Denver Nuggets (39-19 SU 27-29-2 ATS) vs. L.A. Lakers (44-14 SU 25-33-1 ATS) STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA 3:30 PM EST Sunday February 28, 2010 on ABC
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Tonight the defending champion Lakers host the Denver Nuggets, who have won 3 straight. Last season the Lakers had no problem beating the Nuggets in the Western Conference finals, but this season Denver is 2-0 against L.A. including beating them earlier this month in La La Land.
The Lakers are atop the Western Division and lead the 2nd place Nuggets by 4.5 games.
This season the Lakers are 27-5 at home and the Nuggets are 14-14 on the road.
The big guns for the Nuggets are Chauncey Billups (20.3 ppg) and Carmelo Anthony (29 ppg). Billups has been en fuego in Denver’s current streak averaging 29.3 ppg on 63.4% shooting. Anthony has been playing well lately, but in his last 6 games against the Lakers he is only averaging 16 ppg.
Kenyon Martin (12.1 ppg 9.5 rpg) is questionable for today’s game with a knee injury, which is not good at all for Denver facing the Lakers and their 7-foot duo of Pau Gasol (17.3 ppg 11 rpg) and Andrew Bynum (15.1 ppg 8.3 rpg). This season the Nuggets are 2-4 without Martin in the lineup.
The Nuggets like to run and gun and they are the 2nd highest scoring team in the league. If the Lakers can slow the tempo of the game down and make this a half court game they should easily win this game, especially if Martin can’t go.
The Nuggets are not a good defensive team, ranking 22nd in points allowed, so they will have to score a lot of points in order to pull off the upset this afternoon.
The Nuggets beat the Detroit Pistons 107-102 on Friday night in their last game. The high scorer for Denver in the game was ex-Piston Chauncey Billups going for 25 points on 6/11 shooting. For the game the Nuggets shot 35/77 from the floor for a FG% of 45.5%. On defense the Nuggets allowed the Pistons to shoot 41/92 for a FG% of 44.6%.
In their last game the Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 99-90. Pau Gasol was the high scorer for L.A. in the game going for 23 points on 10/17 shooting and he also grabbed 11 boards. For the game the Lakers shot 41/91 for a FG% of 45.1%. On D the Lakers allowed the 76ers to shoot 40/91 for a FG% of 44%.
This season the Nuggets rank 2nd in scoring (107.7 ppg) and the Lakers rank 5th (102.7 ppg). On defense the Lakers rank 8th in points allowed (96.2 ppg) and the Nuggets only rank 22nd (102.7 ppg). The Lakers have been a better team on the boards this season with a rebounding differential of +2.1 rpg while the Nuggets are at -0.5 rpg.
Denver is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 road games, 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a win, and 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5.
Denver has an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 road games, an Under record of 11-4 in their last 15 games against teams with a team with a winning record, and has an Under record of 6-0 in Nuggets last 6 games against teams with a winning percentage above 60%.
L.A. is 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 home games, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite, and 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games as a home favorite of 5.0-10.5.
L.A. has an Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 home games, and Under record of 7-1 in their last 8 games, and an Under record of 10-4 in their last 14 games against teams with a winning record.
In the last 7 games between these 2 teams in L.A. the total has gone Under 5 times and Denver is 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games in L.A.
On the injury front PF Kenyon Martin and PG Ty Lawson are day-to-day for Denver while L.A. is not reporting any significant injuries.
Jason’s Pick: If Kenyon Martin can’t go today the Nuggets will be in big trouble, as the Lakers will kill them on the glass. The Lakers are not a great ATS team, but they are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games as a home favorite of 5.0-10.5. The Lakers will come out firing in this game and play solid defense against the Nuggets winning their first game against Denver this season and covering the spread.