Denver Nuggets (48-26 SU 31-38-4 ATS) vs. Dallas Mavericks (48-25 SU 29-42-2 ATS) American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX 8:30 PM EST Monday March 28, 2010 on NBA TV
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Nuggets +5.5 / Mavericks -5.5
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Tonight in the Big D the Dallas Mavericks host the Denver Nuggets. Neither team is playing great lately, as the Nuggets have lost 4 of 5 and the Mavs have lost 4 of their last 7. It is important that each of these teams snap out of it and finish the season strong to improve their playoff seed.
Currently Dallas is in 2nd place in the West, but only lead Denver by game and Phoenix by 1 game. It may be more important for Denver to get a high seed so they can host more playoff games since they are 2 games under 500 on the road this season.
The Mavs are coming off a win and are 6-4 in their last 10 games and the Nuggets are coming off a loss and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
This season the Mavs are 25-11 at home and the Nuggets are 18-20 on the road.
Dirk Nowitzki (24.6 ppg) has been struggling with his offense lately, as he only scored 13 in the Mavs’ last game, which they won, and in his last 4 games he has failed to crack the 20 point barrier.
Tonight’s game is the first in Dallas between these 2 teams since the Nuggets eliminated the Mavs in 5 games in last season’s playoffs.
Denver will have to score a lot of points tonight and while their offense ranks 3rd in the league their defense is weak ranking 22nd in opponents’ points allowed.
Neither team is solid on the boards and Denver’s leading rebounder Kenyon Martin (11.8 9.6 rpg) is still OUT with a knee injury. However, Dallas C Brendan Haywood (9.3 ppg 9.7 ppg) left Saturday’s game with a finger injury, but should go tonight. Denver has to suck it up as a team and not allow the Mavs to dominate the boards.
In their last game the Nuggets lost to the Orlando Magic 103-97 last night. The high scorer for Denver in the game was Carmelo Anthony going for 26 points on 11/25 shooting. For the game the Nuggets shot well going 42/80 from the floor for a solid FG% of 52.5%. On defense the Nuggets allowed the Magic to shoot 39/79 from the floor for a FG% of 49.4%.
The Mavericks won their last game beating the Golden State Warriors 111-90 on Saturday night. The high scorer for Dallas in the game was reserve G Rodrigue Beaubois blowing up for 40 points, which is almost 33 more points than his average, on 15/22 shooting including 9 of his 11 3-point bombs. For the game Dallas shot 44/91 for a FG% of 48.4%. On D the Mavs clamped down holding the Warriors to 34/102 from the field for a FG% of only 33.3%.
This season the Nuggets rank 3rd in the league in scoring (107.2 ppg) and the Mavericks rank 13th (101.5 ppg). On defense the Mavs rank 15th in opponents’ points allowed (99.7 ppg) and the Nuggets only rank 22nd (102.5 ppg). Neither team has been solid on the boards this season, as the Nuggets have a rebounding differential of -0.5 rpg and the Mavs are at -1.1 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Nuggets rank 5th (94.14) and the Mavs rank 12th (92.92).
Denver is 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 games, 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, and 0-2-2 ATS in their last 4 games as a road underdog.
Denver has an Under record of 6-1 in their last 7 games and an Under record of 7-3 in their last 10 road games.
Dallas is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games, 4-26-1 ATS in their last 31 home games, and 8-24-1 ATS in their last 33 games as a favorite.
Dallas has an Under record of 4-1 in their last 5 games and an Over record of 5-2 in their last 7 home games against teams with a losing road record.
On the injury front C Brendan Haywood and SF Shawn Marion are day-to-day for Dallas and while Denver is not reporting any significant injuries PF Kenyon Martin is still Out.
Jason’s Pick: The Nuggets have not played well with Kenyon Martin out and they simply have not been a good team on the road this season. Denver’s weak defense is just what Dirk Nowitzki needs to snap out of his scoring slump, as he will have a good game and so will the Mavs winning this game and covering the spread.