The Denver Nuggets returned the favor by stealing Game 3 in Portland, which puts the Blazers back into the disadvantage. Can someone help Damian Lillard tie the series?
Catch this game live on Sunday, May 30, at 4:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Portland Trail Blazers (1-2, 0-1 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Damian Lillard
- SG: CJ McCollum
- SF: Norman Powell
- PF: Robert Covington
- C: Jusuf Nurkic
At this point, the Blazers are going to be extremely disappointed that the Nuggets got the win in Game 3. They played well, and even got everybody involved on offense, getting five players in double figures.
They’re even shooting the three-ball better in the playoffs than in the regular season (41.5 3P% compared to 38.5 3P%) and are getting nightly strong performances from Damian Lillard (37.7 PPG, 9.3 APG) and CJ McCollum (21.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.7 APG).
It should be noted, though, that they only shot 31.1% from the three-point line in Game 3, and that played a factor in the close loss. The other thing missing in that loss were free throw attempts, as the Blazers only took 13 foul shots compared to 27 for the Nuggets. In a five-point game, that made a huge difference.
The Blazers even took care of the basketball and commited only seven turnovers, exactly half of what the Nuggets threw away. They certainly have it in them still, and they’re far from done in this series.
The Blazers are 18-13 after a loss ATS, and are 10-17 ATS as a home favorite.
ROAD TEAM: Denver Nuggets (2-1, 1-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Facundo Campazzo
- SG: Austin Rivers
- SF: Michael Porter Jr.
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokic
As usual, Nikola Jokic (36 PTS, 11 PTS, 5 AST, 2 TO) was the Nuggets’ leading man. The irreplaceable point-center has averaged 36 PPG, 11.7 RPG and 3.7 APG in the series so far, and it’s clear that the Blazers don’t have an answer to stopping him. He can make threes, pass the ball, and is also automatic from the charity stripe, as evidenced by him making all eight of his attempts in the last game.
He got a lot of help in Game 3 as all five starters scored in double figures, including Austin Rivers (21 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST) who shot lights out and made 5 of 10 from three.
Facundo Campazzo (11 PTS, 8 REB, 8 AST) was another x-factor, as he’s a solid floor general that is also one of Denver’s most annoying wing defenders. If he keeps using his high basketball IQ, he adds another layer of problems for Portland to deal with.
Michael Porter Jr. (15 PTS, 5 REB) was relatively quiet in Game 3, and he may need to step it up if the Nuggets want to make it a 3-1 series.
The Nuggets are 22-25 ATS after a win, and are 5-6 ATS as a road underdog.
Spread: I feel that the Blazers played well enough to win a game, but simply couldn’t survive the barrage of threes. I like them to cover the -4.
Over/Under: Expect another scoring duel on the way to the over 227 hitting.