Denver Nuggets (40-28) at Philadelphia 76ers (41-25)
Monday, March 14th @ Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
How to Watch
- 7:30 ET on ESPN
Betting Tape of the Tape:
|18-17 (on the road)||ATS (SITE)||13-20 (at home)|
|20th||PACE OF PLAY||T-28th|
- Line: 76ers -2.5
- Over/Under: 221.5
Recent Play (last 10 games):
- Nuggets: 7-3; 118.2 PG, 45.4 RPG, 28.7 APG, 8.2 SPG, and 4.4 BPG, while shooting 49.7% from the field and allowing 112.6 points.
- 76ers: 7-3; 113.5 PPG, 41.8 RPG, 22.5 APG, 6.8 SPG, and 3.7 BPG, while shooting 43.5% from the field and allowing 114.1 points per game
- Aaron Gordon; DEN, PF: Questionable (Foot) Gordon played Thursday and missed Saturday so seems likely to play
These are two of the better teams in the NBA, with the 76ers currently sitting in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference, and the Nuggets sitting in 6th in the Western Conference. Both teams will also come into this game playing good basketball, and fans will get to see a heavyweight fight in the paint between superstars Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.
As you can see from the stats above, both teams play at a relatively methodical pace. A lot of that has to do with the fact that both teams run a lot of their offense through two big men who are at the center of the MVP race. Nikola Jokic leads Denver in pretty much every statistical category this year, coming into the game as the team’s leader in points, rebounds, steals, assists, and blocks per game. Jokic has also been on fire over the last two weeks, averaging 31.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists on 62.3% shooting from the field.
That should continue even against Joel Embiid since the 76ers allow teams to score at a 65.9% clip at the rim. However, on offense, Embiid has been having a great season in his own right. He leads the 76ers with 29.8 points per game, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks. Since the addition of James Harden, Embiid has seen his assists totals fall off a little, but the rest of his game has reached a new level. Over the last week, he’s averaging 35 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks per game, albeit on just 40.3% from the field, which could be an issue against Jokic.
However, if Jokic gets into foul trouble, that could spell doom for the Nuggets. Denver is +16.3 points per 100 possessions better with Jokic on the floor vs. off. With Jamaal Murry and Michael Porter Jr. out for most of the season, Denver simply doesn’t have the depth to keep up with most teams when Jokic is on the bench. As a result, the 76ers could go inside to Embiid early and often in order to try to get a few cheap fouls on the Denver superstar.
Partially due to the slower pace of play, neither one of these defenses forces too many turnovers, but they are both in the top-10 in three-point defense. A potential deciding factor could be that the 76ers rank just 17th in the league in offensive rebounds allowed, which could open up an avenue for Jokic and company to get a few extra shots in a game that doesn’t figure to have too many easy buckets.
Denver also ranks 12th in the league in three-point attempts despite being just 15th in three-point percentage, so if they’re hitting from beyond the arc it will limit the impact of Embiid and give the Nuggets another advantage against a 76ers team that is 28th in three-pointers attempted per game.
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Popular Player Props:
(These are the most popular props for the game as of this writing. They are not predictions or recommendations. We advise doing your own research before placing bets on any props mentioned.)
- Jeff Green, F DEN: Over 2.5 rebounds (-175)
- We covered some of Philadelphia’s issues in the interior above. Green has gone over this mark in eight of his last ten games and is averaging 4.0 rebounds a game over the last week and 3.2 per game over the last two weeks.
- Will Barton, G DEN: Under 3.5 assists (-157)
- Barton has gone under this mark in seven of his last ten games; however, he is averaging 3.5 assists per game over the last two weeks and had four in the last game against Toronto. Much of this line might have to do with a tough potential matchup against Matisse Thybulle.