The Trail Blazers have played a total of 25 games.
Of those 25, the Blazers have won 10.
Of those 10, the Blazers have just ONE win over a team with a winning record. (That was against the Dallas Mavericks on October 27th when Portland still had a healthy Zach Collins for three quarters of the game.)
That could change on Thursday night in Denver.
But it won’t be easy.
The Nuggets are currently 14-8 on the season, which puts them fifth in the Western Conference standings.
The good news for the Blazers: The Nuggets have lost five of their last six.
After easily defeating the New York Knicks Tuesday night, 115- 87, the Trail Blazers felt good about blowing out a team they were expected to blow out.
“It’s good to have wins like this because it’s a team that we desire to beat, a team that is inferior to us, we want to go out there and take care of business and we did exactly that,” Kent Bazemore said Tuesday night.
Now as the Blazers shift their focus to Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, former Denver Nugget Carmelo Anthony offered up his thoughts on how significant it would be for the Blazers to come away with a win in the Mile High City.
It’s definitely an important game, being in the same conference, knowing what we’re trying to accomplish. You know those guys are coming in with a loss tonight, so I’m sure they’ll be ready in front of their home crowd. This will be a good one for us to go get on the road. -- Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony
Portland’s head coach Terry Stotts gave his opinion on Thursday’s matchup:
“They’re the same team that we played in the playoffs; we are not the same team, so it’ll be different. They are a good team. They are the same team that took us to game seven and they are at their place so it will be a challenge.”
As of Thursday morning, the Trail Blazers were three games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
The last the time Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum played in Denver was in their Game 7 victory back on May 12th, using that nostalgia could provide just enough boost for the Blazers to hand the Nuggets their third straight loss.
The Blazers know they are going to need to slow down Nikola Jokic.
Jokic is averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.
In Portland and Denver's first meeting of the season, which also happened to be the Blazers regular season opener, Jokic had 20 points and 13 rebounds despite getting into early foul trouble.
In the loss, Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 32 points and eight assists, while Hassan Whiteside had 16 points and 19 rebounds in his debut as a Trail Blazer.
This is a must for Whiteside on Thursday:
The 7-footer will have to do his best to get a hand in Jokic’s face when the Joker is out on the three-point line.
The Blazers tip-off their two-game, six-day trip, at 7:30pm PT Thursday.