After a game one that saw a wild swing almost go in the Lakers favor, Los Angeles found themselves on the opposite side of the coin in game two as they blew their lead to a late Denver offensive explosion. This stemmed off of Jamal Murray finding his shot late in the contest after starting off ice cold, halting the Nuggets scoring pace from the tip.
Nuggets vs Lakers SGP Best Bets
With the NBA action dwindling to a game a night, let’s dive deep into the matchup and muster up a SGP off of how I think the game script will go. The Nuggets managed to amplify the pressure on the Lakers with a 2-0 series lead before hitting the road, making it vital LeBron and company avoid a 0-3 deficit on their own home court.
SGP Leg 1: Lakers -5.5
Even with LeBron James and Anthony Davis giving a lackluster performance early in the contest, the Lakers built a stable lead and looked poised to even up the series. That was until Jamal Murray caught fire, opening up the offense with his playmaking ability as he slashed through the middle of their defense.
Heading into game three I fully expect LeBron and AD to turn it back around in desperation mode while their defense maintains their elite level of play. This slows down the pace of play to their favor, picking apart the Nuggets defense with high quality looks at the rim while negating the Nuggets pace of scoring.
SGP Leg 2: Anthony Davis o24.5 Points
Correlating this with the Lakers to cover the spread, their stars will simply need to step up in a major way if they want any chance of keeping their series hopes alive. Anthony Davis has been prone to disappearing throughout the playoffs, seemingly building a pattern of taking a game off in every other game of the series.
Davis plays a major part in the Lakers offensive identity, revolving around the idea of abusing the interior for high quality looks at the rim. When Davis is finding his shot at will, this suffocates the Nuggets defense as they are forced to clamp down and leaves gaps throughout the court for the rest of the Lakers to exploit.
SGP Leg 3: D’Angelo Russell u20.5 Points+Rebounds+Assists
Darvin Ham, this is a plea to please sit DLO. It’s not working. At all. In fact, the Lakers are much worse with him on the court than when he is sitting as he is currently -41 through two games of the series so far.
His offensive impact has been mitigated as he is an afterthought to their scheme with Austin Reaves carving out a role as a legit go-to scoring option. He has been used as a spot-up shooter at best, lacking any sort of consistency from deep to make him a viable option moving forward.
Where the Lakers thrive is when they bench him for Dennis Schroder. Schroder is a far superior on-ball defender, giving the Lakers the ability to put him on an island to slow down Murray while limiting the sacrifice of having to throw double teams at the perimeter. I expect Ham to figure this out sooner rather than later, getting the benefit of playing DLO’s unders as his minutes are slashed.
SGP Leg 4: Nikola Jokic o24.5 Rebounds+Assists
When the rest of the Denver Nuggets struggled, Nikola Jokic’s production remained the same as he finished the contest with another triple double. The Lakers have made it their mission to slow down Jokic’s scoring with Rui on the block and Anthony Davis on the help side, yet Jokic’s assists and rebounds have continued to pile up.
When the doubles are successful on the block, Jokic’s elite facilitating ability takes center stage as he can thread the pass at any area of the court. The Nugget’s knockdown rate will routinely give him ample assist opportunities from the perimeter on his kick outs, as well as second chance rebounds should tired legs continue to hamper their quality of shot.
SGP Betting Card
- Lakers -5.5
- Anthony Davis o24.5 Points
- D’Angelo Russell u20.5 Points+Rebounds+Assists
- Nikola Jokic o24.5 Rebounds+Assists
Full SGP Odds: +1000 ($10 wins $100)