Last Wednesday, the Denver Nuggets were riding a four-game winning streak and the Portland Trailblazers were facing their toughest stretch of the season. It looked like Denver was in the driver’s seat and the 8th seed was theirs to lose. Less than a week later, the tables have turned. Not because the Nuggets have fallen off of a cliff or because they suddenly became a worse team. The Nuggets, by all accounts, are still on the rise.
But the Portland Trailblazers just had a heck of a week. They won four out of five on the road in what was by far their toughest stretch of this crucial final month of the season. They won as underdogs against San Antonio, Atlanta, and Miami, three likely playoff teams. In short, it was gut-check time and they stepped up. Portland now has just three road games left, one of which is against the lowly, tanking Lakers. And if I haven’t persuaded you of the likelihood that Portland will prevail, fivethiryeight.com gives the Blazers a 71% chance of winning now that they took care of business on that road trip.
In this episode, I recap those odds as well as my biggest takeaway from the Nuggets loss to the Rockets on Saturday night.