3FG% in the last three games. Digging a little deeper than that, Lillard has also registered an unbelievable 75.9 TS% and 66.9 eFG% despite a 34.4 USG% in that same stretch.
If you think Lillard is due to regress this Wednesday morning, think again. He seems to love facing Denver. In three games versus the Nuggets this season, Lillard has put up an average of 35.0 points on 53.3 FG% and 48.6 3FG%. While it does look like it’s all about Lillard for Portland, no one should be sleeping on his supporting cast which includes Jerami Grant and Anfernee Simons. Grant is very familiar with playing in Mile High City, having played with Denver before. He’s averaged 19.3 points on 60 FG% in his last three outings, while Simons just had a 20-point outing in the 140-123 win at home over Dallas last Monday.
The Under is 6-0 in the Trail Blazers’ last six road games versus a team with a winning home record.
Home: Denver Nuggets (30-13/19-3 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jamal Murray
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF: Michael Porter Jr.
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokic
Denver can’t stop downing wins. Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets come into Wednesday’s date with Portland on a six-game win streak after escaping with a 119-116 victory last Monday at home over the Orlando Magic. Jokic bailed the Nuggets with a game-winning 3-pointer with just a second remaining in regulation to get Denver yet another W. But the Nuggets are not just winning because of luck. They have been outstanding this season, especially on offense.
Denver is seventh in the NBA with 117.0 points per game and No. 1 with a 50.9 FG%. The Nuggets stretch the floor so well as they are tops in the league with a 39.9 3FG% but they can also dominate inside the arc, with Jokic spearheading Denver’s attack in the shaded area that is producing 54.7 points in the paint per contest — seventh overall. The Nuggets barely had any problems bludgeoning Portland’s interior defense in the last two meetings with the Blazers. Denver went 2-0 in those contests and scored a total of 130 points in the paint. Moreover, Portland’s flimsy defense is allowing 51.8 paint points per 100 possessions this season.
The Nuggets are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
Spread: The Nuggets (-7) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (234.5) hits the Under.