The Denver Nuggets scored a 147-140 double-overtime win in Game 5 over the Portland Trail Blazers, arguably the best game of the season. Will we see another classic this time around?
Catch this game live on Friday, June 6, at 8 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Portland Trail Blazers (2-3, 1-1 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Damian Lillard
- SG: CJ McCollum
- SF: Norman Powell
- PF: Robert Covington
- C: Jusuf Nurkic
Damian Lillard threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Nuggets in Game 5, but it was obviously not enough for Portland to score an upset on the road. Lillard double-nickeled with 55 points on the strength of a 17-24 shooting (12-17 from deep) in 52 minutes.
All those points went to waste, as the Blazers kept on shooting itself in the feet with painful errors and head-scratching plays in the clutch. Up against a team like Denver, who are among the most efficient in the league in turning possessions into points, the Blazers need to cut down on such deflating miscues. Robert Covington’s missed dunk and CJ McCollum’s late-game turnover essentially doomed Portland’s chances of winning Game 5.
Lillard is capable of going off at any given time, but McCollum and the other guys have to show up as well when it matters the most. Lillard scored 28 of the Blazers’ 48 points from the start of the fourth quarter to the final buzzer of Game 5.
Portland will enter Game 6 with a 4-1 record against the spread in four of their last five games overall. They are also 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as the favorite.
ROAD TEAM: Denver Nuggets (3-2, 1-1 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Facundo Campazzo
- SG: Monte Morris
- SF: Michael Porter Jr.
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokic
Unlike the Blazers, Denver’s supporting cast did its job in Game 5. From the start of the fourth quarter to the end of the second overtime, Michael Porter scored 10 points including a back-breaking 3 in the clutch, while Monte Morris scored 16 of his 28 points off the bench during that stretch as well.
Nikola Jokic is clearly the best player on Denver’s roster, but the Nuggets are not letting him do it all in high-pressure moments. So far in the series, Jokic leads the team in fourth-quarter scoring with 6.5 points in the series, while Austin Rivers is putting up 6.3 and Michael Porter 5.8. Denver has four players averaging at least 4.0 points in the final quarter to just two by Portland.
In a game that’s expected to be close, it could come down to which team will be able to spread out the offense in the clutch. So far, Denver is showing that at least in that area, it is the better team.
The Nuggets are have covered the spread in their last five games on a Friday (Manila). In addition, they are 6-2-1 ATS in their past nine first-round games.
Spread: What happened in Game 5 was a diabolical way for Damian Lillard to lose. Is there enough left in his tank? Lillard is Lillard, but it’s Denver’s team effort that will come out on top in Game 6. Take the Nuggets to win and cover (+5).
Over/Under: The over has been dominating the series, thus far. But I see both teams playing it tighter in Game 6. Take the Under (228.0)