NBA

Nuggets vs. Trail Blazers Game 1: Live stream info, watch online, TV channel, odds, start time, prediction

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For the second time in three seasons, the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers will meet in the playoffs. Back in 2019, the Blazers won a thrilling seven-game series in the second round that included an incredible quadruple overtime Game 3. If this matchup is anything like that, we’re in for a treat.

Despite losing Jamal Murray to a torn ACL, the Nuggets earned the No. 3 seed in the West thanks to the incredible play of Nikola Jokic, who will likely be named MVP after the season. Portland, meanwhile, also dealt with its fair share of injuries but surged down the stretch to grab the No. 6 seed and avoid the play-in tournament. 

Ahead of Game 1 on Saturday, here’s everything you need to know:

(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Portland Trail Blazers

  • Date: Saturday, May 22 | Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Ball Arena — Denver, Colorado
  • TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN
  • Odds: Nuggets -1 | O/U: 227.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)  

Featured Game | Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Storylines

Nuggets: When Murray went down with a torn ACL in April, everyone made the fair assumption that the Nuggets would drop off to some extent. Instead, they went 12-5 without Murray and finished with a top-three seed in the West for the third straight season. Whether or not they can keep it going in the playoffs, where Murray’s shot creation is more valuable than ever, remains to be seen. The good news for them, at least in this series, is that the Blazers had the second-worst defense in the league this season and should be easy to score against. 

Blazers: Portland made a bunch of moves around the edges this offseason, but in the end, they were pretty much the same team they’ve been for a while now. With Damian Lillard leading the way, they have a high-scoring and at times unstoppable offense, but do not guard anyone on the other end. Eventually in the playoffs, the latter catches up to them. This season, they ranked 29th in defensive rating (115.3) and joined the 2018 Cavaliers and 2003 Bucks as the only teams since 2000 to finish in the bottom two in defense and make the playoffs.

Prediction

The Nuggets are one-point favorites, so this is basically a pick-em. And with two pretty evenly matched teams, we’ll ride with the Nuggets since they’re at home and have the best player in Jokic.  



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