Keep Mining Nuggets With Flat Jazz On Tap

Thursday, February 28, 2019 4:06 AM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 4:06 AM UTC

The Utah Jazz had to play Wednesday night, making the Denver Nuggets the right NBA pick for Thursday’s matchup in the Mile High City.

<p style="text-align:right"><em>Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Feb. 26: 14-12 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 18-8 Totals</em></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Utah (34-26 SU, 31-27-2 ATS) vs Denver (42-18 SU, 33-27 ATS)</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Thursday, 8:00 p.m. ET, TNT</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Free NBA Pick: <a href="" target="_blank" title="live odds for this game">Nuggets ATS</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Best Line Offered: <a href=";book= YouWager" target="_blank" title="top rated sportsbook">Youwager</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3569893, "sportsbooksIds":[139,1096,93,169,19], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Nikola Jokic is everything you could want in an MVP. Just ask the Oklahoma City Thunder; Jokic dropped the hammer on them Tuesday night, scoring 36 points and barely missing a triple-double as Denver (–3.5 at home) won 121-112. <a href="">And there was much rejoicing</a>.<br /><br />Jokic and the Thunder will be at it again Thursday night when they host the Utah Jazz, and this time, we’ve got an extra reason to put Denver in our <a href="">NBA picks</a>: The Jazz played the Los Angeles Clippers at home Wednesday night, winning 111-105 as 10-point home faves. That means they should be worn out by the time they land in Denver – making them an easy fade as 6-point puppies on the <a href="">NBA odds board</a> as we go to press.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Basketball Weakens Legs</strong></h2><p>Since we’ve already talked plenty about the Nuggets, let’s focus on Utah and what they bring to the table: defense, and not much else. The Jazz are third overall in defensive efficiency at 103.8 points allowed per 100 possessions, but only No. 17 on offense at 107.2 points scored/100. And when you get tired, defensive effort is usually the first thing to go.<br /><br />At least they don’t have to worry about Dante Exum (minus-3.1 BPM). He was supposed to make his return last week against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but those plans were kiboshed on game day, <a href="">after we put Utah in the “fade” column</a>. Final score: Utah (+4 away) 148, Oklahoma City 147 in double overtime. Basketball, she iz a cruelle mistresse. Always wait for the morning shoot-around before making your picks in real life.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Doubting Thomas</strong></h2><p>Okay, one more piece of business for the Nuggets: Isaiah Thomas is back. He’s played four games for Denver thus far, and hoo boy, it’s not good – not from a defensive standpoint, at least. Thomas has a minus-5.5 DBPM to go with his minus-0.7 OBPM in 68 total minutes. That’s a small sample size, but concerning nonetheless. Let’s hope he doesn’t get too much burn on Thursday.<br /><br />[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Damn I miss you Chyna&lt;/p&gt;— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;February 28, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]<br /><br />No burn notice for Trey Lyles (minus-3.2 BPM) in this matchup. He showed promise for the Nuggets last year after coming over from Utah in the Donovan Mitchell trade, but that’s a deal Denver would probably like to take back – even if Mitchell (minus-0.3 BPM) has a lot of work to do before he’s truly ready for prime time. Lyles is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury and isn’t expected back for a couple of weeks, so we can breathe easy for now. He’s a good Canadian kid; he’ll be fine. May the sphere be with him.</p>
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