The Trail Blazers are 11-3 over their last 14 games, including 8-2 since CJ McCollum suffered a left knee sprain. McCollum is set to make his return tonight against Denver.
Since the Nuggets are now guaranteed to finish no worse than third in the Western Conference standings, Denver has decided to rest a handful of starters. The Nuggets can clinch the second seed with two more wins. If Denver finishes No. 2 in the West, that would be the first time they’ve since the 2008-09 season.
Before tonight’s game, both Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and Nuggets head coach Mike Malone addressed the media to give injury updates and more.
Blazers Injury Update: Portland initially listed Seth Curry (left leg) and CJ McCollum (left knee) as probable for Sunday's game.
Coach Stotts said, McCollum “will play limited minutes” tonight.
Stotts would not confirm if McCollum was going to start, but McCollum is listed as a starter in the ‘Game Notes’ tonight.
As far as what Stotts is looking for in McCollum’s return, it’s pretty simple:
“Just get him back on the court, get him reintegrated, get his conditioning. I’m not looking for anything specifically,” Stotts said.
Stotts also said Curry will be a game-time decision after going through warm-ups to see how he feels.
Hear from Coach Stotts right here:
Nuggets Injury Report: Nikola Jokic (rest), Paul Millsap (rest), Jamal Murray (rest) and Michael Porter Jr. (lower back) are out.
When asked why he was resting three of his starters, Coach Malone answered with a straight face, saying, “they’re tired.”
Just because three main players are resting, Coach Malone made sure to make a point that his team is still looking to get a victory and working to get the two seed in the West.
“One thing that needs to be said, though, just because Jamal, Nikola, and Paul are not playing does not mean that we are not here to win the game and play the right way,” Malone said.
The Nuggets will start Mason Plumlee, Monte Morris, and Trey Lyles tonight.
Hear from Coach Malone right here:
Nuggets head coach Mike Malone talks with the media before tonight’s Blazers-Nuggets game https://t.co/kZxgeQK994— Jamie Hudson (@JamieHudsonNBCS) April 7, 2019