Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Miami Heat (10-7 8-9 ATS) vs. Denver Nuggets (13-5 10-8 ATS) Pepsi Center, Denver, CO 10:30 PM EST Thursday December 3, 2009 on TNT
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Heat +9 / Nuggets -9
Over/Under: 211.5

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Tonight in Mile High City the Denver Nuggets host the Miami Heat. Even though the Heat are coming off a win they are only 4-6 in their last 10 games and are now in 3rd place in the Southeast Division. The Nuggets are also coming off a win, but they have been playing solid being 7-3 in their last 10 games and they are in 1st place in the Northwest Division.

The Nuggets have not lost at home to the Heat since the 2003 draft when the Denver Nuggets took Carmelo Anthony with the 3rd pick and the Heat took Dwayne Wade with the 5th pick. Melo has averaged 26.5 ppg in 13 games against the heat and Wade has averaged 27.8 ppg in that span. This season Melo has been on fire, as he leads the league in scoring (30.7 ppg).

This season the Nuggets are 8-1 at home and the Heat are 4-2 on the road.

The Heat are coming off a solid away win over the Portland Trailblazers 107-100 on Tuesday night. The high scorer for the Heat in this game was not Wade but Michael Beasley going for 27 points on 8/15 shooting including hitting 11 of his 12 shots from the charity stripe. For the game the Heat were on fire, no pun intended, going 40/75 from the floor for a scorching, ha ha, FG% of 53.3%. On D the Heat played great only allowing the Blazers to shoot 34/87 for a FG% of 39.1%.

In their last game the Nuggets really poured on the offense killing the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night 135-107. The high scorer for the Nuggets in this game was Melo going for 25 points on 10/19 shooting. For the game the Nuggets could not miss going 52/95 for a FG% of 54.7%. On D the Nuggets played well only allowing the high-scoring Warriors to shoot 41/94 for a FG% of 43.6%.

This season the Nuggets are the highest scoring team in the NBA scoring 110.6 ppg while the Heat rank 24th in scoring (96.1 ppg). On defense the roles are reversed, as the Heat are legit ranking 8th in points allowed (95.4 ppg) while the Nuggets only rank 22nd (102.9 ppg). Neither team is great on the glass, as each team has a rebounding differential of -0.6 rpg.

Wade (26.8 ppg) will be facing a weak Nuggets’ defense tonight and he will score a lot of points tonight.

Michael Beasley (15.2 ppg) is a slasher and is great at
getting to the hoop and he will also have a good scoring game tonight.

C Nene has a banged up knee and even though he is probable for this game his mobility will be hampered. Because of that Heat C Jermaine O’Neal will have a big game on the boards, which will really help Miami. O’Neal also has to keep Nene and Kenyon Martin off the boards tonight and not allow them to dominate the glass, which he should do since the Brazilian is not 100%.

Denver likes to run and gun and Chauncey Billups (16.9 ppg) will have a hard time doing that tonight against a legit Miami D.

The Miami D will keep the Nuggets from shooting lights out tonight. Denver wins because they play good defense and they will not allow the Nuggets to get to their season FG% of 48.3%. Still, the Nuggets have so many weapons that they will not be stopped from scoring a lot of points.

Melo is not the only scorer the Nuggets have and others will help him out tonight, especially 6th man J.R. Smith (14.6 ppg).

On the injury front C Nene and F/C Chris Anderson are both day-to-day for the Nuggets while the Heat are not reporting any significant injuries.

Jason’s Pick: Miami will build upon their win over Portland and continue to play good on the defensive end and that will be the key in tonight’s game. The injury to Nene will be big, as that will allow the Heat to win the battle of the boards. Even though the Nuggets are weak on defense and they will not shoot like they usually do they should score must enough to win this game. However, the Heat will cover the spread. Take the Heat and the points tonight.