Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets Preview
In another nationally televised matchup, the Denver Nuggets (44-22) will host the Dallas Mavericks (27-40) tonight at Pepsi Center. Denver is currently chasing Golden State for the No. 1 seed, and are only one game behind them in the loss column. This will be the second game of a three-game homestand and should be well rested as they’ve only played once since March 8.
The Warriors beating Houston last night was the best outcome for Denver, as it pushed the Rockets away from them and the 2 seed by a half game. Denver winning tonight, would move them 3.5 games above the Thunder and Rockets in the race or the 2 seed.
The Mavericks seems to be in tank mode, as they’ve lost six in a row and are 1-11 in their last 12 games. The Mavericks have been left extremely vulnerable after trading away the other four members of their starting lineup to free up Doncic to develop and acquire Kristaps Porzingis.
Time: 10:30 pm ET
Arena: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup
Dallas has been able to scare some playoff-bound teams recently, even without finding the win column much over the last month. On Sunday, the Rockets needed a Chris Paul block to edge out the Mavs 94-93. Two days later, the Mavericks also hung with San Antonio for four quarters before falling 112-105, despite playing with an ailing Luka Doncic. Against the Spurs, Doncic had the worst game of his young career and scored just 12 points on 5/18 from the field. He also shot a terrible 1/9 from the free throw line and had nine turnovers. The good news for Dallas is that he hasn’t had many duds so far and is averaging over 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists on the year.
Second round rookie Jalen Brunson from Villanova has proven to be quite the find scoring a career-high 34 points against San Antonio. He also made 12 of 16 shots, including 3 of 6 on 3-pointers. In Brunson’s last five games, he’s averaged 18.2 points and 5.2 assists, while shooting an absurd 60.7 percent from the field and going 16 of 16 from the free throw line.
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup
On Tuesday night, Denver beat the Timberwolves 133-107. Jamal Murray was the star for the Nuggets with 30 points, three rebounds, and three steals. Center Nikola Jokic had another well-rounded effort with 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Millsap contributed 23 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
All season long, the Nugget’s bench played unselfishly, shared the basketball, and supported each other. Offensively, they constantly kept the ball moving finding open teammates for layups and 3-pointers. That allowed them to pile up 40 assists, which is the most for the Nuggets franchise since April 2013. In Denver’s previous 13 games, they were 6-7 and trending in the wrong direction after a strong start to the first half of the season.
Jokic leads the team in scoring (20.4), rebounding (10.7) and assists (7.6). Murray is also averaging 18.4 points and 4.9 assists. The combination of those two are a big reason why Denver’s offensive rating of 113.1, is fourth best in the NBA.
Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets Betting Odds
The Denver Nuggets are favored by 11.5 points tonight. They are an incredible 28-6 at Pepsi Center and 36-12 when favored. Things don’t bode well for Dallas tonight, as their 12-31 as an underdog and only have 6 road wins on the year, which is tied for last in the NBA.
The over/under is 220.5 points with Denver increasing to -800 on the money line.