With the series tied at 1-1, the battle between the Nuggets and Blazers now heads to Portland, where
Catch this game live on Friday, May 28, at 10:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Portland Trail Blazers (1-1, 0-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Damian Lillard
- SG: CJ McCollum
- SF: Norman Powell
- PF: Robert Covington
- C: Jusuf Nurkic
Oof. The Blazers lost the momentum in the series thanks to their big loss on Game 2, which at 128-109 was almost the same as their 123-109 win in Game 1. Damian Lillard, who scored 42 points in the defeat, simply didn’t get enough help from his teammates. The only two other Blazers to score in double figures were Nick Powell and CJ McCollum.
That was a stark contrast to their win that saw six players score 10 points or more, and they’ll be looking to get other people more involved in the offense. Carmelo Anthony, Enes Kanter, and Anfernee Simons combined to shoot a total of eight shots for the entire game. That’s not going to cut it, especially when the Nuggets know that they have to guard Dame.
Lillard is averaging 38 PPG and 11.5 APG over the first two games, so he’s not the one to blame here. CJ McCollum is also doing his best with 21 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 2.5 APG. The pain point for the Blazers is an over reliance on their star point guard.
The key to Game 3 may be Carmelo Anthony, whose 18 points in Game 1 played a big part in the victory. He finished Game 2 with five points.
The Blazers are 18-12-0 ATS in games after a loss.
ROAD TEAM: Denver Nuggets (1-1, 0-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Facundo Campazzo
- SG: Austin Rivers
- SF: Michael Porter Jr.
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokic
It’s crazy to think that the Nuggets still have a good team to field considering how they lost Jamal Murray for the season and Will Barton for at least the first round. Of course, it certainly helps to have Nikola Jokic, the MVP-frontrunner who’s averaged 36 PPG, 12 RPG and 3.0 APG in the first two games of the series.
He’s been buoyed by Michael Porter Jr. who has really picked up the slack thanks to Murray’s injury. His averages of 21.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG. 1.0 SPG and 1.0 BPG is helping prevent the Blazers from focusing all of their attention on the Joker.
Aaron Gordon hasn’t been the second or third option that most Nuggets fans would probably like to see, but he’s still been solid with 14.5 PPG and 7.0 RPG.
The Nuggets have it in them to take Game 3 on the road, but it won’t be easy. It feels like we’ll need another Herculean effort from Jokic.
The Nuggets are 21-25 ATS in games after a win.
Spread: The Blazers will be playing with a chip on their shoulders and in front of their fans for the first time in these playoffs. I think they’ll cover the -3.5 spread.
Over/Under: With Lillard & Co ready to put on a show for the fans, I think the over 227.5 hits.