|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBASince the trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, the Denver Nuggets have been adjusting to life without the All-Star.
They have won both of their games since sending Anthony and Chauncey Billups to New York. Since the trade, the Nuggets have overcome Memphis 120-107, as well as the top team in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics, 89-75.
This Friday night, the Nuggets will take on the Portland Trailblazers in Portland. The two teams are separated by only a single in the standings for the Western Conference. Both teams are looking to secure their spots in the postseason, and tonight's game may have a direct impact on the future success of both, as each of the teams made some significant trades before Thursday's deadline.
Denver's newest bench star has proven to be Wilson Chandler, who they acquired from New York earlier this week. In the game against the Celtics, Chandler came off the bench to score 16 points and hit a clutch three-pointer that put the Nuggets ahead for the remainder of the game. Denver had also received Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, and Timofey Mozgov in the trade.
In the last meeting between the Nuggets and Portland in Denver on December 28, the Trailblazers scored a measly 77 points, as they lost to Denver's 95 points. Since that game, Portland has not scored so little, as LaMarcus Aldridge has been surging, averaging 33.2 points over just the last six games. The Trailblazers are coming off of a 106-101 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, a game where Aldridge put up 29 points and 14 rebounds.
Portland is hoping that its new acquisition of Gerald Wallace will help them complement Aldridge's scoring abilities. Wallace was traded from Charlotte and has averaged 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds so far this season. Brandon Roy has also made a comeback for the Blazers, having undergone knee surgery. However, Roy is not expected to play back-to-back games for now, so he may not play against the Nuggets.
Currently, the Trailblazers are listed as the -6 favorites to win tonight in Portland.