Damian Lillard has made it clear to his teammates that Tuesday night’s fifth game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets would be the perfect time to find some consistency in this series, which is tied 2-2.
While Portland coach Terry Stotts said on Monday that the most important game of a series is the next game, Lillard said he has had conversations with several key veterans, including Carmelo Anthony, Jusuf Nurkic , CJ McCollum, Robert Covington and Norman Powell on what to do. for the team to win the 6pm game, take control of this series.
“It’s just a conversation like that, this is the one,” Lillard said. “This is the game here. It’s not a situation where we just have to say, ‘Okay, lock yourself in. We have to have this game. ‘ “
Portland, said Lillard, made similar statements after winning the first game in Denver and then losing games 2 and 3.
“We’ve got to walk on this one,” Lillard said. “It’s the biggest. It’s here. I think everyone is on the same page with this.
For Lillard, that means playing with high intensity and being prepared for any adversity, which will likely come during the game at Ball Arena.
“We have to weather the storm,” said Lillard. “We have to keep our cool. We have to stay together. We need to stay focused and keep grinding. It’s going to be a tough game. But we know we can do it. We already won here in this series that we won here years ago in the playoffs.
The Blazers won their biggest Lillard-era streak of nine seasons in 2019 against Denver. The series ended with a victory for the Blazers in Game 7 in Denver.
Preferably, for the Blazers, they would win Game 5 just as early and then return to Portland for a chance to close the series Thursday night in Game 6.
Of course, Denver won’t be looking to force the Blazers. From the Nuggets’ perspective, they failed to do business in Game 4 and therefore missed the opportunity to climb 3-1 and potentially close the series at home in Game 5.
Denver coach Mike Malone said Game 4, lost 115-95, could serve as a reminder for his team. He called Saturday’s team performance “soft”. Several Nuggets players have said they will be more aggressive in Game 5. But Lillard thinks all that matters is that the Blazers play at their level.
“When we’re right, it’s not about the other team,” said Lillard.
When they are wrong they lose, as they did in games 2 and 3.
“We didn’t play a spectacular offensive game,” said Lillard. “I think it was just what we did defensively sort of carried over to the other end.
What they did in defense was take the game to the Nuggets and disrupt their offense. It’s happened twice now and the Blazers have won both games in this series.
“You can’t always control whether the ball goes in or not,” said Lillard. “But you can control the execution of the defensive scout report, and I think we just figured out why Game 4 ended like this. And if we can keep our minds on that and put that kind of effort together for Game 5 on the road, we’re going to give ourselves a big chance of winning the game.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS IN DENVER NUGGETS, GAME 5
What: No.6 Trail Blazers to No.3 Nuggets, NBA Playoff Round 1.
When or: 6 p.m. Tuesday at Ball Arena, Denver.
Series Status: Tie, 2-2.
TV channel: NBC Sports Northwest (in Portland: Comcast 37/737). NBA TV (728).
Radio: Rip City Radio (KPOJ 620 AM)
How to Watch Live Stream Online: You can watch this game live with the connection of your cable provider, or you can watch the match live for FREE with FuboTV (free try). If you already have a cable plan, you can watch the game live on NBC Sports NW with the connection information from your cable provider.
5 CHANCES GAME
Broadcast: Nuggets by 1.5 | Total: 226
Moneyline: Blazers (+105) | Nuggets (-125).
CHANCES OF THE SERIES
Moneyline: Blazers (-125) | Nuggets (+105).
Blazers: VS Jusuf Nurkic (left thumb; contusion) is available; F / C Zach collins (left ankle; stress fracture) came out.
Nuggets: g Will barton (right hamstrings; strain), G PJ Dozier(right adductor; strain) and G Jamal Murray (Left ACL; surgery) came out.
SERIES CALENDAR (home team in capitals)
Game 1: Portland 123, DENVER 109
Game 2: DENVER 128, Portland 109
Game 3: Denver 120, PORTLAND 115
Game 4: PORTLAND 115, Denver 95 (tied, 2-2).
Game 5: Tuesday, June 1 at Denver, 6 p.m.
Game 6: Thursday, June 3, in Portland, time to be determined (if necessary).
gsoul 7: Saturday, June 5, in Denver, time to be determined (if necessary).
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