NBA Playoffs Preview: #3 Denver Nuggets vs #6 Golden State Warriors

2013 NBA Playoffs – Western Conference Quarterfinals
#3 Denver Nuggets vs #6 Golden State Warriors
Best of Seven Series Format 2-2-1-1-1
Series Price: (odds courtesy of Bookmaker) Nuggets -460 / Warriors +360
Game #1, Saturday, April 20, 2013, 5:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Pepsi Center – Denver, Colorado
Game #1 Opening Line: Denver -8
Current Line: Denver -7 1/2
Opening Total: 210
Current Total: 210 1/2
Opening Money Line: Nuggets -385 / Warriors +325
Current Money Line: Nuggets -360 / Warriors +300

The Nuggets open the Western Conference quarterfinals Saturday at home against the Warriors.
The Nuggets open the Western Conference quarterfinals Saturday at home against the Warriors.

The 57-25 Denver Nuggets finished second in the Northwest division, 3 games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nuggets are the #3 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, and will take on the #6 seeded Golden State Warriors in quarterfinals. The Warriors were 47-35 and finished second in the Pacific Division 9 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007, when they memorably upset the #1 seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round.

The Nuggets are almost unbeatable at home as they went 38-3 in the Pepsi Center where games #1 and #2 will be played against the Warriors. Denver is the 11th team in NBA history to win at least 38 games at home. The Nuggets have won 23 straight games at home, and 3 straight overall. Denver hasn’t lost at home since January 18. The Nuggets beat Phoenix 118-98 Wednesday at home to close out the regular season. Golden State won 2 straight games to close out the regular season, including 99-88 at the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night.  The Warriors went 19-22 on the road this season.

Denver leads the series 3-1 against Golden State this season. However, the teams haven’t played since January 13, and 3 of the games were played in November. The Nuggets won in Oakland November 10 107-101 in overtime, and in Denver November 23 102-91 and January 13 116-105. The only win for Golden State came at home 106-105 November 29.

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 42-39-1 ATS and the total is 47-34-1 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. Power forward David Lee averages 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 probable with an ankle injury. Bogut is averaging 5.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game. Forward Draymond Green is probable with a knee injury.  Guard Brandon Rush is out for the season with a knee injury.

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 49-32-1 ATS and the total is 46-35-1 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 4 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 doubtful 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 4-0 ATS in conference quarterfinal games, 4-1 overall, and against Western Conference teams, 5-2 when the opponent scored more than 100 points,  5-11 in road games, 4-9 against teams with winning home records, 2-5 after a straight up win of 10 points or more, 4-11 after a straight up win, and 5-14 against teams with winning records.

Denver is 10-1-1 ATS after a straight up win of more than 10 points, 10-1 against NBA Pacific teams, 16-5 against teams with winning records, 15-5 at home, 11-4-1 after a cover, 21-8 in Saturday games, 36-15-1 against Western Conference teams, 14-6-1 after scoring 100 points or more, 17-8-1 overall, and 19-9-1 after a win. The Nuggets are 4-1 ATS overall in the last 5 against the Warriors,  and also 4-1 in Denver in the series. The home team is 5-1 ATS and the favorite is 4-1 ATS in the series.

While Denver had the league’s best home record, they do struggle in 3 point defense. Golden State leads the league in 3 point shooting. Without Faried and Gallinari, Denver’s defense could struggle, but Golden State struggles on defense as well. I think Golden State could steal a game or two in Oakland, but Denver wins the series in six games.

Our NBA handicappers are crushing the sportsbooks as the playoffs get underway. Don’t miss out on any more winners from now until the Finals in June.



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