San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets
Tuesday 9:00 P.M. ET
Free NBA Pick: Spurs ATS
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
The Spurs went into Denver and not only covered the spread in Game 1, but also came out with the big upset victory against the Nuggets. Coming into the 2019 playoffs, a lot of Western Conference teams were excited to play the Nuggets because of their lack of playoff experience on their roster and the Spurs are certainly taking advantage of that.
The veteran Spurs held Denver to 42 percent shooting and led for most of the game. The Nuggets were down five with 2:24 left and had a chance to take the lead, but Murray misfired on an 18-footer with 9.4 seconds left.
After two days of analyzing and breaking down the film, both teams are ready for Game 2. Denver didn’t score a point in transition and San Antonio held center Nikola Jokic to 10 points by double-teaming the All-Star center when he was in the low post. Jokic did have 14 rebounds and 14 assists, but he could have had nearly 20 assists if his teammates hit open shots.
With his team facing the possibility of falling down 0-2 to start this best-of-seven series, Jokic’s encore to his triple-double playoff debut might have to include more points as the Nuggets look to free up their All-Star big man for more baskets in Game 2 on Tuesday. San Antonio is expecting Denver to get creative to counter the double-teams for Jokic, who averaged 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 15.1 shots per game this season.
The Nuggets might try posting Jokic up early and having him look to initiate his offense earlier. Denver head coach Mike Malone said that anytime Jokic put the ball on the floor, San Antonio smothered the big man with multiple defenders.
The Nuggets did miss shots, but the Spurs’ top scorers weren’t doing much better. DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 and 15 points, respectively, and missed 24 of their 36 shot attempts. The fact that the Spurs were able to win when their best two players did not play well at all, does not bode well for the Nuggets. Denver is once again favored by six points and the Spurs are a good bet to cover that spread once again.