Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets (Game 7): Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Pepsi Center in Denver, CO, USA

When: Sunday, May 12th at 3:30pm EST

How (TV): ABC

Portland Trail Blazers (Away)

Head Coach: Terry Stotts {All-Time: 440-417 | ATL, MIL, POR}

Season Record: 53-29, 3rd in West

Projected Starting Five: (G) Damian Lillard – (G) CJ McCollum – (F) Al-Farouq Aminu – (F) Maurice Harkless – (C) Enes Kanter

Top Performers (2019 Playoff Stats)

  • G Damian Lillard – 40.2 MPG | 29.8 PPG | 5.8 APG | .387 3P%
  • G CJ McCollum – 39.2 MPG | 24.5 PPG | 5.5 RPG | .410 3P%
  • C Enes Kanter – 32.0 MPG | 13.0 PPG | 10.4 RPG | .518 FG%

Refusing to get bounced from the playoffs on their home court, the Portland Trail Blazers tied up the series at 3-3 by beating the Nuggets 119-108 on Thursday night.

Portland’s explosive backcourt tandem of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum powered the Blazers in the scoring column, putting up 32 and 30 points respectively. Rodney Hood came off the bench to score 25 points, while fellow reserve Zach Collins chipped in 14 points while swatting away five shots.

The Blazers were scorching hot from beyond the arc in Game 6, hitting 15 of their 33 attempts, with four players making more than one attempt from long range.

Denver Nuggets (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Malone {All-Time: 212-222 | SAC, DEN}

Season Record: 54-28, 2nd in West

Projected Starting Five: (G) Gary Harris – (G) Jamal Murray – (F) Torrey Craig – (F) Paul Millsap – (C) Nikola Jokic

Top Performers (2019 Playoff Stats)

  • C Nikola Jokic – 39.6 MPG | 24.8 PPG | 13.0 RPG | 8.9 APG
  • G Jamal Murray – 36.2 MPG | 21.6 PPG | .354 3P% | .887 FT%
  • F Paul Millsap – 33.6 MPG | 15.0 PPG | 6.7 RPG | .537 2P%

The Denver Nuggets will look to close out this series at home after failing to get the job done at the Moda Center. Denver’s All-Star center, Nikola Jokic, turned in another efficient outing with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists.

Jamal Murray continued his solid play in this series, tallying his first career postseason double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Murray’s backcourt counterpart, Gary Harris added 15 points in the loss, hitting just three of eight attempts from three-point range.

Foul trouble plagued the Nuggets, as Jokic was limited to just under 37 minutes of playing time before fouling out. Joining him was defensive specialist Torrey Craig, who fouled out for the first time this postseason after doing so four times during the regular season.

What’s At Stake?

Although the sample size is very limited, the Portland Trail Blazers have never lost a Game 7 in the second round, with that win coming against the San Antonio Spurs in 1990.

The Denver Nuggets are relatively new when it comes to Game 7 success, as last round’s victory over the Spurs was the franchise’s first triumph in a win or go home scenario. The only other time Denver has played a Game 7 in the second round came in 1994 when they were eliminated by the Utah Jazz.

Awaiting the winner of this game in the Western Conference Finals is the Golden State Warriors. The Blazers managed to split the regular season series with the defending champs 2-2, while the Nuggets were 1-3 with the lone win coming early in the season on October 21st.

Don’t Sleep on the Benches

Despite each team sending out starting line-ups filled with top-level talent, games have been won and lost due to the play of their substitutes. The likes of Will Barton, Rodney Hood, and Seth Curry have proven to be difference makers in this series.

Game 6 was a perfect example, as Portland’s reserve unit of Hood, Curry, Collins, and Evan Turner were a combined +61. Denver’s bench mob of Barton, Mason Plumlee, Malik Beasley, and Monte Morris were minus 45, failing to buoy the efforts of their starting five.

Paul Millsap is Not Slowing Down

After disappearing at times during the first round against San Antonio, Paul Millsap has risen to the occasion as Denver’s veteran leader. The four-time All-Star has been on a tear in this series, averaging 18.6 points per game while grabbing nine rebounds per contest. This should not come as a surprise, as two of Millsap’s nine 20+ point outings in the regular season came against Portland.

With two career appearances in the Conference finals — one in each of his stops in Utah and Atlanta — Millsap has more than enough experience to guide his Nuggets through the intensity of a second-round Game 7.

Portland Trail Blazers Roster Notes

C Jusuf Nurkic – 25 Mar 2019 – Out For Season (Leg Fracture) – Nurkic will not return in the playoffs and could possibly miss all of next season with a compound fracture in his left leg.

Denver Nuggets Roster Notes

F Michael Porter – 21 Mar 2019 – Out (Back) – Porter Jr. has been participating in light contact 3-on-3 drills in practice, but is still a long shot to return this year according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic.

X-Factors: Damian Lillard (POR) vs Jamal Murray (DEN)

Given the high stakes of this game, each team’s go-to perimeter scorer will be in the spotlight, given their ability to light up the scoreboard. Portland’s Damian Lillard and Denver’s Jamal Murray have already put up some impressive scoring performances in this year’s playoffs.

Damian Lillard

Point Guard | 6-3, 195lb (190cm, 88kg) | Weber State | Exp. 6 Years

25.8 PPG | 6.9 APG | 4.6 RPG | 1.1 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.7 TOV | .444 FG% | .369 3P%

Damian Lillard has quickly gained a reputation for closing out a playoff series in his young career. In his three series winning games, Lillard has averaged 34.3 points, while making 54.1% of his three-point attempts. His 50 point masterpiece against Oklahoma City last round was arguably his best overall performance of his career, as it was capped off with a buzzer beater from well behind the line.

Unlike each of those wins, however, Lillard will have to close out the series on the road as opposed to the friendly confines of the Moda Center. With Denver’s high altitude home court advantage coming into play, Dame’s magic will not come easily.

Jamal Murray

Position | Body | School | Exp. Years

18.2 PPG | 4.8 APG | 4.2 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.1 TOV | .437 FG% | .367 3P%

After some shaky performances against San Antonio in round one, Jamal Murray has become a more consistent scoring threat for the Nuggets. The pressure of postseason basketball has not rattled the Canadian, as he has missed just one of his 29 free throw attempts in this series.

Furthermore, Murray has played a big role in Denver’s overall ability to make the most of possessions, as his only game with more than two turnovers came in Denver’s Game 3 loss where he gave the ball away four times.

Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets Predictions and Odds

Both teams will be laying it all on the line in this game, as they will look to enter uncharted territory with regards to recent playoff success. Although Denver has the benefit of home court, the Blazers have already proven in this series that they can win in the Mile High City.

If you reside in New Jersey you can bet on the Blazers vs Nuggets game 7 of the NBA Playoffs, here with 888Sport and BetStars NJ:

Point Spread

Sportsbook POR Trail Blazers +5.5 DEN Nuggets -5.5 Link
888Sport NJ -110 -110
BetStars NJ -110 -110

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Total Points

Sportsbook Over 213 Under 213 Link
888Sport NJ -112 -109
BetStars NJ -110 -110

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Money Line

Sportsbook POR Trail Blazers DEN Nuggets Link
888Sport NJ +195 -240
BetStars NJ +190 -250

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER