There are only three days remaining in the NBA regular season. However, with the season almost being over the Western Conference playoff picture is still crazy as 5 teams are battling for the last 4 available seeds.
Two teams currently from the Western Conference are in play tonight as the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Denver Nuggets. The Portland Trail Blazers have already clinched a spot in the playoffs and are looking to lock up the 3rd seed but unfortunately have lost their last 3 games. The Denver Nuggets are sitting in the ninth but are making a strong push late as they have won the last 5 games.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
The Blazers are looking to hold off the Utah Jazz as they look to lock up the 3rd seed. They could easily find out if they are a 3rd seed or drop down to the 4th seed as they take on the Jazz on Wednesday night.
Damian Lillard scored 33 points in their loss to San Antonio after he missed one game due to a sprained left ankle but the Blazers expect him to play tonight against Denver.
Key to a Trail Blazers Victory:
The Blazers will need Lillard to play at his all time best alongside McCollum. Both players are elite guards with excellent athleticism and a keen knack to score. If both can get hot early from beyond the arc and play aggressive throughout the game then they will succeed.
Denver recently racked up two overtime wins last week as well as a couple very impressive wins. On Saturday afternoon the Nuggets were able to knock out the Clippers from the playoff race as they defeated them 134-115. If Denver wants to keep their playoff chance alive they may need to win their last two games of the season which include the Trail Blazers tonight and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
The Nuggets have proven to be better as a whole and because of that they have found themselves on the brink of the playoffs. It definitely won’t be an easy two game stretch for the Nuggets but with the Trail Blazers currently on a losing streak they have a chance to force pressure on the Timberwolves for the last game.
Keys to a Nuggets Victory:
Defense will have to step up big against one of the best guard duos in the league. Will Barton must step up against tonight with the Nuggets still without Gary Harris. If they can continue to get the job done offensively and defensively they will continue to have a chance to make the playoffs.
Nuggets need to hope that if they can defeat the Trail Blazers that they can get help from the Grizzles as they are playing the Timberwolves. The final playoff spot will come down to the final game of the season when the Nuggets play the Timberwolves in a winners takes all situation.