The NBA has two Game 7’s up on the board for Sunday. The Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets will meet with a chance to make it to the Western Conference Finals on the line. The Golden State Warriors are waiting for the winner of Sunday’s winner. These two teams will meet at around 12:30 PM Eastern time.
The Trail Blazers finished the regular season in third place of the Western Conference with a record of 53-29. Portland picked up their play towards the end of the season and were able to carry it into the playoffs. The Trail Blazers were able to bounce the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games in the first round. Portland will look to move onto the Conference Finals with a road win.
Denver had a record of 54-28 in the regular season, which put them in second place of the Western Conference. The Nuggets had to battle it out with the San Antonio Spurs in the first round in a seven-game series. Denver will look to pull off their second Game 7 win of the playoffs with a win at home on Sunday afternoon.
These two teams have been well matched throughout the entire playoff series. Denver was able to earn a 3-1 series win against the Trail Blazers in the regular season. The Nuggets will look to win one more game against Portland to try and keep their NBA Championship hopes alive. I expect a good Game 7 on Sunday.
Game’s 1 and 2 were hosted by Denver on April 29 and May 1. Damian Lillard dropped 39 points and Enes Kanter put up 26 points. Nikola Jokic had 37 points and 9 rebounds, while Jamal Murray had 23 points to help the Nuggets earn a 121-113 win. In Game 2, C.J. McCollum was able to drop 20 points to help Portland earn a 97-90 win on the road.
The Trail Blazers hosted Game’s 3 and 4 of this playoff series. Game 3 was one of the best games of the entire playoffs. Nikola Jokic had a tremendous night with 33 points, 18 rebounds, and 14 assists. C.J. McCollum put up 41 points, while Damian Lillard had 28 points as Portland won 140-137. In Game 4, C.J. McCollum had 29 points and Damian Lillard had 28 points. Jamal Murray dropped 34 points, while Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic each had 21 points. The Nuggets won 116-112 to tie up the series.
Game 5 was hosted by the Nuggets on May 7. Damian Lillard put up 22 points for Portland, but it was not enough. Nikola Jokic had 25 points and 19 rebounds. Paul Millsap added an extra 24 points, while Jamal Murray had 18 points. Denver was able to pull off an impressive 124-98 win to regain the series lead at home.
The series shifted back to Portland on May 9 for Game 6. Nikola Jokic did his best to propel the Nuggets into the next round by dropping 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists. Jamal Murray had another 24 points and 10 rebounds, but it was not enough. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for an impressive 62 points. Rodney Hood added 25 points off the bench as the Trail Blazers won 119-108 to send this series to Game 7.
Three Point Shooting
The Trail Blazers were a solid three-point shooting team in the regular season. Portland was able to make around 35.9 percent of their three-point shots. The Trail Blazers also allowed their opponents to make around 35.9 percent of their shots from deep. Portland has been the best team from behind the arc in the playoffs, making 37.4 percent of their shots from behind the three-point line.
Denver was able to drain around 35.1 percent of their three-point shots during the regular season. The Nuggets had the best three-point defense, holding opposing teams to a percentage of 33.9 percent. Since entering the playoffs, Denver has been able to make 35.7 percent of their three-point shots, but their defense has regressed a bit.
Both teams have been a bit different when it comes to the three ball. The Trail Blazers have been great at shooting from deep, while Denver has been better at defending from behind the arc. If Portland’s guards can get it going from deep in Game 7, I believe that it will give them the necessary edge to pull off the win.
Damian Lillard has been putting up great numbers during this playoff run. Lillard has been averaging 30 points per game on this run. C.J. McCollum has averaged 24.5 points per game from the other Guard spot. Enes Kanter is averaging 13 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Rodney Hood has averaged around 10.5 points per game.
Nikola Jokic has stepped up his game to help the Nuggets make it this far. Jokic has averaged around 25 points, 9 assists and 13 rebounds per game. Jamal Murray has done well from the Point Guard spot, averaging 21.5 points per game. Paul Millsap is averaging around 15 points per game, while Gary Harris has averaged around 14 points per game in the postseason.
Denver needs their guards to step up if they want to win this series. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have been doing really well this series and Rodney Hood picked up his game big time in Game 6. The Nuggets will need some more scoring from their Guards if they want to pull off the win. Kanter will look to slow down Jokic in the paint to give the Trail Blazers the edge.
Portland is coming off a huge win at home and they will look to carry that momentum into Game 7. The Trail Blazers will need their Guard pairing of McCollum and Lillard to keep up the strong duo play if they want to win this series. I believe that both players could do really well after their last performance. Portland is looking for their three-point play to help give them the edge as well.
BetOnline has the Nuggets listed as a -5.5 against the spread. Denver has been playing well, but I believe that the Trail Blazers have a good chance to steal this one on the road. With these being a big Game 7, I believe that this game will at least be close. I like Portland in this matchup and as an underdog they have some good value.