The Portland Trail Blazers face the Denver Nuggets at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon at 7:30 p.m. PT on Wednesday, October 23rd. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and streaming on espn.com or the ESPN app. This will be the first game of the season for both teams.
The last time the Blazers and Nuggets faced each other was in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals, where Portland snatched a nail-biting victory thanks to heroic performances from CJ McCollum and Evan Turner, among others. Unfortunately, this was also the last time the Blazers won a meaningful NBA matchup.
Although the Blazers’ roster has undergone drastic changes since last season, Terry Stotts & co. are ready to compete at the highest level.
Portland will be without starting center Jusuf Nurkic for at least half the season, but they picked up another starting-caliber center, Hassan Whiteside, on an expiring contract. General Manager Neil Olshey also signed point forward Mario Hezonja, wing Kent Bazemore, and veterans Anthony Tolliver and Pau Gasol. Youngsters Zach Collins, Anfernee Simons, Skal Labissiere, and (rookie) Nasir Little are also expected to get more minutes.
Since the relocation of the Seattle SuperSonics, the Blazers have struggled to find a geographic rival, but Denver may be the best candidate, especially after the heated seven-game series from last season.
As always, the gameplans are clear for both sides: Portland will need to shut down Denver’s dominant frontcourt of Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap, while the Blazers will look to outscore the Nuggets with the legendary backcourt punch of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
The Blazers are favored by 1.5 points. Portland will face four straight road games after opening the season at home.
Time: 7:00 PM
Where: Moda Center
How to watch: ESPN or NSNW