The Portland Trail Blazers went to Denver and defeated the Nuggets 100-96 in Game 7 to win the series and head to the Western Conference Finals. They will face the Golden State Warriors and try to get past the best team in the NBA to make it to the NBA Finals.
What were the takeaways from the Blazers-Nuggets series? Damian Lillard has a poor series and the Blazers were still able to overcome it with depth and a great performance by C.J. McCollum. Blazers have a lot of depth this year and have redeemed themselves from their first round sweep from last year.
On the other hand, the Nuggets played a great series but weren’t able to close it while being up 3-2. Losing two straight games and the last one at home must hurt a lot. While their may be many things the Nuggets could have done better, I will have to point to experience being the difference here. The Nuggets haven’t had experience like this and looked like they weren’t as confident as they usually are.
The Nuggets have a bright future and a great supporting cast. They should be back in the second round next year and maybe things will go their way next time. For now, the Blazers are the ones advancing and may be heading towards their doom against the Warriors.
For now, the Blazers and the Blazers may be evenly matched until Kevin Durant returns from injury. If that is the case, I think the series will be 2-2 before Durant returns and the Warriors will win with his return. Going against Steve Kerr when teams are on equal footing is hard. He has great defensive schemes and I believe that the Blazers won’t be as tough offensively as the Rockets were.
Portland hasn’t made it to the Western Conference Finals since 2000 and should be proud. With that said, they are facing their hardest task and that is to eliminate the Warriors. The good news is that most of the NBA will be rooting for the Blazers, just not me.