Golden State at Denver
Time: 8 PM (CT), NBA League Pass
Spread: GSW -9
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Denver Nuggets have won four of its past five game stop improve to 5-4 on the season. Denver recently knocked off the Toronto Raptors 129-111 and the Miami Heat 95-94, but now faces a tough challenge with the defending champion Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are 9-point favorites in Denver, in a game that will air at 8 PM (CT) on NBA League pass for subscribers. The over/under is set high at 227.5, fairly accurately so given the past theatrics between these high scoring teams.
The Nuggets are averaging 105.8 points per game while allowing 104 per night, and the Warriors are averaging 120 points per game while giving up 111.7. To see this game go “OVER” and hit 230-plus combined points would be unsurprising. Denver is not quite on the same level as the Warriors, but its team construction and style is similar.
Even if the Nuggets initiate its offense through skilled passer Nikola Jokic, the offensive principles are not dissimilar from Golden State. Both teams prefer to spread the court and get many weapons involved, neither team is high on isolation basketball. That should make for an exciting meeting between these teams, and Denver did get a win against Golden State last season on its homecourt. The Nuggets are a surging team, while the Warriors will hope to make the statement that they are still the toast of the league, despite sitting No. 3 in the West currently.
Jokic has made an enormous impact, though this is nothing new after his breakout campaign last season. He is averaging 16.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.67 steals/blocks in 32 minutes a night. New addition Paul Millsap has fit well beside him at the 4-spot, averaging 16.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.67 steals/blocks per game. Gary Harris signed a lucrative contract in the offseason and has thrived as the starting 2-guard. The former Michigan State Spartan is averaging 14 points per game while shooting 47.9 percent from three-point range.
The Nuggets have a plethora of guards though, and Will Barton, Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay are all averaging double-figures, as well. Murray has been especially impressive in becoming a true point guard, and the former Kentucky Wildcat has averaged 2.8 assists per game with his 12.6 points per night. Denver is unique in having its starting center lead the team in assists, and that fact will mitigate the guards’ assist figures all season.
It is a unique attack style for Denver, a team with so much depth that guys like Kenneth Faried and Malik Beasley are still both hardly seeing court time. Beasley was taken No. 19 overall out of Florida State, and Faried is one of the best undersized rebounders in the league, but Denver is a team with plenty of talent running through its roster, even if it chooses to only exercise eight of those bodies with double-figure minutes.
The Warriors are getting 74 points per game from its high scoring trio of Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Curry is showing signs of returning to MVP form after something of a down year (by his standards) a season ago: his averages of 27.2 points and 6.1 assists indicate he could be on the verge of another MVP campaign. Durant has been quietly efficient, and averaging 25.2 points per game about as easily as any swingman ever could.
The Warriors do need more from Draymond Green, whose 9.1 point per game scoring average is largely a product of inefficient shooting. Green is hitting just 46 percent from the floor and 25 percent from three-point range. The Warriors have plenty of options to eventually invoke in its offensive attack.
Patrick McCaw and new additions Omri Casspi and Jordan Bell all may see larger roles later in the season. For now, the Dubs are still establishing itself in this young season, and little has changed, save for the fact that Golden State has a humble .667 winning percentage. Expect that to improve to .700 tonight, but Denver should cover this spread as they tend to match up extremely well with Steve Kerr’s team.