Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets Game 5 Preview

Dallas Mavericks +8 at Denver Nuggets -8 O/U 213.5 9 PM ET Wednesday May 13, 2009 on TNT
By Jason Green at Predictem.com

Tonight the Dallas Mavericks are in Mile High City to play the Denver Nuggets try to stave off elimination in this Western Conference semifinals series. The Mavs won a close game 4 and the main reason was Dirk Nowitzki who scored 17 points in the 4th quarter and brought the Mavs back from trailing the Nuggets by 7 points entering the final period. Dirk finally got some help in the scoring department in game 4, as Josh Howard went for 21 points and the Dallas bench chimed in to combine for 33 points.

Look out for Kenyon Martin having a big game, as he is not a happy camper that Mark Cuban called him a thug to Martin’s mother even though the Mavs owner apologized in his blog. Martin has to play better then in game 4, as he only had 2 points and 2 boards, but now he has some motivation. Even though the Mavs won game 4 no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit and the Mavs have a lot of work to do and it starts tonight winning in Denver, which they have not done all season.

Basketball bookies have the Nuggets favored by 8 points in this game with a total around 213.5. The Nuggets are posted at -360 as home favorites and the Mavericks are posted at +280 as road dogs.

The Mavs won game 4 on Monday night 109-107. The high scorer in that game was Dirk Nowitzki going for 44 points on 14/25 shooting. For the game the Mavs shot 40/79 for a legit FG% of 50.6%. The high scorer for the Nuggets in game 4 was Carmelo Anthony going for 41 points on 15/29 shooting. For the game the Nuggets shot 38/79 for a FG% of 48.1%.

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.

Tonight the Nuggets will attempt to clinch their first trip to the Western Conference Finals in 24 years.

Cuban apologized to Martin’s mother and said she could sit in his suite WHEN the series returns to Dallas and Nuggets PG Chauncey Billups said, “We don’t plan on going back to Dallas.”

For the Mavs to send this series back to the Big D they have to have balanced scoring AND Nowitzki has to have another big scoring game. If Josh Howard or Jason Terry struggle like in the first few games of the series the Mavs will be heading home and not to play another game.

Even though the Mavs won game 4 they have to shoot better from downtown, as in the last game they were only 3/14 from 3-point land for a weak 3-pt FG% of 21.4%. They also have to hold onto the rock better, as they had 14 turnovers in game 4.

The Nuggets have to a better job on the boards tonight, as in game 4 the Mavs dominated them on the glass out-rebounding them 50-34.

The Nuggets had a 7-point lead heading into the 4th quarter in game 4 and they have to hold onto a lead and not allow Nowitzki to kill them late in the game.

Nowitzki did a great job of attacking the rim in game 4, as he took 17 free throws and made 16. The Nuggets have to play better perimeter D and make Dirk beat them from the outside.

The pressure is on the Nuggets tonight, as they are big favorites in this series and history is on their side. They do not want to be the lone team that loses a series after leading 3-0 and they can do that with a win in front of their home crowd tonight.