The Denver Nuggets lost their first home game since Jan. 18 on Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors. Are we about to see a major upset in the first round of the NBA playoffs?
NBA Playoffs – Western Conference First Round, Game 3:
Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors – Friday, April 26
Sport betting line:
Why Denver Will Win
When sports betting online, it is prudent to not overreact to one game, even if the results seem to strongly suggest a particular outcome in a best-of-seven series. It’s true that Denver was awful in its 131-117 loss to Golden State in Game 2 of this series. The Nuggets hit 50 percent of their field goals (40 for 80), were plus-17 in free throw attempts (37 to 20), plus-13 in free throw makes (28 to 15), and minus-two in turnovers (15 compared to 17 for the Warriors)… and lost by 14 after falling behind by as many as q20 points (129-109) with under 90 seconds left in regulation. Denver truly could not play much worse.
Friday, one should expect a stronger and more alert effort from the Nuggets, who have not put their best feet forward in this series. The urgency of having to win at least one game in Oakland in order to win the series should make Denver a lot more tenacious and focused on defense. If a 57-win team can’t win a first-round playoff series, something’s definitely wrong. Look for the Nuggets to play with pride and – more importantly – a sense of purpose in this contest, a reversal from Game 2.
Why Golden State Will Win
A pay per head bookie service that takes business on this contest might lean to the Warriors because they have so many different players making valuable contributions right now. This is not just the Stephen Curry show, even though the Warriors’ best player was brilliant in Game 2, tossing in 30 points on 13-of-23 shooting along with 13 assists, five rebounds, and three steals. Curry was just one part of a complete team effort by the Warriors, one that left Denver outflanked and puzzled throughout the course of the competition. Jarrett Jack threw down 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Klay Thompson poured in 21 on 8-of-11 shooting. Harrison Barnes was the biggest surprise of all. The very inconsistent collegiate performer at the University of North Carolina looked like a seasoned pro in Game 2, raining down 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting to go along with six rebounds. If Golden State continues to get substantial scoring punch from four different sources, it will be extremely tough to beat in this series.
In a review, you will also see another reason Golden State should feel particularly optimistic in Game 3: The Nuggets’ big men were all no-shows in Game 2. JaVale McGee scored only seven points and plucked only three rebounds… and he was by far the Nuggets’ best low-post player on Tuesday night. Kenneth Faried scored just four points and grabbed only two rebounds. Kosta Koufos was a disaster, scoring no points and collecting only two boards in 14 minutes. Denver will probably go to a smaller lineup in Game 3, but even if it does, it will need Faried or someone to provide denial defense and rebounding near the rim. If the Nuggets don’t get that, they’re in huge trouble on Friday night in Oakland.
Who Will Win?
The sense here is that while Golden State’s crowd will be deafening, Denver will play stronger defense and will regain the form it showed during the second half of the regular season. Take the Nuggets here.
NBA Betting Pick: Denver