The Denver Nuggets are coming off a tough 93-89 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, but they get the chance to turn things around on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Denver has now lost three of their last four games overall, but they have played well this season on the road (8-4) and have won seven of their last eight games away from the Pepsi Center. As for the Trail Blazers, they started the season 7-2 but have faded a bit since and are now just 13-10 overall.
In the loss to the Lakers, Denver center Timofey Mozgov suffered a severe left ankle sprain and did not travel with the team to Portland. The end-game execution against LA was nothing to write home about. Denver had a chance to either win or tie the game their last possession, but they settled for a 26-foot fade away three pointer by Al Harrington that strayed off the mark. Head coach George Karl wasn't exactly happy after the game, saying: "I wouldn't call it a great shot. I'd like better."
Here is bit from Portland's perspective taken from the game preview at Blazers Edge:
The last time these two teams met was the third game of Portland's season. The Blazers overcame 25 turnovers and 13 points apiece from LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace through tough interior defense and some amazing shooting by Wesley Matthews, Raymond Felton, AND Jamal Crawford. Sadly that was the ONLY time those last ten words have been uttered this season. It's pretty clear the Blazers will need an alternative way of winning tonight.
...Look three places for your barometers tonight: fast break points, points in the paint, and free throws. Unless we get another weird game between these two teams, the Blazers will need to keep even in 2 of the 3 at minimum to have a chance. Portland can keep pace with the Denver attack if they're getting enough easy points. I don't see any way the Blazers jump shoot or one-on-one their way to victory tonight though. There just aren't enough points on the floor to overcome Denver's team offense that way.
Here is some basic information to find the game on Saturday:
Game time/date: 8:00 PM MT, Saturday, February 4, 2012
Location: Rose Garden, Portland, OR
TV: Altitude, NBA TV
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more in-depth coverage of the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Trail Blazers news and analysis is available at Blazers Edge. And for more news and notes from around the NBA, head over to SB Nation's NBA news hub.