The Portland Trail Blazers drew 1-1 with Denver in the qualifying series. Here are five points to think about as the series moves to Rip City for Game 3 on Thursday night.
After watching the first two games of this series, the best of the seven between Portland Trail Blazers And Denver Nuggets, I took a few days to weigh the pros and cons. After losing the first game in the second game, there are five points the Blazers must address as the series moves to Rip City.
1. Joseph Norkitch – Greater Impact
I thought Portland really dominated the first game when Joseph Norkitch He confirmed himself in the second half. Burdened with the colossal task of stopping a potential MVP Nikola Gokic, Norkitch gave enough offensively, with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Not only did he force Jokic to play some defense, but he also attracted enough defenders to open up a better look to Portland’s three-point shooters. Jukic still had 34 points on 14 of 27, but Norkic continued to face him better after the first half.
The second game was a different story. Norkitch could not influence the attacking end. Given his career in the Portland Trail Blazers, it’s important that he get involved early. At times, Norkitch appears to be more enthusiastic in the defense if he is more involved on the offensive side of the court. Gokic ended up dominating both sides of the field with 38 points on 15 of 20 from the field.
The assists have completely flipped over as in Game 1, Jokic is stopped with one pass, Nurkic unlocks with 5, and in Game 2, Jokic was able to count 5 and Nurkic had 1. I don’t expect Nurkic to stop Jokic, but I expect he will do better. From 7 points, shoot 2 of 8.
Next: Page 2 – Blazers Guards
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