Stephen Nover Free Friday NBA Play

On December 22, 2017, in Free Picks, NBA, by Stephen

Nuggets at Trail Blazers Under 205 1/2

The Trail Blazers have two things going for them: Strong defense and one of the top guard tandems in the NBA with All-Star Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Portland will have its outstanding defense going here. The Trail Blazers rank among the top-five in all of the major defensive categories. But Lillard is going to miss his first game of the season due to a hamstring injury. Lillard is the whole key to Portland’s offense. He leads the team in scoring at 25.2 points a game and also is first on the team in assists averaging 5.6 per game. I see the Trail Blazers really struggling to score without him.

This is a stop-the-pain game for Portland, which has lost five in a row at Moda Center. The Trail Blazers are really going to emphasize defense as a way to halt this home losing skid with Lillard out.

Denver has been playing short-handed at guard. Both starter Gary Harris and No. 3 guard Emmanuel Mudiay missed the Nuggets’ last game two days ago against Minnesota. Among the Nuggets’ starters for that game were Mason Plumlee and Torrey Craig, not exactly superstar scorers. The Nuggets committed 22 turnovers in their Wednesday loss to the Timberwolves and were not crisp with their passes. Sparkplug Will Barton is ice cold, too, missing 19 of his last 24 field goals. The Nuggets are committing an average of 17.3 turnovers in their last six games.

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