-- Blazers guard Steve Blake spent part of last season with the Nuggets, averaging career-highs of 8.3 ppg and 6.6 apg in 49 games.
-- Nuggets forward Linas Kleiza was drafted by Portland with the 27th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft before being traded to the Nuggets on draft night along with the draft rights to Ricky Sanchez in exchange for Blazers guard Jarrett Jack (drafted by
Denver with the 22nd overall pick).
-- Blazers center/forward Raef LaFrentz was originally drafted by the Nuggets in the 1998 NBA Draft (3rd overall pick) and played in Denver from 1998-2002, averaging 13.2 ppg and 7.7 rpg in 222 appearances.
-- Blazers center Joel Przybilla played for George Karl from 2000-03 while both were with the Milwaukee Bucks.Denver’s Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark
Warkentien spent 10 seasons with the Blazers as an Assistant General Manager, Director of Player Personnel, Director of Scouting and as a scout.
-- Nuggets assistant coach Tim Grgurich spent the 2004-05 season as an assistant for Portland.
-- Blazers Head Coach Nate McMillan played for Nuggets Head Coach George Karl with the Seattle Sonics.
-- Portland assistant coach Monty Williams appeared in one game with the
Nuggets during the 1998-99 season … Blazers assistant coach Bill Bayno was an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts while Nuggets center Marcus Camby was an All-American Minuteman.
NUGGETS/BLAZERS NOTES: The Nuggets are looking to avoid their first losing season series against the Blazers since the 1998-99 season (0-3).
-- Despite the loss in Portland on 12/21, Denver has still fared well at the Rose Garden in recent years, having gone 6-3 since 2003-04.
-- Although the Nuggets have dropped two-straight to the Blazers, they have still won 14 of the last 18 meetings with Portland since 2003-04.
Now the Trail Blazers side of the story.
• A Trail Blazers win would clinch the season series, 3-1. Portland already won its
series vs. Utah, and is looking to own tie-breakers against both divisional rivals.
• Portland is 8-2 vs. the Northwest Division, and 5-0 at home.
• The Trail Blazers won in Denver for just the third time in the past 18 meetings and the first time since Feb. 26, 2003 with a 116-105 win Dec. 16. Portland followed that win up with a 99-96 victory at the Rose Garden Dec. 21.
• Channing Frye is averaging 12.0 points, 7.0 points and 1.0 assists in three games vs. Denver this season.
• Brandon Roy averaged 18.0 points against Denver last season, the most against
any team he faced four times. He’s averaging 18.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists vs. the Nuggets this season.
• Steve Blake averaged 8.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 33.5 minutes in 49
games last season with the Nuggets, who were 25-15 when Blake started.
• Nuggets head coach George Karl (68 games) is one of four current head coaches to
face Portland 50-plus times (Don Nelson 98, Jerry Sloan 88, Pat Riley 79).