The series has featured the respective stars of each team stepping up and a few role players elevating their games to get to this point of a seventh game.
For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic is leading the way, nearly averaging a triple-double with 26.8 points per game, 14 rebounds per game, and 8.7 assists per game. While those are impressive, perhaps more impressive for the Nuggets is Jokic hitting 50% from the 3-point line in the first six games of this series. Paul Millsap is complementing that with 43.8% 3-point shooting of his own. Obviously, neither of those guys shot quite like that for the season.
Another surprise for the Nuggets is Jamal Murray, who has averaged 24.7 points per game with a .553 TS% and team-high usage of 26% — not the most efficient, but a higher usage and efficiency than he had during the season and the team’s high scorer (34) in a critical Game 4 win on the road.
For the Blazers, it’s of course the backcourt of combination of Oakland native Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum leading the way, but a big story is Rodney Hood’s performance during the series: Hood has a series-high TS% of .738 on a usage rate of 20.5%, including a 25-point performance in Portland’s Game 6 win. With Lillard leading the series with 27.2 points per game, Hood is providing an extra punch to the team that has been important in keeping up with the series.
According to the poll we’ve run today here at Golden State of Mind, the majority of us are rooting for Damian Lillard, Seth Curry and the Portland Trail Blazers to advance to the Western Conference Finals, but a lot of that will depend on Lillard and McCollum to come up big in the the big in the biggest game of their careers thus far.
Join us here as you watch the game and feel free to share your thoughts on the series in the comments below.