Western Conference opponents Denver and Dallas face off in each of their first contests after the All Star Break. The Mavericks lead the all time series 88-83, but the Nuggets have won 3 of the last 5 matchups head to head.
The Nuggets last game came at home against the Kings on Wednesday (2/13), a game they won 120-118. On Friday (2/8) they lost at Philadelphia 117-110, and on Monday (2/11) they beat the Heat at home 103-87.
The Mavs last game came at home on Wednesday (2/13) against the Heat, a game which they lost 112-101. On Sunday (2/10) they beat the Trail Blazers 102-101 at home, and on Monday (2/11) they lost at Houston 120-104.
On the season, Denver is 30-27 ATS, 10-18 ATS on the road, and 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games. On the season, Dallas is 34-22-1 ATS, 19-9-1 ATS at home, and 6-3-1 ATS in their last 10 games.
Bovada has the Nuggets as 3.5 point favourites with an O/U total of 219.
(26-31 overall, 20-9 at home, 5-5 in last 10)
Dallas averages 108.7 PPG, 45.6 RPG, 10.3 ORPG, 22.6 APG, 7.1 SPG, 4.4 BPG, and 15.3 TPG. As a team they shoot 44.8% from the field, 74.1% from the free throw line, and 34.6% from 3 point range. Defensively they hold teams to 108.7 PPG, 44.0 RPG, 45.7% shooting from the field, and 34.1% shooting from 3 point range.
Luka Doncic leads the Mavs with 20.7 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 5.6 APG and 1.0 SPG while shooting 43.0% from the field, 72.2% from the free throw line, and 34.8% from 3 point range. Tim Hardaway Jr. chips in 17.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, and 0.7 SPG while shooting 40.4/83.3/38.9. Dwight Powell contributes 8.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.5 SPG and 0.6 BPG. Dorian Finney-Smith (7.8 PPG/4.7 RPG/1.0 SPG), Jalen Brunson (6.8 PPG/1.4 RPG/2.2 APG/1.0 SPG), Maxi Kleber (6.6 PPG/4.0 RPG/1.2 BPG) and Trey Burke (6.6 PPG/1.4 RPG/2.2 APG/1.2 SPG) play big minutes as well.
F Kristaps Porzingis (knee) – out, G J.J. Barea (achilles) – out
(39-18 overall, 14-14 on the road, 7-3 in last 10)
Denver averages 112 PPG, 46.3 RPG, 12.1 ORPG, 27.6 APG, 7.7 SPG, 4.5 BPG, and 13.4 TPG. As a team they shoot 47.2% from the field, 75.8% from the free throw line, and 35.4% from 3 point range. Defensively they hold teams to 107.1 PPG, 41.8 RPG, 46.0% shooting from the field, and 34.7% shooting from 3 point range.
Nikola Jokic leads the way with 20.4 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 7.7 APG, 1.4 SPG and 0.6 BPG while shooting 50.5% from the field, 84.9% from the free throw line, and 30.8% from 3 point range. Jamal Murray contributes 18.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG< 5.0 APG and 0.8 SPG while shooting 43.0/84.3/36.8. Gary Harris chips in 14.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.7 APG, and 1.0 SPG. Paul Millsap (12.2 PPG/6.7 RPG/1.9 APG/1.2 SPG/0.8 BPG), Will Barton (12.1 PPG/4.4 RPG/3.4 APG/35.9% from 3), Malik Beasley (12.0 PPG/2.5 RPG/0.7 SPG/43.3% from 3) and Mason Plumlee (8.1 PPG/6.0 RPG/2.7 APG/0.9 SPG/0.9 BPG) play big minutes as well.
F Trey Lyles (hamstring) – doubtful, F Michael Porter Jr. (back) – out
With both teams coming off a lengthy hiatus, these games are somewhat unpredictable. The Nuggets have not been overly impressive on the road this year, while the Mavs home/road splits are night and day as well (.689 at home) this season. However, the Mavs entered full rebuild mode with their trading of Dennis Smith Jr, Wesley Matthews, and DeAndre Jordan to the Knicks and Harrison Barnes to the Kings.
While they weren’t game changers, they made up a vast majority of the Mavs production, and were core members of the top of their lineup. Not to mention Denver was playing pretty good ball going into the All Star break, winning 7 of their last 10 and getting Gary Harris back from injury. The Mavs don’t have an NBA caliber rotation anymore, and that is going to show down the back stretch of this season, and I think that starts here with a loss at home to the Nuggets. As long as this number stays under 5, Denver is by far the right side here.
Final Pick: Denver Nuggets (-3.5)