Lee, Lawson and lack of depth
Ty Lawson is still questionable for the Nuggets in this game after spraining his ankle a few nights ago. This makes the Nuggets go from legitimate threat, to pushover team in the West, and if Lawson is unable to go once again tonight, the Warriors should steamroll Denver at home.
The NBA Odds from BetOnline this morning reflect that, and even though there are not any more odds out right now at other shops, the NBA Odds from BOL have Denver as a +12 underdog, with a total of 213 ½. We will probably know more about Lawson’s status when the Nuggets hold shoot around in the morning, so double check his status around mid-morning, and there should be at least some idea on whether he will play or not tonight.
Another injured player in this game is David Lee, who is nursing a hamstring injury as the playoffs approach. Reports out of Oakland are that Lee went through parts of practice yesterday, which is a very encouraging sign. However he also noted that he still does not have a timetable for his return.
This will mean more playing time for Draymond Green, and it will mean the Warriors have around 15-20 points a game to make up if he doesn’t play. It would not surprise me to see Lee sit again here. Hamstrings in players above 30 are tricky injuries, and the Warriors really need Lee once the playoffs start. Golden State is currently a game up on Dallas for the 6th seed, and they are not in danger of losing this game if Lee sits out, especially if Lawson also sits. The Mavs on the other hand are playing the Spurs tonight, which should be a much closer game if San Antonio doesn’t rest players.
The Sharp Pick
I don’t expect once the NBA odds come out that they will be very different from the odds at BetOnline. However I do think there might be a discrepancy in the total, which sits at 213 ½ right now. Even though the Warriors have been cashing the under more this season, the over seems like as great play against the Nuggets and their lack of defense.
Denver’s offense doesn’t get killed if Lawson misses, and with all the uncertainty around him and Lee, the spread is off limits for me. The total of 213 ½ may be a little undervalued though.
The last meeting between these two teams went over the total, as did four of their last seven overall meetings. Denver is 15-13 cashing the over as a road underdog this season, and without Lawson, their offense and defense will suffer. Lawson is not only their best player, but he is probably their best defender. If he misses again tonight (I don’t see why he would play if he is still hurt) Stephen Curry will be unleashed once again.
Golden State’s scores have been going up recently, and even thought they cash the over at only 16-22-1 at home this season, they have cashed the over in three of their last four games overall, and six of their last ten games. Denver has also cashed the over in three of their last four games, and four of their last six as well. I see a very fast paced game between these two, and for the possessions they’ll both have, I think the over’s the play.
My Pick: OVER 213 ½