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Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets: Match Preview and Predictions - 12th December 2019

Krystelle T.
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:16 IST

Damian Lillard scored 31 points in 29 minutes in Portland
Damian Lillard scored 31 points in 29 minutes in Portland's blowout against the Knicks last game

Match details

Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets

Date & Time: Wednesday, 12th December 2019 (10:30 PM ET)

Venue: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

Last game results

Portland Trail Blazers (10-15): 115-87 win against the New York Knicks (10th December, Tuesday)

Denver Nuggets (14-8): 92-97 loss against the Philadelphia 76ers (10th December, Tuesday)


Portland Trail Blazers Preview

The Blazers are coming off of a 28-point victory against the Knicks, a morale boost for the team after the recent loss of yet another player in Rodney Hood because of injury. The team has been having a pretty rough start this season despite reaching the Western Conference Finals just last playoffs. Rip City, however, looks to get back on track, producing a 5-5 record the last 10 games--just a win away from the eighth seed.

In their last game, Portland only let the Knicks lead for a minute before Damian Lillard and the Blazers shot hot and never looked back. Portland scored 32 points in just the first quarter as Lillard ended the game with eight threes. The Blazers looks to carry over this great offensive showing in their game against Denver on Wednesday.

Key Player - Kent Bazemore

Bazemore during their game against the Knicks last Dec. 10 (photo from Action Network)
Bazemore during their game against the Knicks last Dec. 10 (photo from Action Network)

Kent Bazemore may not be the team's leading scorer, but his role, especially on the defensive end, will be extremely important in their next game. It is already expected that Lillard's shooting prowess will be on display next game, with CJ McCollum giving his usual numbers. However, Denver is a team with great shooters like Jamal Murray and Garry Harris, and it is up to Bazemore to defend the perimeter. With CJ being the second option and Melo not exactly being known for his defense, Bazemore needs to step up his game and control the perimeter.

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Blazers Predicted lineup

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Kent Bazemore, Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside


Denver Nuggets Preview

The Nuggets recently ended their four-game road trip, falling to the Sixers who is currently 16-0 in their home court this season. The five-point loss, however, just shows how good the team is looking coming into their game against the Blazers this Wednesday.

The team is currently fifth in the West, with a standing of 14-8. The team has pretty much the same roster last season, with additional piece Michael Porter, Jr. easing into the deep roster. Denver didn't exactly have the best start, but they're finding their groove back with the great offensive display they had shown last season. Just a game behind the fourth seed, they look to win against Portland in their rematch this season.

Key Player - Nikola Jokic

Jokic in his last game against the Blazers
Jokic in his last game against the Blazers

Jokic might be looking at a great game this Wednesday as his height and passing prowess will be perfect against the smaller Blazers. He was efficient last game, scoring 15 points from 7-13 shooting, together with 11 assists and 7 rebounds. This is despite being matched up against the longer and more defensive-minded Sixers.

It's up to him to make the right plays and take advantage of having multiple options on offense, finding his teammates on their spots and confusing Portland's defense. The Joker should also look to feast in the paint, especially when he's playing alongside Plumlee or another Center on the floor.

Denver Nuggets predicted lineup

Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Will Barton III, Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic


Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are expected to come into the game with an extra fire after losing a close game against the Sixers yesterday. They will also have extra confidence as they've already defeated Portland when they last faced off last October in the Blazers' season-opener. Portland's roster is pretty thin right now, especially on the wing. With the hot shooting and overall great ball movement of Denver, the Blazers' sub-par defense this season might not be enough to overcome the Nuggets.

Where to Watch Blazers vs Nuggets?

The game will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Northwest and nationwide on NBA TV. The game can also be streamed live on NBA League Pass

Published 12 Dec 2019, 04:00 IST
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