Lillard despairs with Campazzo and Jokic explodes

Campazzo, who played the last quarter almost completely, upset a Lillard who, this time, did not work the miracle. Jokic gives victory to the Nuggets.


Solid ascending line. This is what Facundo Campazzo has been wearing in recent games, in which he has made a hole in Mike Malone's rotation. The Argentine is fully responding and has achieved his sixth good performance in a row, coinciding with the increase in his minutes. In each and every one of the last six games he has gone from 25, and in one he has reached 39. Against the Blazers, 27, including the last 10, the umpteenth display of confidence from a coach who wants the point guard to find its place in a League that does not wait for anyone but gives opportunities, sooner or later, to everyone. And it is the player (coach, manager ...) who has in his hand take advantage of it or let it pass. Campazzo came from averaging, in the last five games, his best numbers of the season: 14 points, 1.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.6 steals, with an extraordinary 53.8% in field goals and 50 % in triples. Big numbers for a man who, in his first 22 NBA games, was 3.5 points and did not exceed 35% at the throw. A palpable improvement that arises as a consequence of a considerable increase in minutes, which leaves the Argentine with more time on the track shared with Monte Morris or Jamal Murray indistinctly and even some alone.

Malone, a good guy who reaffirmed his position last year (West end, remember), likes to play with two bases and that they throw a lot (what has cost the Facu the most, playing without the ball), something enhanced by a Nikola Jokic who acts as a playmaker. And Campazzo, slowly but surely, adapts to that role. Against the Blazers he did not exceed ten points for the first time in five games, but he stood out in other facets: poor shooting (1 of 5), but 3 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists (no loss) 1 steal and 1 block . He was on the court for the last 10 minutes, and his size and speed allowed him to chase Damian Lillard for much of the duel, something that was noticed by a point guard who threw magic (because he can) in the fourth quarter (12 points) and who made numbers , but that he did not have a good performance: on the one hand, 25 points, 7 rebounds and 13 assists, statistics that have few buts ... on the other, 9 of 21 in field goals, 4 of 11 in triples, 5 losses of the ball and the worst +/- of the game with a -15. It was not his worst game but, of course, it was far from being the best.

The Nuggets had to be patient to win in a game that had 10 lead changes and up to 15 draws. Jokic, of course, was the hero: 41 points (17 of 32 in field goals), 5 rebounds and 5 assists. There was some controversy at the end of the game, when a triple by Carmelo Anthony brought Portland to just three points (109-106) with four seconds left. The locals threw out of the wing and found Jamal Murray, and Damian Lillard went for him, but the referees called his teammate Gary Trent Jr. a foul when it seemed that the Oregon team point guard had forced a jump between two. The complaints from Lillard and the Blazers bench, with Terry Stotts raising the thumbs of their respective hands (this is how the fight in basketball is marked), did not help and Murray sentenced from the staff. The local playmaker was, by the way, the hero at the end: he stayed at 24 points with poor shooting percentages (7 out of 18), but he scored 19 goals in the last period alone, with 6 out of 10 in the shot and a spectacular 3 of 4 in triples. If Jokic kept Denver the entire time in the game, his teammate was the one who put the tip that tipped the balance.With this victory, there is only one game difference between the Blazers, sixth (18-13) and the Nuggets, seventh (17-14). Those of Colorado are going up, while those of Lillard have entered a loop of certain regularity that does not hurt as the NBA (and the world) is. In addition to the talented point guard, Carmelo went to 24 points and put some emotion at the end, while Gary Trent Jr. added 18, the same as Derrick Jones Jr. And Enes Kanter, of course, continued with his unusual production capacity (16+ 14 + 2, with 7 of 9 in field goals), and his little defensive effort, which Jokic took advantage of with solvency. And in the Nuggets, beyond the fashionable couple and Michael Porter Jr. (12 + 10), skill and strength. Both franchises are within that group that began with doubts and is now trying to straighten the situation in a fight for the playoffs in which they have their heads increasingly invested while you see, in the distance, how Kings, Pelicans or even Grizzlies are moving away . There is no room for everyone. It has already been seen in the elections for the All Star. This is the NBA.

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