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Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets (Game 5) : Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

Written by: Andre Viljoen
Updated October 14, 2022
6 min read

How to Watch

Where: Pepsi Center in Denver, CO, USA

When: Tuesday, May 7th at 10:30pm EST

How (TV): TNT

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 – 41.6 MPG | 30.4 PPG | 6.1 APG | 2.1 SPG
  • G CJ McCollum – 40.0 MPG | 25.3 PPG | 5.6 RPG | .423 3P%
  • C Enes Kanter – 33.0 MPG | 14.4 PPG | 10.2 RPG | .852 FT%

Having won in a quadruple overtime classic two nights earlier, the Portland Trail Blazers did not have quite enough left in the tank to go up 3-1. As a result, the Blazers fell 116-112 at home to the Nuggets. CJ McCollum again was the top scorer for Portland, this time with a modest 29 points. Fellow guard Damian Lillard was close behind with 28 points along with seven assists.

The back court scoring duo got some help from their supporting cast, namely defensive specialist Al-Farouq Aminu, who added 19 points and eight rebounds, while Seth Curry came off the bench to drop 16 points, 14 of which came in the second quarter.

Despite playing well on the offensive end, the Blazers struggled to routinely secure rebounds on defense, allowing the Nuggets to grab 17 offensive boards which led to 20 second chance pointsr.

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 – 40.4 MPG | 24.5 PPG | 12.5 RPG | 9.3 APG
  • G Jamal Murray – 35.5 MPG | 21.7 PPG | 4.3 APG | .353 3P%
  • G Gary Harris – 36.5 MPG | 13.9 PPG | .370 3P% | .846 FT%

Refusing to go back home down 3-1, the Denver Nuggets showed resilience on the road by evening the score against the Blazers. Jamal Murray had his second straight game with 34 points, hitting all 11 of his free throw attempts, most of which came in the closing minutes of the game.

Denver’s front court duo of Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap scored 21 points apiece, with Jokic notching another triple-double which included 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

All together, the Nuggets had five players who reached double figures in scoring, one of whom was sixth man Will Barton who hit a pair of clutch threes in the fourth quarter to suppress Portland’s momentum.

What’s At Stake?

With the series now at 2-2, the Portland Trail Blazers do not need to fret at this point, as they have not lost a playoff series that was even after four games since 2011, when they were bounced by the champion Dallas Mavericks in the first round.

The Denver Nuggets will be playing in their fifth playoff Game 5 since 2010. They have won four straight such games, with their last loss coming in 2011 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in round one.

Could Zach Collins Earn a Bigger Role?

A new age center with the ability to stretch the floor and bury threes, Zach Collins has quickly earned the trust of coach Terry Stotts. Having already played important minutes in the playoffs last year against the New Orleans Pelicans, the second year Gonzaga product has made his presence known as a rim protector. Having blocked a modest eight shots so far, the seven foot native of Las Vegas is making plays on that end of the floor.

With that said, the 21 year-old has played his age, namely when he got hit with a technical foul in Game 4 for arguing a foul call with the officials. His maturity should improve with time and experience, which will only help as he becomes a more importance piece for Portland’s roster.

Nikola Jokic’s Conditioning Will Be Tested

Although he will not be winning any dunk contests anytime soon, Nikola Jokic has quickly become one of the premier young stars in the NBA. Relying more on his skill and basketball IQ than his physical gifts, the Serbian is able to out play opponents who are faster, stronger, and more athletic.

Despite his unathletic appearance, the Joker has managed to log some heavy minutes in the playoffs this year, (65 in Game 3) and has already been through a seven game slugfest against San Antonio. Jokic appeared to be gassed near the end of Game 4, which suggests that the seven footer may not be quite used to the grind of postseason basketball just yet.

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: Seth Curry (POR) vs Malik Beasley (DEN)

The matchup to look out for in Game 5 will be between two reserve guards who are capable of lighting it up from beyond the arc, as Portland’s Seth Curry takes on Denver’s Malik Beasley.

Seth Curry

Point Guard/Shooting Guard | 6-2, 185lb (188cm, 83kg) | Liberty/Duke | Exp. 4 Years

7.9 PPG | 0.9 APG | 1.6 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 0.8 TOV | .456 FG% | .450 3P%

A journeyman who is currently on his sixth NBA team, Seth Curry has made an impact coming off the bench for the Blazers. The younger brother of two-time MVP Steph Curry was deadly from three point range this year, hitting 45% of his attempts, a percentage that ranked third in the league behind Brooklyn’s Joe Harris and Toronto’s Danny Green.

His 16 point performance in Game 4 provided a glimpse of the boost he can provide in his role, as he has also put together some solid shooting displays in the regular season. One of his best outings came on February 25th against the Cleveland Cavaliers, when he shot a perfect five for five from downtown.

Malik Beasley

Shooting Guard | 6-5, 195lb | Florida State | Exp. 2 Years

11.3 PPG | 1.2 APG | 2.5 RPG | SPG | BPG | TOV | .474 FG% | .402 3P%

Like many of his Denver teammates, Malik Beasley is going through his first run of playoff action as a pro. So far the former Florida State Seminole has not shown many signs of jitters, already posting five double figure scoring games through 11 postseason contests. Although Will Barton has started heating up after losing his starting spot, Beasley has still managed to remain in the fold, making Denver’s bench unit a scary one.

Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets Predictions and Odds

With both teams still feeling the effects of Game 3, Denver could take advantage of their high altitude home court by tiring out the Trail Blazers. Portland is unlikely to let up, however, as they will be determined to make up for their inability to close out Game 4.

You can bet on the Blazers vs Nuggets if you are in New Jersey, at one of the following sportsbooks:

Sportsbook Portland Trail Blazers Denver Nuggets Link
888Sport NJ +165 -200
BetStars NJ +165 -200

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

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Andre Viljoen

150 Articles

Andre has been writing for WSN since February 2019, covering college basketball and college football. A graduate of Florida State and UNC-Chapel Hill, he lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he is not writing, he enjoys playing sports and Magic: The Gathering.

Email: [email protected]

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