The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets lock horns in Denver on Tuesday night at Ball Arena. The Trail Blazers are on a back-to-back after getting pounded in the desert against the Phoenix Suns last night. Devin Booker and the Suns ran away for a 132-100 win to cover and put the game OVER the total.
I thought the Trail Blazers were going to make that game a little more competitive than it was, but the OVER hit regardless. Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 24 points. Nassir Little provided a nice lift off the bench with 18 points, though the game wasn’t close enough for his effort to make an impact. It was the first time without CJ McCollum in the lineup that I thought to myself the Trail Blazers could need somebody else to help Dame out.
While they’ve done well without him despite the loss last night, the fact of the matter is the Trail Blazers must be healthy to get to the top of the hill in the Western Conference. Give credit to the red-hot Phoenix Suns, though, as they made the Blazers look like a losing team. The Blazers are in fact 18-12 heading into Tuesday night.
They have gone 6-2 in their previous eight games. The Blazers have suddenly lost two straight games after going on a six-game winning streak. It’s important for the Blazers to not allow things to get away from them here. It could be easy to lose focus and let this thing turn into a losing skid, especially being on a tough road trip at the moment. They face a tough opponent in the Nuggets tonight.
The Nuggets are coming off a 123-115 loss against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. They haven’t played at home since a 122-105 win over the LA Lakers on February 14. Their previous four outings have been out on the road. They finished their road trip with just one win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, 120-103. The Nuggets will certainly be glad to be back home on Tuesday night to welcome a Blazers squad on a back-to-back. Head below for our free Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets pick on February 23, 2021.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets NBA Betting Odds:
Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets Prediction:
The Trail Blazers are going to have to find supplementary production to help Dame out on Tuesday night. He’s a great player and has been spearheading the charge this season, but he can’t do it squarely on his shoulders. The good news is that the Trail Blazers offensive output last night wasn’t usual for them. It’s the first time since nine games ago against the New York Knicks that the Blazers didn’t score more than 100 points.
Overall in the 2020-21 campaign, the Blazers have been scoring at an impressive rate of 115.1 points per game for sixth in the NBA. They are one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league, with a 38.4% conversion clip for fifth from downtown. The three ball wasn’t working for them last night, but it’s uncharacteristic of the Blazers to misfire from deep in two straight games.
Expect Dame to get some more help in this one, and likely another shooter to step up and get into a rhythm. It’s going to need to happen or the Nuggets will do the same as the Suns. While the offense has generally been in fine form, the Blazers are getting beat too much defensively.
The absence of Nurkic in the paint isn’t helping matters for Portland. The Blazers have allowed an average of 115.8 points per game for 27th in the NBA. Opposing teams are finding openings in their defense and shooting 47.8% from the field against the Blazers. There are only three other teams in the league that teams are shooting better against.
The Nuggets should be able to return home, and have a big offensive night following their rough road trip. The intensity level will likely be turned up a notch against a weak Blazers’ defense at home in Denver. The Nuggets are fourth overall in the league with 115.5 points scored per game. They should eclipse that without many problems in this one. The total looks a bit short here. I was expected to see 234 or 235, so value appears to be on the OVER.