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Can Blazers Shake Off A Banged Up Moe Harkless?

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Jordan’s NBA Picks: 69-51 (Playoffs 15-13)

Denver (59-32 SU & 46-45 ATS) at Portland (58-31 SU & 49-40 ATS)

Friday, 10:30 PM EST, TNT

Free NBA Pick: Blazers ATS 1H

Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

This is once again a pivotal Game 3 for both clubs and with the game being in Portland, that could give the Blazers some extra juice on Friday.

Will Moe Play?

The Moe Harkless injury situation does a lot to affect the NBA Odds for this game. If he does not play, it takes away their main wing defender and one of their better corner three-point shooters.

Harkless rolled his ankle pretty badly on Wednesday night in Game 2 and he did not return to the game. If he is unable to go on Friday, it creates a really problem for the Blazers on the wing. They will either have to give Jake Layman or Evan Turner a lot more minutes, which is not that desirable any way you spin it.

They could also go with a three-guard lineup featuring Seth Curry. If Curry is inserted into the lineup, or at least gets a ton of minutes in any scenario where Harkless misses, that could actually benefit the Blazers’ offense enough to put a check on the lack of defense in the potential absence of Harkless.

The Nuggets aren’t without injury concerns either. Jamal Murray aggravated a thigh injury in Game 2 and while his is seemingly less serious than Harkless’ injury, it’s still concerning for a Nuggets team on the road and in danger of being down in the series when it shifts back to Denver for Game 5.

However, while meaningful, the injuries in this game aren’t as important as the metrics. So far through the playoffs, these two teams have seen some noticeable spikes and dips in production in certain first half scenarios and I think I have a good one here on Friday.

The Sharp Pick

Through seven playoff games the Blazers have been outstanding defensively in the first half. They are allowing only 100.9 points per 100 possessions in the first two quarters of their postseason games and what’s crazy is they have bene better defensively in the first halves of their road games.

However, that won’t stop me from laying a few points with the Blazers in the first half of this one. Denver has on the contrary, been horrible defensively in the first halves of their playoff games. Denver is allowing 111.4 points per 100 possessions in the first halves of their postseason games and that sky-rockets up to 125.2 in their three road games so far in these playoffs.

Right now I’m looking at the Blazers laying -2 and I might even take a shot at the over on their first half team total of 55.5, but I’m not there yet.

First Half Score Prediction: Denver 52 – Blazers 56