Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets Game 2 Preview and Pick

Dallas Mavericks +6.5 at Denver Nuggets -6.5 O/U 206 10:30 PM ET Tuesday May 5, 2009 on TNT

By Jason Green at Predictem.com

The Nuggets lead this best of 7 series 1-0.

Tonight the Dallas Mavericks take on the Denver Nuggets in game 2 of this Western Conference semifinals series. The Nuggets won game 1 pretty handily and the reason was that they were red hot from the floor shooting almost 55%. The Nuggets bench really stepped up, as 3 non-starters scored in double figures led by J.R. Smith with 15 points.

The Mavs need to control the rock more in tonight’s game, as in game 1 they had 20 turnovers. Jason Kidd had 8 turnovers in game 1 and he has to play better tonight or the Mavs will be in a 0-2 hole. Dirk Nowitzki had a good game going for 28 points and grabbing 10 boards, but he needs some help on offense, as only 3 other players scored in double figures all scoring 15 points each. Either Jason Terry or Josh Howard have to have a good scoring game tonight for the Mavs to even this series.

This season the Nuggets were 33-8 at home and the Mavericks were 18-23 in away games.

Basketball Bookies have the Nuggets as 6.5-point favorites with a total around 206. The Nuggets are posted at -300 as home favorites and the Mavs are posted at +220 as road dogs.

In game 1 of this series on Sunday the Nuggets beat the Mavericks 109-95. The high scorer for the Nuggets in that game was Nene going for 24 points on 9/13 shooting. For the game the Nuggets could not miss going 40/73 from the floor for a scorching FG% of 54.8%. The high scorer for the Mavs in game 1 was Dirk Nowitzki going for 28 points on 12/22 shooting including grabbing 10 boards. For the game the Mavs shot 40/82 from the floor for a FG% of 48.8%.

This season the Nuggets ranked 6th in scoring (104.3 ppg) and the Mavs ranked 9th (101.7 ppg). On D the Nuggets gave up an average of 100.9 ppg and the Mavs allowed an average of 99.8 ppg. This season the Nuggets had a rebounding differential of +0.4 rpg and the Mavs were at +1.4 rpg.

This season the Nuggets 45-35-2 ATS and the Mavs were 40-42. In terms of Over/Under games this season the Nuggets were 42-39-1 and the Mavs were 38-43-1.

On the injury front neither team is reporting any significant injuries.

The Nuggets were much more physical then the Mavs in game 1 and the Mavs need to toughen up and start attacking the rim more, as in game 1 Denver out shot Dallas from the charity stripe 36-13.

The Mavs cannot back down from the Nuggets physical play, as they have to be aggressive like they were in their series win over San Antonio. Kenyon Martin laid out Dirk Nowitzki going with a hard pick in game 1 and was fined $25,000 by the league.

The Mavs also need to cut down on their turnovers and get back on defense, as in game 1 the Nuggets had 29 fast break points to the Mavs 4.

Josh Howard struggled big time in game 1, as even though he had 15 points he only shot 7-16 from the floor and was 0-4 from 3-point land.

The Mavs are a better shooting team and need to hit some 3’s tonight in order to win. In game 1 Dirk Nowitzki was 0-1 from downtown and as a team the Mavs were only 6/18 from 3-point land.

Jason Terry and Jason Kidd combined for 12 turnovers in game 1 and if they play sloppy like that again the Nuggets should win easily. As a team the Mavs gave up 25 points off turnovers.

Erick Dampier has to play better interior D tonight on Nene, who torched him in game 1.

With the scorers that the Nuggets have in Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and J.R. Smith and they win easily with Nene being the leading scorer you know the Mavs are doing something wrong.

Look for the Mavs to be more physical tonight, but the keys to them winning are not turning the ball over and hitting the outside J.

Jason’s Pick: I expect Dallas to make some adjustments, have less turnovers and stay within the number.