Two Northwest Division foes prepare to face off in the Mile High City, as the Denver Nuggets (54-28; 4-3) host the Portland Trail-Blazers (53-29; 4-1) to begin their Western Conference Semifinals series at Pepsi Center on Monday night.
Entering Monday’s matchup, the Nuggets won the regular-season series against the Trail Blazers 3-1.
The game is scheduled to start at 10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on TNT. If you don’t have cable, you can watch a live stream of TNT on your computer, phone, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or other streaming device via one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
TNT is one of 85-plus live TV channels included in the main FuboTV bundle, which is largely tailored towards sports.
You can start a free 7-day trial of FuboTV right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast or other supported device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as a 72-hour look-back feature, which allows you to watch the game (and other programs) on-demand within three days of its conclusion, even if you don’t record it.
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of 60-plus live TV channels, including TNT.
You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Echo Show, or other streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, Hulu With Live TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as the option to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of space and the ability to fast-forward through commercials.
PS Vue–which doesn’t require an actual PlayStation console to sign up or watch–offers four different live-TV channel packages, all of which include TNT, but if you plan on keeping Vue for the rest of the NBA playoffs, you can get the “Core” bundle (65-plus channels, including ESPN, TNT and NBA TV) for $10 off your first two months right now.
You can start a free 5-day trial of PS Vue right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation (3 or 4), or other supported device via the PS Vue app.
If you can’t watch live, PS Vue comes with cloud DVR.
Blazers vs Nuggets Game 1 Preview
Denver comes off a hard-fought seven-game series against the San Antonio Spurs in the First Round, culminating in a 90-86 Game 7 victory. It was the first time the No. 2 seed Nuggets advanced beyond the opening round in 10 years.
No. 3 seed Portland, on the other hand, needed just five games to dispatch the Oklahoma City Thunder, following a quick four-game early exit in last year’s postseason at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans. The Nuggets’ most recent appearance in the Western Conference Finals back in 2009 (against the Los Angeles Lakers) is more recent than the Trail-Blazers’ last appearance in 2000 (coincidentally also against the Lakers).
Damian Lillard has undoubtedly been the best player so far for the Trail-Blazers (possibly the entire NBA as well). Lillard already has a 50-point performance against the Thunder, and his Steph Curry-range three-point shot over Paul George in Game 5 sealed a walk-off 118-115 victory on home court, and some of the best internet memes of 2019 so far.
Nikola Jokic has been a machine for the Nuggets, while others— most notably Jamal Murray — have been more inconsistent. Jokic’s first round, which included several standout performances from the dark horse Most Valuable Player candidate, one of which was a 43-point effort (one assist shy of a triple-double) in a Game 6 loss against the Spurs, was almost as strong as Lillard’s; and to a lesser extent CJ McCollum, who averaged an impressive 24 points per game against the Thunder.
This time around, however, Portland doesn’t have home court. Also, Trail-Blazers head coach Terry Stotts has never been to the Conference Finals with this core group of players. But it’s okay, because Nuggets head coach Mike Malone, who has improved his overall record each season since joining the Nuggets, and is on the precipice just like his counterpart, has never been there, either.
Veterans played a big factor in the Spurs’ near upset in Round 1. The Nuggets lack the veteran depth the Spurs do, but boast players like Paul Millsap (and Isiah Thomas, who hasn’t played in the playoffs) who have performed well in the playoffs. Millsap told reporters after the Nuggets’ Game 7 win on Saturday:
“We’re prepared, we’ve been prepared for them all year. I think we’ve got a pretty good scout on them. Damian Lillard’s on a tear right now. Try to cut his water off and calm him down is going to be key for us.”
Several matchups are intriguing, particularly the backcourts. Murray and Gary Harris were inconsistent against San Antonio, as opposed to the Lillard-McCollum duo against Oklahoma City. In addition, Portland got big minutes from Enes Kanter at center against the Thunder, but the 7-foot former No. 3 overall pick sustained a shoulder injury in Game 5, which might become a problem; that, and Kanter’s inability to defend for lengthy stretches. Jokic is already hard to stop, and Trail-Blazers starter Jusuf Nurkic was injured before the playoffs began, which means Stotts will need to rely on Zach Collins and Meyers Leonard to provide the team more minutes in this series.
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