NBA Preview – Game 18: Portland Trailblazers vs. Denver Nuggets


Nov 12, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) drives to the basket against Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum (3) during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Pepsi Center. The Trail Blazers won 130-113. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets picked up a much-needed divisional win Monday night, defeating the Utah Jazz on the road by the final of 103-101. The win was big due to the fact they are set to play one of the top teams in the NBA currently – the Portland Trailblazers.

What: NBA Preview – Game 18: Portland Trailblazers (13-4) vs. Denver Nuggets (9-8)
When: Tuesday, December 2nd
Where: Pepsi Center (Denver, Colorado)
Time: 9:00 PM EST, 7:00 PM MST
TV: Altitude Sports

In order for the Nuggets to pick up a win on a back-to-back is to have Ty Lawson continue what he has been doing – scoring and assisting. Ty recorded his fifth-straight double-double Monday night, recording 15 points, 12 assists, and 2 steals in the winning effort. An aggressive Ty Lawson is good news for the Nuggets.

Yet again, Denver’s starting five all scored in double-figures vs. Utah. Denver as a team shot 41-of-87 (47.1%) from the field as seven players scored in double-figures. It’s definitely a weird sight to see with Denver only scoring three fast-break points and winning a ballgame.

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Portland on the other hand has one of the best records in the entire league. Sitting at 13-4 atop the Northwest Division, the Blazers are coming off a 107-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. LaMarcus Aldridge recorded a game-high 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting, collecting 15 rebounds and 2 assists in the win. Wesley Matthews was right behind him, scoring 23 points while shooting 6-of-10 from three.

Denver needs to hedge hard on Aldridge and make sure Matthews, Nicolas Batum, or Damian Lillard are not left wide-open for uncontested looks – or else it could get ugly.

Projected Starting Lineups:

Portland Trailblazers (13-4):

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

Denver Nuggets (9-8):

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.