Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets: Injury Report, Predicted Lineups and Starting 5s - November 14th, 2021 | NBA Season 2021-22

A snap from a game between the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers.
A snap from a game between the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Kunal Sethi

Western Conference playoff rivals the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets lock horns at the Ball Arena on Sunday. The Trail Blazers have had a mediocre start to their season while the Nuggets have been on a roll.

The respective superstars Damian Lillard and Nikola Jokic have had polar opposite campaigns so far. The Joker is back in the MVP conversation and is coming off his 59th career triple-double. Meanwhile, Lillard is averaging career-low numbers and has been unable to shoot the ball at his usual clip.

The Portland Trail Blazers are 6-7 through their first 13 games and it looks like they are headed for another mediocre season. They find themselves, once again, in mid-table due to a lack of offseason improvements.

Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets are enjoying a four-game win streak. Coach Michael Malone has made incredible adjustments while Jamal Murray rehabilitates from his ACL injury and the role players have stepped up to the fore. Nikola Jokic was suspended against the Indiana Pacers but it didn't matter because the rest of the team amped up their effort.

This is the first of four meetings between the two teams this season. Their second, third, and fourth matchups are scheduled for November 24th, January 14th, and February 28th.

Portland Trail Blazers Injury Report

Portland Trail Blazers in action against the LA Clippers.
Portland Trail Blazers in action against the LA Clippers.

The Portland Trail Blazers have only one player on their injury report and it's the most important one. Superstar Damian Lillard is set to miss his first game of the season with lower abdominal tendinopathy.

Player Name:Status:Reason:
Damian LillardOutLower Abdominal Tendinopathy

Lillard spoke about his condition earlier this month, saying,

"Anytime it gets irritated it just is a little irritation there, you know what I mean?...But I've played with it for a few years now so I'm kinda immune to playing with it. I've played well, I've done a lot of things with it being irritated, but it's just irritating."
Damian Lillard on core injury that "tightened up a little bit" in first half of lass to Cavs #RipCity"I've played with it for a few years now, so I'm kinda immune to playin' with it. I've played well, done a lot of things with it being irritated."

Denver Nuggets Injury Report

Denver Nuggets in action against the Houston Rockets.
Denver Nuggets in action against the Houston Rockets.

The Denver Nuggets have a few pieces unavailable for this game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Jamal Murray and Vlatko Cancar remain sidelined due to ACL Injury recovery and left hip strain respectively. Petr Cornelie has been sent to the NBA G-League to fulfill his two-way contract obligations.

Player Name:Status:Reason:
Michael Porter Jr.OutLower Back Pain
Petr CornelieOutG-League Two-Way
Jamal MurrayOutLeft Knee (ACL) Injury - Recovery
Vlatko CancarOutLeft Hip Strain

However, the biggest name on the injury report is Michael Porter Jr., who had stepped up in the absence of Murray. He is dealing with lower back pain and hasn't played in the Nuggets' last three games. Coach Michael Malone spoke about his condition, saying,

"This is a process where we’re being very cautious, talking to doctors, getting imaging all that kind of stuff."

He is out until further notice and isn't expected to return anytime soon.

Michael Porter Jr. Has had two back surgeries.-This layup attempt looks like he has loss strength in his legs indicating possible nerve involvement

Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets: Predicted Lineups

Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers will have the same lineup for this game with the exception of Damian Lillard. Anfernee Simons is expected to play in the starting point guard spot until Dame returns to action.

CJ McCollum will retain his shooting guard spot with Norman Powell playing the small forward role. Robert Covington and Jusuf Nurkic will start as the power forward and center respectively. Tony Snell, Nassir Little, Cody Zeller and Larry Nance Jr. will run the team's second unit.

Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets will deploy the same lineup as their last game. Nikola Jokic is the bonafide center and is back in the early MVP race. Aaron Gordon and Will Barton retain their usual spots of power forward and shooting guard respectively.

Monte Morris has done a great job filling in for Jamal Murray in his absence as the starting point guard. Jeff Green has subbed in for Michael Porter Jr. as the small forward and is likely to start again.

The depth has been hampered due to the increased number of injuries. Bones Hyland, Austin Rivers and PJ Dozier get the most minutes off the bench.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets: Predicted Starting 5s

Portland Trail Blazers

G - Anfernee Simons | G - CJ McCollum | F - Norman Powell | F - Robert Covington | C - Jusuf Nurkic.

Denver Nuggets

G - Monte Morris | G - Will Barton | F - Jeff Green | F - Aaron Gordon | C - Nikola Jokic.

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Q. Who will win?

Portland Trail Blazers

Denver Nuggets

Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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