Denver Nuggets VS Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers Visit the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semi-Finals round 2 game 1 on Monday night at Pepsi Center.
The Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers will meet in the Conference Semifinals, each looking to get back to the Conference Finals for the first time in over a decade. The Nuggets last reached the Western Conference Finals in 2009 while the Blazers haven’t been there since 2000.
Portland Trail Blazer
The Portland Trail Blazers are allowing 33.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 45.4 rebounds per game. The Portland Trail Blazers have won seven of their last 11 road games.
damian Lillard is 33.0 points per game on 46.1 percent shooting including 48.1 percent from beyond the arc. CJ McCollum vs. Denver in 2018-19 (three games): 16.3 points (62.8 FG%), 9.3 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 6.3 turnovers, Enes Kanter is the third double-digit scorer and Al-Farouq Aminu is grabbing 6.8 rebounds.
McCollum played in three of the four contests against the Nuggets this season. His first game against Denver was one of his best performances this season – McCollum destroyed the Nuggets in Portland for 33 points but the Trail Blazers still lost by one. He scored a pedestrian 18 points in the second meeting resulting in a loss and ironically enough, one of his worst performances of the season where he scored nine points in his final meeting with Denver, resulted in a win.
Portland finishing 18th in the league in bench production produced 18.8 points per game during the first round. Portland finished the regular season second in offensive rebound percentage and seventh in defensive rebound percentage.
After defeating the San Antonio Spurs 4-3 in the first round, the Denver Nuggets have setup a second-round matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. The two teams are more than familiar with one another, as a division rivalry has been brewing for several seasons, further intensifying this series.
Season series: 3-1 Nuggets
Although most of the games have been close, Denver has had plenty of success against Portland over the past two seasons. The Nuggets have won six of the past seven games, with the one Portland victory coming in a game in which Denver rested Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap.
The games were high-scoring and offense-oriented. After posting an offensive rating of 112.1 throughout the course of the regular season, the Nuggets dropped a 117.2 offensive rating in the four games against Portland. The strong offensive performance was mainly a result of hot shooting, as Denver connected on 49 percent of shots from the field and 38.4 percent from three.
Jokić’s season series against Portland is highlighted by his 40-point performance in mid-January. In that game, the 24-year-old dropped 40 points on 15-of-23 shooting, while he also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out eight assists. All indications are that Kanter won’t be able to contain Jokić in one-on-one defense, which will likely for Portland to send double-teams
Murray and Harris had solid performances against Portland in the regular season. Murray averaged 19 points and 5.3 assists per game but struggled with his efficiency (39.1 percent from the field). Harris was slightly more efficient, as he scored 17 points per game on 43 percent from the field).
Nuggets have an advantage when the bench units are on the floor. Denver finished the regular season 13th in bench scoring, Denver’s bench averaged 28.9 points per game in the seven-game series against San Antonio.
Trail Blazers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 Conference Semifinals games
Trail Blazers are 1-3-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Denver
Trail Blazers are 1-5-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings
Nuggets are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Conference Semifinals games
Nuggets are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
ATS- Against The Spread
Betting against the spread is a good betting strategy when the point spread is low, or the bettor believes the team they are betting on can beat their opponent by at least the point spread advertised. If the bettor believes the team will win big, betting against the spread will result in a huge payout. An example of betting against the spread would be if a wager that the Boston Celtics (-7) would beat the Indiana Pacers (+7). That means the Celtics would have to win by more than 7 points for the individual to win his bet.