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Blazers vs. Nuggets

3/5/09

The NBA this season has been headlined basically by three different teams the defending champion Boston Celtics, LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers. These are all great teams that will probably be in the mix come June, but there are a few teams this year that have flown under the radar as they have quickly moved up the ranks in the NBA.

Two of these teams that have made vast improvements have been the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trailblazers.

Last season both of these teams were good, but seemed to have fatal flaws that either kept them out of the playoffs or made them fall short in the first round. The Nuggets made a huge improvement this season by saying goodbye to Allen Iverson in exchange for a proven winner in point guard Chauncey Billups. Iverson may be basketball hall of fame bound, but his score first mentality was just killing the Nuggets chemistry. With the addition of the 2004 NBA Finals MVP in Billups, the Nuggets have skyrocketed their way to third place in the Western conference standings just behind the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers.

At first the move to bring Billups back to his hometown in the Denver was questioned pretty heavily as Iverson had become a fan favorite and the face of the franchise alongside Carmelo Anthony. Ultimately though the move turned out to be quite possibly the best trade the Nuggets had ever made as Billups has helped create some much needed team chemistry and become the teamís unsung leader on the floor.

Not only are the Nuggets playing extremely well right now, especially after convincingly taking down the Lakers in Denver, the have finally started to be a force on the defensive end of the floor. The Nuggets have never had a problem scoring the basketball, but their defense has been no existent in the past which was their biggest problem.

The Blazers have also found success this season as their big three in Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden have finally gotten a chance to play together for the majority of the season. As a result the Blazers are one of the most promising teams of the future. Although they may not be title contenders just yet they definitely still a team to be reckoned with in the West this season.

Controversy has hit Nuggets as of late though as Carmelo Anthony was suspended for one game because of an in-game transgression against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. Anthony will play against Portland, but there could be some problems brewing in Denver.

The Blazers also have some problems of their own as Greg Oden has gone down yet again with another knee injury. This isnít a major injury, but bad enough to keep him out of this game against the Nuggets.

Although both these teams are playing great basketball right now, the Nuggets are definitely the better of the two teams and should come out with the victory in this one especially with Greg Oden out of the lineup. Both Bet Jamaica and Sportsbook.com opened this game Nuggets -4.5 woth a total of 198.5 and we'll lay the points.
 

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