Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers 5/16/21 - NBA Picks & Predictions

By: Lance |

Last Updated: 05/16/2021 at 8:06 AM ET

Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers 5/16/21 - NBA Picks & Predictions

The Denver Nuggets will close out their regular season on the road at the Moda Center against the Portland Trailblazers. Denver has won their last three games and has secured a playoff position but can clinch the three-seed with a win in this game. Portland has won eight of their last ten games but is coming off a loss to the Suns dropping to 41-30 on the year. 

Denver is a very sound offense this season averaging 115 points per game which is 7th in the NBA in scoring offense. The Nuggets shoot a very solid 48.5% from the field but the only glaring weakness of this Nuggets team is their ability to shoot the three, a lot of that due to the injury to Jamal Murray who leads the backcourt for this team. 

Even without Murray, an MVP caliber season from Nikola Jokic has led the Nuggets to where they have gotten this season. Jokic is averaging a double-double with 26.4 points and 10.9 rebounds while also leading the Nuggets with 8.4 assists per game. Michael Porter Jr. has also emerged as a great piece averaging 19.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. 

The Trailblazers find themselves in the playoffs yet again and have been a very solid team all saeson long, especially on the offensive end. The Blazers are averaging an impressive 115.9 points per game ranking 5th in the NBA, but are shooting 45.2% from the field, ranking 23rd in the NBA, and are sixth in the NBA in three-point percentage at 38.5% from beyond the arc.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have continued to be one of the most dangerous 1-2 backcourt combos in the NBA. Lillard is averaging 28.9 points per game, 3rd in the NBA in scoring, and is dishing out 7.5 assists per game which leads the team and is 7th in the NBA. CJ McCollum is scoring 23.1 points per game on 45.7% from the field and 39.9% from beyond the arc and is second on the team with 4.7 assists per game.

The Nuggets are alos a top-10 NBA defense allowing 109.8 points per game ranking 8th in the NBA In scoring defense while opponents are shooting 46.8% from the field and 36.2% from beyond the arc, ranking 17th and 11th in the NBA respectively.  

Portland has continued to struggle on the defensive end allowing 114.3 points per game ranking 22nd in the NBA in scoring defense. Opponents are shooting 47.4% from the field, ranking 24th, and have struggled to defend the three allowing 37.2% from beyond the arc. The defense has been a recurring issue in the last 5 years for the Blazers.

Denver is one of the best teams in the Western Conference, and behind the favorite to win the MVP are able to close out their season with a win. Denver is much better on the defensive end than the Blazers and with the solid plethora of role players surrounding Jokic, they’re able to build on their three-game win streak and pull out the win over the Blazers in the regular-season finale. Final score prediction, Nuggets win 117-113. 

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