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Portland Looks to Bounce Back Against Woeful Nuggets - Pinwheel Empire
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Portland Looks to Bounce Back Against Woeful Nuggets

submitted 2 years ago by in Daily Empire | Game Preview

Team Records: Denver (1-4) at Portland (3-3)

Game Info: 6 p.m., TV on CSNNW, Radio on 620 AM

Vegas Line: Portland -9

Refs: James Capers, Steve Anderson, Sean Corbin

 

The Skinny: The Blazers look to bounce back from yesterday’s defeat in LA as they take on the reeling Nuggets at home.  Denver is coming off an ugly loss to the Cavs in a game where they frankly should not have been close but were let back in late by Cleveland.  Portland is looking to continue its dominance over Northwest Division foes, having gone 13-3 over them last year and 1-0 so far this year.

 

Last Season: Portland swept the season series 4-0.  It was Portland’s first sweep of Denver since the 1998-99 season.

 

Projected Nuggets Lineup:

PF: Kenneth Faried (Morehead State, 4th season) – 10.2 PPG, 9 RPG, 2 APG

SF: Wilson Chandler (DePaul, 8th season) – 10.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1 APG

C: Timofey Mozgov (Russia, 5th season) – 9 PPG, 5 RPG, 0 APG

SG: Arron Afflalo (UCLA, 8th season) – 9.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2 APG

PG: Ty Lawson (North Carolina, 6th season) – 12.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 7.8 APG

 

Kenneth Faried

Player to Watch: Kenneth Faried (pictured at right) –  Known widely as “the Manimal”, Faried is one of my favorite players to watch.  Faried is an energetic player, with an amazing ability to sky for rebounds, get up and down the court with ease and finish on the break or off tip ins.  Faried showed a fair amount of growth this past season, developing a simple, if effective, post game and generally increasing his offensive shooting on shots not right at the rim.  Where Faried is weak is in man to man defense, because although he is a great rebounder he can too often be beaten on that end of the court.  Still, almost every team wishes they had a player like Faried, who is, at worst, an NBA starter.

Did You Know?: Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw appeared in one game for the Blazers during the 1998-99 season

 

Injury Updates:

Portland: None

Denver: Out-PF Darrell Arthur (Suspension), Questionable-PG Ty Lawson (Ankle), Probable-PG Nate Robinson (Hamstring), SG Gary Harris (Back)

Denver’s Game:

Denver is a fun team to watch, for both the right and wrong reasons.  They can be fun to watch for the right reasons when they are flowing on offense and McGee, Hickson and Faried are making plays.  However, when things go wrong the Nuggets are fun to watch because they make hilarious mistake after hilarious mistake.  In all honesty this looks like a team constructed to win a title in NBA Jam more than the actual NBA.  In the past Denver has been able to hang their hat on offense but so far this year they have struggled mightily, only topping 100 points a few times in recent games because of extended garbage time.  On defense the Nuggets aren’t going to be great to begin with due to their personnel but their lack of effort makes it even worse.  If they try hard on defense, the might be a below average team but so far they are among the league’s worst.

 

The Bottom Line:

Portland wins if: They bury Denver early.  This is not a confident Denver team.  Bury them early and Denver will likely give up, allowing Portland to cruise to victory.

Denver wins if: They hold Portland under 95 points.  Denver has to play good defense if they want a shot at winning.  If they can hold Portland under 95, they might get that shot.

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skywaker9 (David) is a Portland native and passionate Blazers fan. He currently works as a University fiscal analyst for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. He also has a PhD in Public Affairs and Policy at Portland State University. David is a former political activist who chose to focus on sports because they made him happy. He primarily writes previews for PWE and one of his primary goals is to inform Blazer fans everywhere about those players on other teams they may not have heard of but should (such as Nikola Vucevic).