It’s Round 2 of the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors matchup in the regular season, with the former taking the initial meeting. How will this rematch end up Thursday?
Catch this game live on Thursday, February 17, at 11 AM, Manila time
Away: Denver Nuggets (32-25/16-15 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Monte Morris
- SG: Will Barton
- SF: Aaron Gordon
- PF: Jeff Green
- C: Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic probably can’t wait to carve space in the paint against the Warriors. Jokic and the Nuggets are fresh off a 121-111 win at home against the Orlando Magic last Tuesday to make it 4-1 straight up in their past five contests. (They also covered the spread in four of those contests.) Jokic is the obvious reason why Denver could steal a win in Oakland Thursday. It would be incredibly frustrating if he won’t be able to take advantage of Golden State’s slim frontcourt that had just been roasted by the LA Clippers’ tandem of Ivica Zubac and Isaiah Hartenstein in a recent loss.
The two went 12/14 from the field and pulled down a combined 14 boards. When the Nuggets defeated Golden State on the road last December, Jokic gobbled up 22 points to go with 19 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. He should be able to have his way again versus the Warriors, whose defense has dropped a bit in quality lately. Golden State is third this season in scoring defense with just 103.5 points allowed per game, but that number has risen to 111.8 over its last five games. The Nuggets are 5-1-1 against the spread in their last 7 games away from Mile High City.
Home: Golden State Warriors (42-16/26-5 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Stephen Curry
- SG: Klay Thompson
- SF: Andrew Wiggins
- PF: Otto Porter
- C: Kevon Looney
Without Draymond Green, the Warriors have become some sort of a punching bag on the defensive end of the court. Golden State’s woes continue after losing to the Clippers on the road last Tuesday, 119-104. It’s the Warriors’ third loss in four games. They simply haven’t been holding their ground consistently on defense, and it’s putting their body of work on offense to waste. Stephen Curry had 33 points in the loss to the Clippers but finished with a minus-19. Klay Thompson was minus-23 and finished with just 7 points on 3/14 shooting.
But as long as the Warriors have Curry and their other top scorers are available, opposing teams can’t afford to relax at any point of the game. Golden State is still making it rain despite the losing. The Warriors have drained an average of 16.6 threes per contest on a blistering accuracy of 39.6 3FG% in their last 10 games. That can’t be good for Denver, even though they held the Warriors to only 10/32 shooting from deep in the first meeting. Golden State is 5-1-1 against the spread in its last 7 games as the home team versus the Nuggets.
Spread: Denver has one of the most efficient offenses in the league and it’s catching the Warriors at a perfect time. Jokic and the Nuggets should be able to find good looks inside the arc where 57.8% of their field goals are assisted. Taking Denver (+5) to cover.
Over/Under: Neither Denver nor Golden State is inside the top 20 in field-goal attempts per game. Going with the Under (224.5) for this game.