It's always an interesting matchup between Western Conference rivals Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets. Whenever these two teams meet, the game tends to be a nail-biter; however, their last NBA preseason matchup was a one-sided domination by the Denver Nuggets
Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets - NBA Preseason Game
Date & Time: Friday, December 18th, 2020 - 9 PM ET (Saturday, December 19th, 7:30 AM IST)
Venue: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
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The Portland Trail Blazers will be seeking revenge in this game. They lost the first matchup by 31 points despite five of their players being in double-digit points.
Denver Nuggets Preview
The Denver Nuggets are coming off an incredible postseason run in which they became the only team in NBA history to overcome multiple 3-1 comebacks in the same postseason. The franchise might win its first NBA title if the team continues to shine. The Denver Nuggets have played two preseason games in the 2020-21 campaign, losing by 2 points and winning by 31.
The Denver Nuggets have been in the top 3 seeds of the Western Conference for the past two years, and if they continue their intensity and style of play, the Nuggets can bag another top playoff seed this year.
Key Player - Bol Bol
Although not a name anyone expected to fall under "Key Player," Bol Bol is just that for this preseason matchup. It's a meaningless preseason game, and head coach Michael Malone found this to be the perfect opportunity to test out Bol Bol's capabilities and improve his confidence.
Former NBA player and now ESPN analysts Kendrick Perkins said,
"The [Denver Nuggets] knew that Bol Bol is coming this year and he's bringing that smoke"
Although Perkins might have intended the statement as a joke, it nevertheless got Bol Bol trending on social media, and people will be looking for Bol Bol next time he steps on the floor.
Bol Bol is the son of former NBA player Manute Bol who is the only player to have recorded more shots blocked than points scored.
Denver Nuggets Predicted Lineup
G Jamal Murray, G Gary Harris, F Michael Porter Jr., F Paul Millsap, C Nikola Jokic
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers have four matchups in the preseason schedule and have lost 2 out of the first 3. They are looking to reassert themselves as a top Western Conference team, and all hopes lie on their backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
As mentioned earlier, The Portland Trail Blazers lost by 31 points in the first preseason matchup against the Denver Nuggets but have another chance to redeem themselves in the matchup on December 18th.
Key Player - CJ McCollum
CJ McCollum has been averaging incredible numbers for many years but has never had an All-Star selection. The backcourt of the Portland Trail Blazers is one of the highest-scoring backcourts in the league, and McCollum somehow never gets the credit he deserves.
People think McCollum might finally earn an All-Star selection this year, and a lot of the attention will fall on him and his performances alongside Damian Lillard.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
G Damian Lillard, G CJ McCollum, F Robert Covington, F Derrick Jones Jr., C Jusuf Nurkic
Trail Blazers vs Nuggets Match Prediction
The Portland Trail Blazers will be seeking revenge in this matchup against the Denver Nuggets. The two teams have a history of close games often leading into overtime. In fact, the last time they met in the playoffs, the series went to a Game 7, and Game 3 of that series had a record 4 overtimes.
There are no favorites for this matchup; however, the Denver Nuggets are looking more in form and appear to have better rhythm, so the odds are tilted slightly in their favor.
Where to watch Trail Blazers vs Nuggets?
The Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets game is locally televised on Altitude and NBC Sports Northwest. International fans can catch the game on the NBA League Pass.Published 18 Dec 2020, 07:30 IST