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Preview: Jokic MVP tour continues to Portland

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Off a 47-point performance, Jokic and the Nuggets will face off against Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers.

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets look to continue their winning streak against the Portland Trail Blazers, who are hoping to get Damian Lillard back after their start point guard has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers

Where: Portland, Oregon

When: 8:00 PM MDT

How to Watch: Altitude

Rival Blog: Blazers Edge

Projected Lineups

Projected Lineups

POS DEN POR EDGE
POS DEN POR EDGE
PG Facu Campazzo Damian Lillard Trail Blazers
SG Will Barton C.J. McCollum Trail Blazers
SF Michael Porter Jr. Norman Powell Even
PF Aaron Gordon Robert Covington Nuggets
C Nikola Jokic Enes Kanter Nuggets
BENCH Shaq Harrison, PJ Dozier, JaMychal Green, Paul Millsap, JaVale McGee Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Jones Jr., Anfernee Simons, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Nassir Little Even

Three Things to Watch

Point guard matchup. If Lillard is back, the Nuggets are going to have a tough go against one of the best players in the NBA. Lillard is a powerful driver, and has deep range on his 3-point shot. We’ll need another good performance from Campazzo to try to limit his impact to under 50 points.

Big battles. Kanter has given the Nuggets problems historically, but Jokic is playing the best basketball of his career. I think this is a matchup the Nuggets should feel good about, and will need to win in order for Denver’s offense to keep up with Portland.

Wing size vs speed. Norman Powell gives Portland another smaller scoring threat, which I think will be the player that Aaron Gordon defends most of the night. The Nuggets need Gordon to outplay Powell, because if the Nuggets can win when they play big, they’ll have a greater chance at success against the Trail Blazers. That will free up MPJ to guard/be guarded by Robert Covington, which is a more favorable matchup for the Nuggets forward on both ends of the court.

Prediction

Portland Trail Blazers 125 - Denver Nuggets 118