The Dallas Mavericks (4-0) face the Denver Nuggets (4-1) this Friday (11/3/23) in their first In-Season Tournament game. Get Mavericks vs. Nuggets moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchup below.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction
The Mavericks currently rank second in Offensive Rating, third in true shooting percentage, fifth in wide open field goal attempts, and seventh in free throw attempt rate.
Luka Doncic is in another realm right now, as he’s averaging 33.8 points and 9.8 assists with a monstrous 65 true shooting percentage. Because of his off-the-dribble creation and passing, the superstar is constantly handing teammates open looks. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving remains an exceptional scorer and comfortable off-ball shooter. Dallas produced a historic 119.2 Offensive Rating with these two on the court last year, and they will only get better with more time together. Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are both effective defenders, but this matchup is a bridge too far for them. Dallas will consistently knife their way into the paint for a layup or kick-out to an open shooter.
Grant Williams in particular is capitalizing on Doncic’s playmaking. The off-season acquisition owns a 55.2 3PT% on roughly seven three-point attempts per game. He will pull Aaron Gordon away from the paint and reduce his weak side rim protection, thus keeping lanes cleaner for Doncic’s drives. That’s concerning for a Denver squad that has surrendered the fourth most restricted area field goal attempts per game. Dereck Lively’s lob threat enhances Doncic’s scoring too, especially because Nikola Jokic doesn’t possess the athleticism to meet him in the air.
Essentially, Dallas has surrounded Doncic and Irving with pieces that deter defenders from helping. That’s extremely lethal because they are two of the best isolation scorers in the NBA. The following chart per Basketball Index displays their prowess from last season via their metrics One on One Talent (measures creation, efficiency, etc.) and Overall Shot Making, which measures efficiency with shot quality factored into the equation.
Finally, Dallas possesses a bunch of firepower off the bench. Jaden Hardy, Tim Hardaway Jr, Seth Curry, and Josh Green are all at a minimum solid three-point shooters, while Dwight Powell provides them with a roll threat.
Overall, Dallas fields a devastating offense with Doncic playing at this level. Denver’s defense is by no means mediocre, but they will struggle to handle Dallas’ spacing and individual scoring prowess.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction: Mavericks Over 111.5 Points
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Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets Best Odds
Although Dallas enters this game undefeated, the Nuggets are considerable six point favorites. The Mavericks need to win about 32% of the time for their +210 moneyline to have a positive expected value. Finally, the 228.5 total is on the larger side of NBA games.
Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup
Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets Injuries
Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Christian Braun, and Kyrie Irving are all probable in this matchup. Markieff Morris is questionable with an illness, while Vlatko Cancar and Maxi Kleber will miss the game.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets Key Matchups
Kyrie Irving Shooting Slump
He’s missed two games to start the season and owns a terrible 39 FG%. However, it’s only a matter of time before he regresses to the mean efficiency-wise. Irving is too talented to remain in this slump for long, and Doncic creating open shots for him only cements this belief. If Irving can approach anywhere near his normal efficiency, then Dallas (who ranks second in Offensive Rating despite his woes) can reach enormous heights.