Dallas Mavericks vs Denver Nuggets
Toyota Center (Dallas)
Dallas and Denver have five wins in their last ten head-to-head encounters, and at first glance, the teams' chances of winning the upcoming matchup should be even. However, the Nuggets have lost two key players, so the Mavericks are the clear favorites.Claim Your Welcome Bonus!
The Mavericks have already established themselves as defensive specialists, and expectedly, they moved up to fourth place in the defensive rankings. At the start of the championship, the team's coach gave JaVale McGee a chance to prove himself, but with him, the team missed a lot of points in the paint. Dwight Powell looks preferable, although McGee would probably be more useful in attack. Luka Doncic is still the league's most productive player, averaging 34.4 points. But Luka helps on defense as well: the Slovene has 2.1 steals per game, the 4th best record in the NBA, and the leading scorer in this rating, Delon Wright, hasn't played in a while due to injury. Maxi Kleber was out the day before, and now an even greater responsibility falls to Christian Wood. Davis Bertans is back, with Reggie Bullock and JaVale McGee in doubt.
Jason Kidd gave Doncic a rest in the last regular-season game, and Dallas eventually lost to Houston (92:101). Spencer Dinwiddie was poor, hitting just 3 of his 18 shots. Dorian Finney-Smith, Facundo Campazzo, and Dinwiddie missed many shots, and the team hit only 21.8% of field goals. The most prolific players on the team came off the bench, with Christian Wood and Tim Hardaway Jr. scoring 26 and 28 points, respectively. The loss to the Rockets was the Mavericks' 3rd in their last five games, dropping them to 8th place in the Western Conference.
The Nuggets started the season well: 9 wins in 15 games, 3rd place in the West, minimal gap to the leader. However, it will be challenging to build on their success since the club had a coronavirus outbreak, with Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic dropping out. And while Murray can still be replaced, Jokic is Denver's systemic player. The Colorado club is essential without a playmaker, and with the Serbian center on the floor, they defend even better than they would without him. Also, Aaron Gordon missed the last game because of illness, and his participation is now questionable.
Without Gordon and Jokic, the team lost at home to New York (103:106). Jamal Murray created excellent scoring chances at times but made only 7 of his 20 attempts. Michael Porter Jr. shot frequently, but the bench players kept up their game and scored half of Denver's points. Bones Hyland had five field goals, and Bruce Brown and Zeke Nnaji also had an excellent start to the game. It was a shame that the Nuggets led by 10 points with 6 minutes to go but lost the handicap in the end.
Expert Betting Tips
Dallas is good on defense, but Maxi Kleber is an essential defensive element, and it will still be more challenging without him. Of course, you can't draw any conclusions from the game with Houston because Doncic wasn't on the field. The good news is that the Mavericks have more and more reliable options on offense: Hardaway Jr. is slowly gaining form, and Wood is back from injury. Denver can replace Jamal Murray, increasing Bones Highland's playing time, but Aaron Gordon is urgently needed under the basket so that Deandre Jordan can have a reliable guard. Against the Knicks, the Nuggets did not play their best defense, allowing their opponent to throw open three-pointers frequently. The most recent head-to-head encounters were poor, and it's time to fix that.
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