Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 2/26/13
Another big-picture game The Portland Trail Blazers got a much-needed win against the Boston Celtics Sunday night, but they’ll need to keep momentum going with the Denver Nuggets coming to town Wednesday night. Matchup: Portland (26-30) vs. Denver Nuggets (36-22) Venue: Rose Garden Arena Time: 7:30 PM PT Date: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2013 The team is in the midst of a four-game home stand, and starting off 2-0 would be a huge accomplishment against two perennial playoff teams. The Denver Nuggets scored 74 points in the paint on their last trip to Portland. (Photo: Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images) Game Notes/How They Match Up The good news for Portland is that its been the better defensive team this season. Denver is allowing the fifth-most points per game in the entire NBA, and it has trouble keeping opponents in double digits on a regular basis. The downside for Portland is that the offensive edge goes to Denver, and it’s not even close. The Nuggets are putting up an impressive 105.2 points per game. That number is good enough for third in the league, and it’s the reason they win despite their awful defense. Denver will allow the Blazers to score, but the problem for Portland will be containing the opposing offense. The Blazers have given up a lot of points as of late, and although that trend was broken against the Celtics, Denver is a completely different offensive beast. Expect lots of points Wednesday night when the two face off on ESPN. What to Watch: Portland As alluded to above, Denver is going to let the Blazers get their points; therefore, one of two things needs to happen for Portland to win this game. Option No. 1 is that the Blazers need to lock down defensively. If they can keep the Nuggets below 100 points, that’s a huge start when it comes to outscoring them. The other option, as risky as it may be, is to simply try and run them out of the building. If you concede to the idea that Denver is going to score 105 points no matter what you do, focusing on transition points and easy buckets becomes the simplest way to execute the offense. Which route the Blazers go has yet to be determined, but either way, the national T.V. audience should be in for some great entertainment. What to Watch: Denver The last time Denver visited the Rose Garden, it scored a ridiculous 74 points in the paint. That’s a concern for the Blazers, but the truth is, you can live with that number if the road team shoots poorly from long distance. On Dec. 20, 2013, the Nuggets came into Portland and set a record for the most three-pointers missed without a make. They missed all 22 of their attempts, and the Blazers took full advantage winning 101-93. The problem for Portland is that it was giving the Nuggets open looks—Denver just wasn’t hitting them. Don’t expect the Nuggets to go 0-for-22 from deep range ever again. If they had hit just three of those shots the first time around, they win the game by one point. Portland has to defend the three-point line, even if the Nuggets are misfiring. Key Matchup LaMarcus Aldridge doesn’t play like a typical power forward, but he’s far more traditional than second-year player Kenneth Faried. Kenneth Faried has a chip on his shoulder every time he plays Portland. (Photo: Don Ryan) Faried, a 23-year-old, who’s yet to define his own position, has become one of the most exciting young rebounders in the league. He plays above the rim, he plays in transition and he’s going to give LaMarcus Aldridge a challenge from start to finish. The worst part about watching Faried come to town is the idea that the Blazers could have drafted him. According to Jason Quick of The Oregonian, Portland told Faried that it would draft him with the No. 21 pick in the 2011 draft. It went on to take Nolan Smith—we all know how well that one’s working out—which is exactly why the big man says, “I ain’t going to lie to you: I don’t like them.” Faried mentions how he has extra motivation when he plays the Blazers, which doesn’t bode well for a team that struggles stopping big men in the lane. For the point guard purist, you can’t ignore the battle between two up-and-coming floor generals. Damian Lillard and Ty Lawson will put on a show, but if the Blazers opt to slow the game down, Aldridge should be the one in charge of the offense. Injury Report Portland: N/A Denver: DAY-TO-DAY—Danilo Gallinari Prediction The current home stretch is an important one for this team’s confidence. A win against Denver won’t be easy, but it will be big when it comes to making a late-season push. Blazers 103 – Denver 100 CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Cavaliers showing trade interest in Kings’ Ben McLemore

Report: Rockets shopping Dwight Howard

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Fassel takes issue with Cam Newton's warmup MVP cleats

Report: NFL upholds Vontaze Burfict’s three-game suspension

NFL owners reportedly concerned with Raiders-gang connections in LA

T'Wolves getting calls about Rubio ahead of trade deadline

Jarryd Hayne wants to return to NFL

Jones: I ‘scream in my pillow’ being at Super Bowl, not in it

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

Franchise tag has been a useful tool for John Elway, Broncos

The 16 best NBA All-Star Game sneakers ever

Eight most potentially combustible MLB clubhouses

Matt Barnes coyly denies IG post was shot at Derek Fisher

NHLers who should be dealt to contenders before deadline

Robert Kraft compares Tom Brady to Peyton, Eli Manning

WATCH: Markieff Morris appears to flip the bird to heckler

Prediction for each NBA award heading into the All-Star Break

Did Clippers reenact Paul Pierce stabbing during pregame intros?

Kobe Bryant gives LeBron James his game-worn Kobe 11s

Terrell Owens tells Skip Bayless to stop ‘misinforming’ people

8-year-old Panthers fan writes adorable letter to Cam Newton

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker