The NBA is set up with a smaller day of action on Tuesday night. Four games are up on the board throughout February 4. One of these games will be a matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets. The Trail Blazers and the Nuggets are both fighting for playoff positioning. This game will start at around 9:00 PM Eastern time.
The Trail Blazers have opened up this season with a record of 23-27, which has them sitting in ninth place of the Western Conference. Portland is two and a half games behind the Memphis Grizzlies, who are in eighth place of the West. The San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns are both right behind the Trail Blazers. Portland will look to get a let up and get closer to that divisional spot with a win on Tuesday night.
Denver has put up a record of 34-16 throughout this season, which has helped put them in third place of the Western Conference. The Nuggets are right behind the Los Angeles Clippers for second in the conference right now. Denver is coming off a loss in their last game, but have won four of their last six games coming into this one. The Nuggets will look to bounce back with a win at home in this one.
These two teams are right in the thick of the playoff race right now. The Nuggets are competing for the top spot in the Western Conference, while Portland is still looking to get into the final playoff spot. I expect these two teams to come out strong on Tuesday night to try and get a much needed win to move up the standings.
These two teams met up a lot throughout last season. Denver was able to take the first three games of the season series, before dropping the final game of the season series. These two teams met up in a tough seven game series in the second round. The Trail Blazers were able to bounce back from a 3-2 series deficit to win 4-3 to move onto the Conference Finals.
These two teams met up to open the season on October 23 in Portland. Damian Lillard dropped 32 points for the Trail Blazers, but it would not be enough. Nikola Jokic earned 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Will Barton put up 19 points. The Nuggets were able to ride a strong fourth quarter to a 108-100 win on the road.
These two teams met up again in Denver on December 12. Hassan Whiteside had a big night for the Trail Blazers, earning 33 points and 11 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony finished with 20 points, but it would still not be enough. Nikola Jokic had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets. Jerami Grant added another 20 points off the bench to help the Nuggets earn another 114-99 win over Portland.
Denver has won eight of their last nine regular season games against the Trail Blazers. The Nuggets have dominated Portland in the last few games of the season series, but the Trail Blazers got the last laugh in last season’s playoffs. Portland has not been able to knock off the Nuggets this season, but they will have another chance on Tuesday night.
Field Goal Shooting
The Trail Blazers field goal shooting has been around middle of the league so far this season. Portland has made around 45.6 percent of their shots from the field. The Trail Blazers been able to sink 36.8 percent of their shots from behind the arc, which is seventh best in the NBA. Portland has made 50.9 percent of their shots inside the arc, which has not been great.
Denver has also been shooting around 46.1 percent from the field this season, which is also around middle of the league. The Nuggets three point shooting has not been great, making only 35 percent of their shots from deep. Denver has been able to sink 51.7 percent of their shots inside the arc, which could be better as well.
These two teams have not had the best season when it comes to shooting, but the Trail Blazers have found their rhythm as of late. The Nuggets have one of the top defenses in the league this season, which will look to shut down Portland’s offense. Denver has been hit with some injuries, which has hurt their lineup as well.
Portland has been led by Damian Lillard this season. Lillard is averaging 30 points and 8 assists per game this season. C.J. McCollum has averaged 21.5 points per game from the other Guard spot. Hassan Whiteside is averaging 16 points and 14 rebounds per game with the Trail Blazers this season. Carmelo Anthony has averaged 16 points per game, while Trevor Ariza is averaging 11.5 points per game since joining the Trail Blazers.
Nikola Jokic has been the leader for the Nuggets this season. Jokic has averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game throughout this season. Will Barton is averaging 15 points per game with Denver. Jerami Grant has averaged 11 points per game off the bench, while Gary Harris is averaging 10.5 points per game.
These two teams have had their leaders in the lineup, which has helped them reach where they are now. Lillard has been on a tear as of late and it is a big reason why they have been able to win four games in a row. The Nuggets are looking to slow down Lillard, which has been no easy task for any team.
The Trail Blazers have lost the first two games of the season series to Denver, but I believe with the hot streak they are right now, they could earn a big win on Tuesday night. Portland can compete with the Nuggets shooting wise in this game. If Lillard can go off again though, I think that the Trail Blazers will pull off the upset on the road.
BetOnline has Denver listed as a -190 against the money line in this game. This implies that the Nuggets will win this game around 65.5 percent of the time. I think that Portland should be much closer to even with their nice winning streak of four games. The Trail Blazers seemed to have found their game as of late, which makes them a good pick in my opinion.