Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trailblazers Preview and Pick

Denver Nuggets (1-0 1-0 ATS) vs. Portland Trailblazers (1-0 ATS) Rose Garden, Portland, OR 10:30 PM EST Thursday October 29, 2009 on TNT
By Jason Green of

Point Spread: Nuggets +7 / Blazers -7
Over/Under: 197

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In an early season Western Conference match up the 1-0 Portland Trailblazers host the 1-0 Denver Nuggets. Both of these teams have playoff aspirations and each has the talent to get a first round home playoff series. Both of these teams took the Northwest Conference title race to the last week of the season last season and they are expected to do the same this season. Neither teams made any big off-season moves, but each team is solid and the Blazers may be the team of the future with all the young studs on the roster.

The Nuggets looked impressive in their 114 to 105 win over the Utah Jazz last night. The high scorer for the Nuggets in that game was Carmelo Anthony who went for 30 points on 11/22 shooting. For the game the Nuggets shot well going 43/89 from the floor for a solid FG% of 48.3%. On D the Nuggets allowed the Jazz to shoot 37/81 for a FG% of 45.7%.

The Blazers beat the Houston Rockets 96-87 on the opening night in the NBA on Tuesday. The high scorer for the Blazers in that game was reserve PF Travis Outlaw going for 23 points on 9/14 shooting. Superstar Brandon Roy had a tough game, as even though he did score 20 points he was only 5/18 from the floor. For the game the Blazers shot 33/77 for a FG% of 42.9%. On D the Blazers clamped down and the Rockets were cold as ice, as they only shot 30/81 from the floor for a dismal FG% of 37%.

Greg Oden only had 2 points in the Blazers opening win, but he was a monster inside grabbing 12 boards and swatting away 5 shots.

Oden has to play good D in this game against Nene and keep him off the boards. The same goes for Nene, as he has to keep Oden off the glass, especially not allowing him to grab offensive boards. If Oden is a beast inside again and muscles Nene and Kenyon Martin around they will be in good shape. Last season he was killed by foul trouble and he has to stay on the court, as the Blazers do not have much frontcourt depth.

Blazers’ PG Steve Blake has a tough task in this game, as he has to contain Nuggets’ PG Chauncey Billups. If Billups has a big game it gives the Nuggets a solid chance to win.

The PF match up is a sweet one between LeMarcus Aldridge and Kenyon Martin. Martin showed he still has some gas left in the tank, as he had 16 points and 11 boards in the Nuggets win over the Jazz.

Brandon Roy is getting superstar billing, but he has to play better in this game. If he is draining his outside J it will open up the inside for the Blazers. Both teams have solid shooters and the team that is draining it from the outside has a great chance to win this game.


Melo went off in the Nuggets first game and the Blazers have to play good D on him and not allow him to have a big scoring game.

Denver has lost their last 4 games in the Rose Garden and last season the Blazers had the 4th best home record in the NBA going 34-7.

On the injury front PF Renaldo Balkman and PF Kenyon Martin are both day to day for the Nuggets and SG Rudy Fernandez is day to day for the Blazers.

Jason’s Pick: Even though this is only the 2nd game of a long NBA season these teams will be battling out for playoff positioning for the whole season. The Nuggets beat a better team in their first game they looked good doing it. Even though Denver has had their problems winning in Portland I think they will have a good game, but I think the Blazers have too much talent. The Blazers will win this game in a close one, but they will not cover the spread. Take the Nuggets and the points.