Denver Nuggets vs Atlanta Hawks Preview (12/2/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

A non-conference matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks will go down on Friday night. Take a look below at the full breakdown of the game below, including projected starting lineups, injury reports for both teams, current odds for the bout, and my prediction for the outcome!

Denver Nuggets Vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Odds

The Atlanta Hawks are 1.5-point home dogs against the scalding Denver Nuggets. Denver will miss starting forward Michael Porter Jr in this bout, as well as Jeff Green and Collin Gillespie. Meanwhile, the Hawks will be without John Collins and Bogdan Bogdanovic, while several players are listed as day-to-day, including De’Andre Hunter, Clint Capela, Jalen Johnson, and Justin Holiday. Keep an eye on this injury report throughout the next 24 hours, as a few changes could make a major difference in this game.

Denver Nuggets Vs. Atlanta Hawks Prediction

The Hawks stand at 12-10, good for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, but the main point of conversation surrounding this team is Trae Young’s offensive struggles. Young has had some big games in 2022-23, but they have all come on significant volume. As far as shooting percentages, Young’s split through the first quarter of the season is 41/30/90, which is far below last season’s 46/38/90 split. Young’s struggles have seeped into the Hawks’ offense, which ranks 25th in eFG% (effective field goal percentage), 27th in 3P% (three-point percentage), and 18th in offensive efficiency.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets are winners of four-straight games and five of their past six. This surging Nuggets team stands in second place in the Western Conference behind only the Phoenix Suns. Two-time MVP, Nikola Jokic, has posted averages of roughly 22 points, ten rebounds, and nine assists while shooting an outrageous 63% from the field, which has helped fuel the Nuggets to rank fourth in eFG% through their first 21 games. The distribution of scoring and offense has really set Denver apart from the rest of the league in many ways; it no longer relies solely on Nikola Jokic to put up ungodly stats to win. As a matter of fact, five players, including Jokic, are averaging at least 15 points per game! The return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr from injuries last season has propelled this team to the upper echelon of the NBA.

Atlanta has shown promise on the defensive end (and hid Young well) with the acquisition of Dejounte Murray, but due to its shooting struggles, it is difficult to see it keeping up with the Nuggets, even in front of its own fans. The Nuggets should cover the spread here and continue to be one of the hottest teams in the league.

Betting Trends

  • Denver is 6-7 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Atlanta is 5-6 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 22-21 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

A battle of the bigs is our featured key matchup in this game between the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks. Below, I cover which player has an advantage over the other relative to their usual output, so check it out!

Nikola Jokic vs. Clint Capela

Despite Clint Capela being seen as a solid interior defender and rim-protector, the Hawks are still allowing the fifth-most points to opposing centers so far this season. Capela isn’t entirely to blame, though, as he merely plays 27.6 minutes per game. The problem in this game is that Capela will be forced to play more minutes with two key frontcourt players listed as out (Justin Holiday and John Collins.)

While Jokic has taken a step back in terms of his offensive aggressiveness this season, he should shoot more than usual in this game. In five games without Michael Porter Jr this season, Jokic has averaged 28 points per contest; expect “The Joker” to go off. Advantage: Jokic.

Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup

PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Bruce Brown Jr
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokic

Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineups

PG: Trae Young
SG: Dejounte Murray
SF: De’Andre Hunter
PF: Onyeka Okongwu
C: Clint Capela

Key Injuries

Denver Nuggets Injuries: Jeff Green (Out), Michael Porter Jr (Out), Collin Gillespie (Out)

Atlanta Hawks Injuries: John Collins (Out), Bogdan Bogdanovic (Out), De’Andre Hunter (Q), Clint Capela (Q), Jalen Johnson (Q), Justin Holiday (Q),

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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