NBA Starting Lineups and Match Prediction - Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers - Game 4
The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets will face off tonight, with just 48 hours passing since Friday's 68-minute overtime thriller. Game 3 proved to be the longest postseason game since 1953, as the Trail Blazers came away with a grueling 140-137 home win.
Nikola Jokic played an improbable 65 minutes, whereas both CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard hovered around the 60-minute mark. In total nine players played more than 45 minutes, and the four overtimes are likely to take their tolls on the players as the series heads into Game 4.
Nevertheless, the Nuggets will need to quickly pick themselves up, as a Game 4 defeat will put them in a 3-1 hole -- a margin that few NBA teams are able to come back from.
Enes Kanter separated his shoulder during Game 3, however, the Turkish center is listed as day to day and is expected to start tonight. Meanwhile, aside from rookie Michael Porter Jr., the Nuggets have a fully fit roster to choose from.
Predicted Portland Trail Blazers starting lineup: Al-Farouq Aminu (F), Maurice Harkless (F), Enes Kanter (C), CJ McCollum (G), Damian Lillard (G)
Predicted Denver Nuggets starting lineup: Paul Millsap (F), Torrey Craig (F), Nikola Jokic (C), Jamal Murray (G), Gary Harris (G)
The Nuggets have already completed a grueling seven-game series against the San Antonio Spurs, whereas the Trail Blazers dropped just one-game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Despite their impressive young roster, the Nuggets also rely too heavily on Nikola Jokic, and the 24-year-old will struggle to be at 100 percent following his efforts in Game 3. Ultimately, momentum and conditioning appear to be in favor of Portland, and it is difficult to envision anything other than a Trail Blazers win.