DENVER NUGGETS: (35-16) – (15-10 AWAY)   ~  UTAH JAZZ: (32-17) ~ (18-4 HOME)

Well the first big monster trade came in last night and one of tonight’s game between the Nuggets and Jazz was very affected. The Nuggets shipped off 3 players on their roster, all the while having 4 other players either out or game time calls tonight. The Nuggets are playing their 3rd game in 4 nights, which is exactly same spot the Jazz faced last Friday night when these two teams met in the Mile High City. The Nuggets won that game 106-100. The Jazz come in super rested as they have been off for 4 days and will be trying desperately to stop a 4 game Losing skid tonight. Only 2 games separate these two teams in the West Standings as we approach the All Star Break to the 2020 season. 

It’s never a good spot to play an NBA game for a 3rd game in 4 nights, but trading away 3 players the night before the game surely isn’t helping the spot for taking Denver tonight. I will say the league had two super hot players heading into last night’s and they were the Blazers D. Lillard and the Nuggets big Center N. Jokic. The Nuggets last night were the first team in quite some time to cool off Lillard and Jokic continued his torrid run of just fantastic games. He has now gotten a double-double in 11 straight games with 3 triple-doubles as well. The Nuggets Offense is really coming in clicking on all cylinders with 127, 123, 127 point nights the past 3 games. 

Denver has really dominated it’s Northwest Division opponents this year going a perfect (8-0) so far. This would’ve been a tough test anyway but playing shorthanded losing 3 to a trade last night so it’s very interesting to see if either young star M. Porter or J. Grant can sneak back into the lineup. Both are nursing ankle injuries. The really positive news for the Nuggets is they did get back young stud J. Murray in their last game and in 20 minutes he scored 20 points. He’d been out of the lineup for 19 days prior so he looked good and fresh much more quickly than the team likely even expected.

Before a week ago, it was the Utah Jazz just steamrolling the rest of the NBA, with an 11 game win streak and a run of 14 wins in 15 games. That is nearly impossible to do in this league and shows the Jazz are truly a very strong contender. With all great positive streaks though in the NBA, the other side of it will find you eventually and it’s found the Jazz in a ugly way with 4 losses straight. We must add that 3 of those 4 losses were on the Road. They did start this 4 game skid with a (very Rare) Home loss to the Rockets. So really all 4 losses and none are ones to be ashamed of. Losing at Denver, Portland, San Antonio and against the Rockets will happen. 

The Jazz do like to shoot the 3’s and even though the Jazz hit (17-37) against the Nuggets, they still lost. Why? Simple their best shooter Donovan Mitchell went (1-12) from the field. They also played without their veteran PG Mike Conley. He should benefit most from the 4 days rest coming into this game.


Why did Mitchell shoot so poorly last week vs. Nuggets in Denver? Because the Nuggets put Torrey Craig on him and he played the best “D” of any player we’ve watched play on Mitchell all season. The Nuggets must get the same showing from Craig tonight again to have a chance to pull a huge Road Upset.

Denver is a higher scoring team and on Road they score 111 per game and allow 109 games. They surprisingly even though a faster paced team they are the #5 best Defense in the league. They should be chomping at the bit knowing they have scored avg. 125 per game it’s last 3 and then knowing the Jazz have allowed 124, 127 and 126 in 3 of it’s 4 games.


It would be a Upset of epic proportions for the Nuggets to beat the Jazz in their house on 3rd game in 4 nights with a depleted roster. Look there is no chance Mitchell will shoot (1-12) again. In their past 5 games the Nuggets have lost 2 games, with both coming on the Road. The Jazz lost it’s last Home game and they have had to sit back and just remember that loss and the 4 straight losses in this current streak. Getting Conley back is a big difference maker as he runs this Jazz Offense. We saw Lillard finally get cooled off and tonight I’d expect that we see it happen to the Nuggets Jokic. A Jazz win tonight just moves these two a game apart and it’s exactly what we expect to see the rest of the way as both teams are both elite contenders. You tip your cap to the Nuggets for winning 8 straight games (all 8 so far) in the NW Division as it’s a very strong 5 team Division. I’ve never been a fan of the back to backs in the NBA and it’s just compounded playing a 3rd game in 4 nights. I guess if the Jazz win the scoring card is at least fair as they were playing with same fate last week in game at Denver. 

We will call for Mitchell and Gobert (67% FG this year) to use fresh legs and both have gigantic nights. The Nuggets didn’t lose superstars in the trade but they are all close friends and so for a few days some shock and sadness will set it. Of course laying near double digits is a tricky task betting the NBA. Jazz win tonight by 7-10 points.




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