The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets will square off tonight in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series to determine who will advance to the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Pundits are predicting a high likelihood of a close battle—or outright upset—in three first-round matchups this year: Phoenix Suns-Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference 2-7 seeds, the Milwaukee Bucks-Miami Heat 3-6 series in the East, and Portland-Denver.
But this is Blazer’s Edge. We don’t need no stinkin’ pundits. We’ve got them coming out our ears. And no two are as vocal (and, dare we say, charismatic) as Danny Marang and Dia Miller, hosts of the Blazer’s Edge Podcast and the Dave and Dia podcast, respectively. Taking radically different approaches, the two often end up at odd in their conclusions. And GUESS WHAT? Today is no exception.
We asked Danny and Dia to give us their prediction for the series. Here’s what Mr. Marang said:
There’s plenty of reasons to believe the Blazers will win this series: Norm Powell is now occupying the spot once held by Moe Harkless, Jusuf Nurkic is finally healthy and has a real motivation to deliver, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are going up against the weakest backcourt match up they’ve ever faced in the playoffs. And with all of that I don’t trust this team. The Nuggets have the MVP in Nikola Jokic, a uniquely unstoppable force, Michael Porter Jr. is looking up the Blazers and licking his chops. My brain and my heart are telling me to pick Portland over and over but there’s just something here I don’t, or can’t, yet trust. I genuinely hope I’m wrong, but I’m taking Nuggets in 7.
And here’s Dia Miller
Regardless of my typical optimism about the Trail Blazers’ ability to win, currently we are sitting in a solid position. The match up between the Blazers and the Nuggets is ideal—possibly the most realistic matchup we could have been dealt this year. On top of that, Portland has found their groove, is plying better defense than they have all year, and is on a hot streak— playing better overall than they have all season. Blazers in 6.
So whose side are you on, Blazer’s Edge? Are you a Dan Fan or a Dia Believah?
Personally, I predicted Blazers in 6 on Portland TV/radio yesterday, but since Dia took that, I’ll go Blazers in 5! Where do you stand? It’s Game Day! Time to register your prediction and explain what you think the main factors will be. Then stop by at Game Time, 7:30 PM, Pacific, to chat about the game in our Game Day Thread. Tune in afterwards for the best recap and analysis around!