In a hard-fought opening night game with both teams taking double digit leads, the Denver Nuggets lit it up from downtown, and the Blazers’ 18-season opening night streak is over. The Nuggets made the big plays down the stretch in a 108-100 victory.
A few initial thoughts.
- Well, that was not the most pleasant game to watch. Neither team looked exactly playoff-ready. You get over it and chalk it up to opening night when your team gets a W. Not so much when it’s an L and they’re heading out for a road trip.
- The starting Blazer bigs are feasting. Zach Collins and Hassan Whiteside looked very comfortable in their first game together, taking care of the rebounds and inside defense.
- Three-point defense. What’s that? The Blazers looked like they were not sure it’s allowed in the CBA. Portland will need to make adjustments... but we said the same after that ugly preseason loss to the Suns. The Nuggets shot 18-32 from three, many of which were wide open, and that really sealed Portland’s fate.
- No Jokic, no problem. Jokic committed 3 fouls in the first 4 minutes of the game and spent the rest of the half on the bench. Portland took a quick 11-point lead, but it didn’t last. Denver led at halftime.
- Offensive players are getting away with less. The officials were more strict with offensive players tonight, calling everything from screens to shoves to travels. If this isn’t a short term thing, teams will have to adjust.
Up Next: A four game road trip that starts Friday against the Kings, who looked awful on opening night and were blown out by the Suns.