Nuggets Preview:Can The Joke Show Roll On As Ice Trae And The Hawks Come To Town
For a team that's shooting just 43% as a whole, the Nuggets somehow keep pulling games out down the stretch. They battled back vs Philly to set a franchise record for largest deficit overcome in franchise history, pulled their ish together and held on vs Minnesota, and the best part of it all is that it came against the same two centers that y'all say get more buckets than Joker.
AND THE FOUL SIR?!? Joel Embiid was suppose to be on The Joke Show but Joel reached on Paul Milsap and Joker teached.
Less than 48 hours later, The Joke Show, again, hits the Dirk late in OT right on KAT's eye for the lead and the win. Least KAT played D, welcome to the next 10 years Minnesota fans.
The Nuggets and Nikola Jokic just look like they're still searching for their identity as legit contenders. Despite the slow start, they're 7-2 and have the next 6/7 at home. With a reeling Hawks team in town, the Nuggets have a chance to really get their mojo going before heading to Brooklyn to face Kyrie and Nets.
With the way the Nuggets and mostly the offense has looked, look for a breakout game to cover the spread of +11.5(Bovada). Like we have seen in the past couple games, the Nuggets have been unable to get the lead and extend it due to a sluggish offense and just sloppy play. An inexperienced Hawks team that lost by 45 last time they came to The Can, is just the game to change that narrative. Per any Mike Malone team, this Nuggets D is fantastic, holding teams to just a little over a 100 a game. They have a great match-up against a one-dimensional Hawks team and should be able to control the tempo and pace of game. Due to this the O/U is at 209 as both teams are scoring less than expected to this point, but look for the Nuggets to dominate the paint without John Collins playing. I'd take the over of 209 if I was going to touch the total, but don't love it because if Trae Young doesn't score, ATL doesn't score.
Key Matchup: Joker vs Alen Len
I feel silly for mentioning the two in the same line, but with the defense presence of John Collins juicing up on the bench, The Joker has potential to bust one out on the offense end and maybe finally give us that 30 slider for the first time this year. His PER is down nearly 20% from last year and you just get the feel he's going to breakout soon. As long as he keeps hitting game winner after game winner, I cant complain, but I want my fast pace, high scoring, Nuggies too.
Best Bet: Nuggets 1Q -3.5
I'm expecting the Nuggets to come out wheelin' and dealin' to start this game. They almost blew one in Minnesota and return home to play a favorable matchup. Mike Malone also just aint about that life either. After a poor finish to last game and the day off, I know Malone will have the boys ready to come for Ice Trae.