NBA Playoffs Picks: Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors Game #4

2013 NBA Playoffs – Western Conference Quarterfinals Game #4
#3 Denver Nuggets at #4 Golden State Warriors
Warriors Lead Best of Seven Series 2-1
Sunday, April 28, 2013, 9:30 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Oracle Arena – Oakland, California
Opening Line: pick
Current Line: Denver -1 1/2
Opening Total: 211
Current Total: 212
Opening Money Line: Warriors -110 / Nuggets -110
Current Money Line: Nuggets -125 / Warriors +105

Denver looks to even up the series at two games apiece as the travel to the Warriors for game four.
Denver looks to even up the series at two games apiece as the travel to the Warriors for game four.

Drama has been in short supply so far in the 2013 NBA playoffs. Five teams are already one win away from advancing to the next round. The two most competitive series are in the Western Conference. The LA Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies are tied at 2 games apiece. The Denver nuggets look to even up their series Sunday night at the Golden State Warriors. Otherwise, the #6 seeded Warriors will take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Denver won game one 97-95 on a driving lay-up from veteran point guard Andre Miller with less than 2 seconds left. The Warriors won game 2 131-117. The loss snapped a 24 game home winning streak for the Nuggets and also gave home court advantage to the Warriors. Game three in Oakland Friday night became another classic. In front of a raucous sellout crowd, Denver guard Ty Lawson and Golden State guard Stephen Curry put on a show. Lawson had 35 points and 10 assists. Curry scored 29 points despite battling a sore ankle that he turned in game two. The game was back and forth all night. Golden State took a 108-102 lead with just under two minutes to go. Both teams had chances down the stretch but missed shots and turnovers led to some sloppy play. Golden State would hold on for the 110-108 win but not before Denver guard Andre Igoudala launched a shot from half court that bounced off the rim.

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 49-35-1 ATS and the total is 48-36-1 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 45-39-1 ATS and the total is 48-36-1 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. He tore his hip flexor in game one and is out for the season 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 16-5-1 ATS on one day rest, 22-7 when the opponent scores 100 points or more, 11-4 against teams with winning records, 12-5 after a straight up loss, 43-21-1 against Western Conference teams, 65-32-1 when the opponent allows 100 points or more, 1-4 after failing to cover, against Pacific Division teams, and after scoring 100 points or more,  1-6 overall, and 0-4 in conference quarterfinal games. Four of the last five games in this series have gone over the total. The over is 17-5 in the series in Oakland.

Golden State is 7-0 ATS in conference quarterfinals, 6-0 overall and against Western conference teams, 5-0 after a cover, 4-0 after allowing 100 points or more, against teams with winning records,when the opponent scores 100 points or more, and against Northwest Division teams, 4-1 when the opponent allows 100 points or more,  and against teams with losing road records, 5-2 at home, and 1-4 in Sunday games. The Warriors are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 against the Nuggets and Golden State was the underdog in each of those games.

This has been a highly entertaining series and either team could be up 2-1 or 3-0 right now. These two teams are evenly matched, and have had to play smaller line-ups due to the injuries to Gallinari and Lee. Neither team is playing   great defense. This isn’t quite a must win for Denver as they still have two home games left in the remaining three in the series, but it is pretty close. I think this will be another close game that goes down to the wire. I like the Nuggets to win on the road.

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