Following a tough loss two night ago to the Dallas Mavericks at home, the Denver Nuggets are now on a three-game losing streak as they look to right the ship in a tough matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. The two teams squared off earlier this season in Portland and the Nuggets got boat raced to the tune of 135-110, which is something Denver will look to avoid again tonight.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (14-10, 8-7 away) Portland Trail Blazers (13-11, 5-5 home)

When: 8:00 PM MST

Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

How to watch/listen: NBA TV and Altitude Sports (if you’re lucky enough to have that option), 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio

Rival Blog: Blazer’s Edge

Expected Starting Lineups:

DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF Bruce Brown, PF Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Jokić

POR: Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simmons, Josh Hart, Jerami Grant, Jusuf Nurkic


DEN: Collin Gillespie (leg) OUT, Michael Porter Jr. (left heel strain) OUT, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (right wrist sprain) PROBABLE

POR: Josh Hart (ankle), Keon Johnson (hip), Drew Eubanks (back) PROBABLE, Gary Payton II (abdomen) OUT, Nassir Little (hip) OUT

What to watch for

We touched on it above, but when these teams played last time the Nuggets allowed 135 points, which is never a recipe for success. The Nuggets struggling on the defensive end of the floor has been a problem all season long, but especially as of late. Denver is having to score 109+ points a game just to win, which is something that’s tough to maintain throughout the regular season on into the playoffs.

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The Trail Blazers present a tough challenge with sharpshooter's like Lillard and Simmons along with a player like Grant, who always seems to perform well against the Nuggets. Caldwell-Pope and Brown will likely be tasked with guarding Lillard and Simmons, so Jamal Murray will have to hold his own against a player like Josh Hart to ensure the Trail Blazers aren’t getting scoring from unexpected players.

Even with the Nuggets losing their last three they are still just two games out of first place in the Western Conference. This game certainly has the possibility to be a get right game for Denver, but it has to start on the defensive end of the floor or that is never going to happen.