Denver expected to rest Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray vs. Portland
The Portland Trail Blazers have received more good news ahead of their next matchup with the Denver Nuggets. According to Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports, the Nuggets are expected to rest Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, and Jamal Murray for the second leg of their home and home with the Blazers on Sunday.
After clinching the division and home court in the first round on Friday, the #Nuggets are expected to rest Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray tomorrow vs. Portland.
— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) April 7, 2019
This is the second piece of good news Portland has received in advance of Sunday’s game. Earlier on Saturday, the team announced that star guard C.J. McCollum will be listed as probable against the Nuggets. He’s missed his team’s last 10 games after suffering a left knee strain on March 16th against the San Antonio Spurs. The Blazers have gone 8-2 in his absence.
Denver held on to beat Portland 119-110 on Friday night at Pepsi Center, clinching their first division title since 2010 and clinching home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Nuggets, currently in second place in the Western Conference at 53-26, seem bound to finish with the two or three seed in the playoffs. Though its first-round opponent won’t be decided until the final day of the regular season, it’s increasingly likely that Denver will meet the Houston Rockets in the second round should both teams advance. The Nuggets are currently one and-a-half games up on the third-place Rockets in the standings.
Portland, meanwhile, is almost locked into a first-round matchup with the Utah Jazz. Should the teams finish with the same record over their last three games, the Blazers, currently one game ahead of the fifth-place Jazz, will have home-court advantage in the series.