NBA Preview – Game 7: Portland Trailblazers vs. Denver Nuggets


Feb 25, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots the ball against Denver Nuggets center J.J. Hickson (7) during the second half at Pepsi Center. The Trail Blazers won 100-95. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets look to turn their season around tonight as they face a familiar foe in the Portland Trailblazers. Denver has plummeted to the bottom of the Western Conference standings after starting 1-5. Tonight, they look to take advantage of a Blazers’ team that is playing in a back-to-back.

What: NBA Preview – Game 7: Portland Trailblazers (5-3) vs. Denver Nuggets (1-5)
When: Wednesday, November 12th
Where: Pepsi Center (Denver, Colorado)
Time: 9:00 PM EST, 7:00 PM MST
TV: Altitude Sports

The last time these two teams met which was Sunday night, Portland took it to the Nuggets – casting away from downtown. Portland shot 45.0% as a team while shooting 51.6% from downtown (16-for-31). Other than the impressive performance from deep, Denver played fairly well minus the turnovers.

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Denver was dominant in the paint, something they lacked during the 2013-14′ season – mainly due to injury. Denver outscored Portland in the paint 56-30, with Kenneth Faried leading the way with 19 points. Denver should use that same style of play tonight, they just need to defend the three better – harder hedges.

One thing I noticed in Sunday night’s game was Denver (mainly Faried) sagged off on LaMarcus Aldridge once a pick was set. Aldridge was almost automatic, shooting 12-of-26 from the field while adding 28 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. Denver must also keep tabs on Wesley Matthews who started the game red-hot from distance. Matthews shot 5-of-13 from deep, tallying 21 points of his own.

Denver did get back a key role player in J.J. Hickson, who scored on his first opportunity – set up by Ty Lawson on a pick-and-roll. Hickson was held on a restricted minutes limit, playing 15 points while nearly recording a double-double (8 points, 10 rebounds).

Projected Starting Lineups:

Portland Trailblazers (5-3)

PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Robin Lopez

Denver Nuggets (1-5)

PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Arron Afflalo
SF: Wilson Chandler
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: Timofey Mozgov

Tip-off between the Portland Trailblazers and Denver Nuggets is scheduled for 9:00 PM EST, 7:00 PM MST.