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Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers: Injury Report, Predicted Lineups and Starting 5s - April 21st, 2021 | NBA Season 2020-21

Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trailblazers drives against Zeke Nnaji #22 of the Denver Nuggets.
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trailblazers drives against Zeke Nnaji #22 of the Denver Nuggets.
ANALYST
Modified 21 Apr 2021
Preview

NBA action continues with a showdown in the Western Conference as the short-handed Denver Nuggets take on the sluggish Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center tonight.

The two sides previously battled in their first meeting of the 2020-21 season in February. The game witnessed Nikola Jokic drop 41 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 111-106 victory. For the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard scored 25 points on the night but failed to secure the win for his side. Both teams are well-positioned for the upcoming postseason campaign, and their matchup could produce a thriller that is not to be missed.

The visiting Denver Nuggets come into this contest on a three-game winning streak. Michael Malone's men boast a 37-20 record this season, which has earned them the fourth spot in a stacked Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers have lost steam of late as they roll out at home on a two-game skid. Terry Stotts' side have lost seven of their last ten games and stay in sixth spot in the West with a 32-25 record.

Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers: Injury Report

Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets have suffered a huge blow recently, with Jamal Murray sidelined for the entire season. The 5th year guard was producing career-best numbers from the field with an average of 21.2 points to go along with 4.8 assists per game.

The Denver Nuggets have also ruled out Monte Morris (hamstring) for this matchup. In some good news for Nuggets fans, Austin Rivers is set to make his debut in Wednesday's contest.

Portland Trail Blazers

With Damian Lillard out of the rotation due to a hamstring injury, the Portland Trail Blazers have been in a slump. The 2021 All-Star remains on the injury report ahead of his team's matchup against the Denver Nuggets. That said, there is a decent chance he will suit up for this contest to help his side get back to winning ways.

Jusuf Nurkic has not fared well on his return to action this season. The Bosnian is being monitored on a day-to-day basis and could remain on the sidelines for this game. Enes Kanter has done well as his replacement, averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds per outing.

Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers: Predicted Lineups

Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.

The Denver Nuggets are coming off a nail-biting double-overtime victory over the Grizzlies. Nikola Jokic scored 47 points on 20-of-31 shooting from the floor, while Will Barton added 28 points with five 3-pointers en route to a 139-137 OT victory.

The Denver Nuggets will feature Facundo Campazzo and Will Barton in the backcourt for Wednesday's contest. The dynamic duo of Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon will take their positions on the wing as the two forwards. Their budding partnership bodes well for the Nuggets' title aspirations in the playoffs.

Coming in at the anchor position will be none other than the 'Joker' Nikola Jokic. The Serbian remains one of the front runners for the MVP award this season.

Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard #0 and Robert Covington #23 of the Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard #0 and Robert Covington #23 of the Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers fell to the LA Clippers by one point in their previous outing. Terry Stotts' side have lost four of their past five games and will be desperate to turn the tides back in their favor with a big win against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

The Portland Trail Blazers will hope to see Damian Lillard back in the lineup for this important game. CJ McCollum and Norman Powell could feature in the backcourt if Dame Dolla remains on the sidelines. Derrick Jones Jr. and Robert Covington will roll out at home as the two forwards. Meanwhile, Enes Kanter will come in at the center position as he faces the daunting task of containing Jokic.

Denver Nuggets Predicted Starting 5

Point Guard - Facundo Campazzo l Shooting Guard - Will Barton l Small Forward - Michael Porter Jr. l Power Forward - Aaron Gordon l Center - Nikola Jokic

Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Starting 5

Point Guard - CJ McCollum l Shooting Guard - Norman Powell l Small Forward - Derrick Jones Jr. l Power Forward - Robert Covington l Center - Enes Kanter

Published 21 Apr 2021
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