Two of the NBA’s hottest offenses clash on Wednesday, May 1 as the Portland Trail Blazers tangle with the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of their Western Conference Semifinals series. Tip-off time for this must-see game is 9:00 p.m. EST at Pepsi Center.
Denver in Driver’s Seat
Denver drew first blood on Monday night, pulling out a convincing 121-113 win at home. Nikola Jokic led the way with 37 points and nine rebounds as the Nuggets came storming out of the gates in the franchises’s first second-round playoff game since 2009.
Nikola Jokić did it all last night, putting up 37 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL & 2 BLK to lead the Nuggets to the Game 1 victory 🃏⛏ pic.twitter.com/2gH9l5eW7Q
— NBA UK (@NBAUK) April 30, 2019
The win negated an otherwise brilliant performance from Damian Lillard, who had 39 points in a losing effort. The four-time All-Star is now averaging 34 points per game in the playoffs and ranks behind only Kevin Durant among all postseason scorers.
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2019
Nuggets Have Been Sharing the Wealth on Offense
The Nuggets ranked second in the NBA in assists during the regular season and are fourth in the playoffs. Their unselfishness begins with Jokic, who willingly passes up quality shots to set up his teammates instead with beautiful, no-look dimes. The Serbian big man finished ninth in the league in assists in 2018-19 and had six helpers on Monday night.
Jamal Murray Has Become a Bona Fide Star
As impressive as Jokic was in Game 1, Denver wouldn’t have been victorious without Jamal Murray, who had 23 points on 8-15 shooting from the floor. The Canadian sharpshooter is averaging 19.5 points per game in the playoffs and he’s doing it efficiently, hitting 46.1% of his field goals and 36.6% of his three-point attempts. The Nuggets have won all five postseason games in which he’s scored 23 points or more.
Shesshh.. Jamal Murray 🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/SNrz63HdDw
— NBA Syndicate (@NBAsyndicate) April 30, 2019
Kanter Has Been a Bright Spot for Portland
It wasn’t all bad news for the Blazers on Monday night, as they won the war on the glass 47-42 and outscored the Nuggets in the paint, 56-50. Much of the credit goes to Enes Kanter, who had 26 points in 33 minutes despite playing with a badly separated shoulder. His status remains day-to-day, but Portland would be adrift without him.
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) April 30, 2019
Trail Blazers vs Nuggets Regular Season Statistical Comparison
|113.6 (3rd)||Offensive Rating||112.4 (6th)|
|114.7 (6th)||Points||110.7 (20th)|
|23.0 (25th)||Assists||27.4 (2nd)|
|46.7 (12th)||Field-Goal Percentage||46.6 (13th)|
|35.9 (9th)||Three-Point Percentage||35.1 (17th)|
|+4.2 (7th)||Plus/Minus||+4.0 (8th)|
|109.5 (16th)||Defensive Rating||114.1 (12th)|
|110.5 (14th)||Points||106.7 (6th)|
|45.7 (13th)||Field-Goal Percentage||45.8 (15th)|
|35.9 (18th)||Three-Point Percentage||33.9 (1st)|
|47.8 (12th)||Points In The Paint||48.9 (14th)|
Oddsmakers Are Favoring Denver… But Just Barely
Sportsbooks are clearly expecting a lot of points, as they’ve set the game total at a healthy 218, with the Nuggets opening as 4.0-point favorites. Portland is 48-39-1 against the spread this season and 48-40-0 over/under, compared to 46-44-0 ATS and 40-50-0 over/under for Denver.