Lillard was phenomenal that evening – no question about it. Especially from the 3-point line, he converted one three-point after the other. But the lack of variability in the game of the guests took the work off the defense of the nuggets.
Because Jusuf Nurkics (7 p.) And Carmelo Anthonys (5 p.) Contributions were far below the normal values of these players. However, this was less due to the fact that they were often thrown wrong, but rather that they were less staged.
Nurkic and Anthony were mostly left out and a lot of the Trail Blazers offense went over the long throws of Lillard. This stubbornness in attacking play enabled the Nuggets to save valuable manpower by not having to change personnel.
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Should Portland coach Terry Stotts cause Nurkic and Anthony to stage more often, they could bring their skills to better use – after all the Bosnian alone scored 16 points in the victory in Game 1.
But beyond that, the defense of the Nuggets would have to adapt to the faster passing game instead of staying in positional play – because on Tuesday you mostly just waited to see whether Lillard’s long throws would come in or not.
With the duo Nurkic and Anthony, the Blazers could also get more points in the half field, which was also of crucial importance in the first game. What Portland definitely has to stop, however, are the many ball losses.