Denver at Golden St.
Time: 7:30 CT (NBA LP)
Spread: GSW -8.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Golden State Warriors have won its last 11 games to surge to 26-6 and surpass the Houston Rockets for the Western Conference lead. The Dubs are 12-3 at Oracle Arena where it will host the Denver Nuggets today at 7:30 PM (CT) on NBA League Pass.
The Warriors are 8.5-point favorites over visiting Denver, and the Nuggets have posted just a 6-12 mark on the road this season.
Indeed, Denver has had its struggles on the road, but is still a 17-15 team in possession of the No. 6 seed if the playoffs began today. Denver most recently defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 102-85. Do-it-all center Nikola Jokic loomed large with 27 points on 12 of 21 shooting, as well as grabbing nine rebounds a team-high six assists. Jokic is the creator for the Denver offense, which is different than the majority of the league’s teams, as Denver tends to run a lot of high post sets for Jokic which allows the Nuggets’ shooters to space the court, and opens up the gambit of backdoor cuts Jokic continually makes the most of with his deft passing. Jokic averages a team-best 4.5 assists per game, and the Nuggets still have a glut of guards and wing players that do not really fit together all that well.
Will Barton, Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Emmanuel Mudiay all fill the 1-2 spots for Denver, but none are true point guards. Murray has received the majority of the duty, but he has just a 1.3 Assist-to-turnover ratio. Harris leads the team in scoring at 16.1 points per game, and he also comes up with nearly two steals a game. Barton scores efficiently at 15 points per game, and Denver connects on 11.2 threes per night, but team-wide shoots at just a 30.3 percent clip. The Nuggets could use some dead-eye shooting, given that only Trey Lyles really qualifies as a major marksman (49.2 percent, but just 2.4 attempts per game).
Lyles has thrived in Denver since leaving the Utah Jazz, and he is averaging 8.3 points per game in just under 17 minutes a night. He has filled in well for the injured Paul Millsap, and even Wilson Chandler is still an effective wing player despite clearly being on the decline. There is a lot to like about Denver, but it is a team that is still indeed in need of some roster-tinkering before it can take the next step and approach the level of a “True contender.” Then again, perhaps there are no true contenders in the West with Golden State more or less running the gambit on the Conference.
Golden State has won its past 11 games and boasts a 12-3 mark at home this season.
The Dubs are getting another MVP-caliber season from Stephen Curry, who is totaling 26 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game with a team-high PER of 27.8. Last season’s Finals MVP Kevin Durant has been coasting somewhat, with 26.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Shooting guard Klay Thompson has rebounded from a down season a year ago to put his scoring average back over 20 points per game while shooting 46.8 percent from three-point range. Durant, too, knocks down a high clip on his triples (.396). The Warriors connected on 12.1 three-pointers per game while shooting 39.8 percent as a team.
One cannot ask for greater efficiency.
Despite 15.8 turnovers per game, the Dubs also rack up 30.6 assists and have a 1.9 Assist: Turnover ratio as a team.
The recipe, of course, leads to what the Warriors can boast of: The league’s highest scoring average at 116.1 points per game. Not to belittle the effort of the Warriors’ defense, despite that rapid and torrid pace, the Dubs hold opponents to 105.3 points per game, good for a differential of +10.8, the best in the NBA.