NBA Playoffs Picks: Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors

2013 NBA Playoffs – Western Conference Quarterfinals Game #3
#3 Denver Nuggets vs #6 Golden State Warriors
Best of Seven Series Tied 1-1
Friday, April 26, 2013, 10:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Oracle Arena – Oakland, California
Opening Line: Golden State -1
Current Line: Pick
Opening Total: 211
Current Total: 212
Opening Money Line: Warriors -115 / Nuggets -105
Current Money Line: Warriors -110 / Nuggets -110

Nuggets Warriors NBA Game Preview
Golden State’s Stephen Curry will try to battle a sore ankle as the warriors host Denver in game #3 of the series.

Heading into the playoffs, the Denver Nuggets were 38-3 at home in the regular season and had won 23 straight games at home dating back to January 18. The #3 seeded Nuggets won the first game of their playoff series against the #6 Golden State Warriors 97-95 on a driving lay-up from Andre Miller with less than 2 seconds left in the game. In that game Golden State lost All-Star forward David Lee to a torn hip flexor for the rest of the post-season.

The Warriors looked to be in trouble without Lee, especially as Denver forward Kenneth Faried returned to the line-up after missing 3 games with a sprained ankle. However the Warriors shot a blistering 65% from the field in a 131-117 rout to even up the series. Golden State guard Stephen Curry had 30 points along with 13 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. Four of the Golden State starters scored at least 21 points. The Nuggets shot over 50% from the field as well, but couldn’t defend. The Warriors made 14 of 25 three pointers. Denver has gone 4-2 this season against Golden State. The series shifts to Oakland for games 3 and 4, with the Warriors now having home court advantage.

Denver is coached by George Karl. The Nuggets are outscoring teams 106-101. Denver leads the lead in scoring but is #23 in points allowed. The Nuggets are shooting 47.8% from the field and 34.3% from 3 point range. Denver is #5 in field goal percentage but #25 in 3 point shooting. The Nuggets are #28 in free throw shooting at 70.1% from the line. Denver is #2 in rebounding at 45.1 per game and #10 in rebounds allowed at 41.6 per game. Nugget opponents are shooting 44.4% from the field and 36.3% from 3 point range. The Nuggets are averaging 24.4 assists, 9.3 steals, 6.5 blocks, and 14.7 turnovers. Denver is 49-34-1 ATS and the total is 47-36-1 this season.

Point guard Ty Lawson averages 16.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He missed 9 games down the stretch with a foot injury but has played the last 5 games. Small forward Danilo Gallinari is out for the season with a torn ACL. He averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Shooting guard Wilson Chandler averages 13 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Shooting guard Andre Iguodala averages 13 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Small forward Corey Brewer averages 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Forward Kenneth Faried averages 11.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Point guard Andre Miller averages 9.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. Center JaVale McGee averages 9.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Center Kosta Koufos and forwards Evan Fournier and Jordan Hamilton also get significant minutes. Guard Julyan Stone is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Golden State is coached by Mark Jackson. The Warriors are outscoring teams 101-100 this season. Golden State is #7 in scoring but #19 in points allowed. The Warriors are shooting 45.8% from the field and 40.3% from 3 point range. Golden State is #11 in field goal percentage and lead the league in 3 point shooting. The Warriors are #4 in free throw shooting at 79% from from the line. Golden State is #3 in rebounding at 44.9 per game, but #20 in rebounds allowed at 42.7 per game. Warrior opponents are shooting 43.9% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. Golden State is in the top 7 in both categories. The Warriors average 22.5 assists, 6.9 steals, 4.2 blocks, and 14.8 turnovers. Golden State is 44-39-1 ATS and the total is 47-36-1 this season.

Guard Stephen Curry averages 22.9 points, 4 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He set the NBA record for most 3 point shots made in a season with 272. He is probable with an ankle injury. Power forward David Lee averaged 18.5 points, 11 .2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Guard Klay Thompson averages 16.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. Point guard Jarrett Jack averages 12.9 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. Forward Carl Landry averages 10.8 points and 6 rebounds per game. Forward Harrison Barnes averages 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. Center Andrew Bogut is averaging 5.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game. Center Andris Biedrins is questionable with a back injury. Guard Brandon Rush is out for the season with a knee injury.

Denver is 12-2 ATS after allowing 125 points or more, 11-3 against teams with winning records, 10-3 against Pacific Division teams, 12-4 after a straight up win, 7-3 after a double digit home loss, 9-4-1 after allowing 100 points or more, 43-20-1 against western Conference teams, 38-18 when the opponent scored more than 100 points, 65-31-1 when the opponent allowed more than 100 points, 3-7 after scoring 100 points or more, 1-4 on 2 days rest, and 1-5 overall. The over is 16-5 in the last 21 in Oakland in the series.

Golden State is 6-0 ATS in conference quarterfinals games, 5-0 overall, against Western Conference teams, and on 2 days rest, 4-0 after a cover, 4-1 after allowing 100 points or more, when the opponent scores 100 points or more, and against Northwest Division teams, 5-2 after the opponent scored 100 points or more, and against teams with losing road records.  5-11 after a straight up win, and 1-4 in Friday games.

Denver had no answer for the smaller line-up Golden State used in game 2 Tuesday night, especially Curry. Keep an eye n curry’s ankle, as it is still very sore as of this writing. He is expected to play but we don’t know how effective he will be. I expect Denver to play better defense, even in front of a raucous sellout crowd in Oakland. This is the first home playoff game for Warriors since 2007. I like Denver to win a close game on the road.

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