Four days after the Blazers clinched their first round series in a classic NBA moment, the world now knows their second round opponent: The Denver Nuggets. They won Game 7 of their first round series Saturday Night, earning a date with the Blazers. Here’s the schedule.
The Blazers and Nuggets have a long history, dating back to Portland’s 6-game victory in the second round of the 1977 NBA Playoffs. In 1986, Denver used the players they acquired in the Kiki Vandeweghe trade to beat the very Blazers they traded with. More recently, they completed two trades that helped shape their teams. In 2015, then-contending Portland acquired Arron Afflalo from Denver, trading Will Barton and the 2016 first-round pick that became Malik Beasley. In 2017, the Nuggets gave up a first-round draft pick to send an unhappy Jusuf Nurkic to Portland, acquiring Mason Plumlee in the process. Portland combined that draft pick with the 15th pick to trade up and acquire Zach Collins.
Portland lost three of their four regular-season contests with Denver, but every game was undecided until the final minutes. They fell 113-112 on Nov. 30, 116-113 on Jan. 13, and 119-110 on Apr. 5. They beat the Nuggets 115-108 on Apr. 7, but Denver rested their core players.