The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a clash between high-flying teams Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks.
11:00 (AEST), Thu 6th May @ Ball Arena, Denver
History: Played 92: Nuggets 48 V Knicks 44
Last meeting: January 10, 2021: Nuggets 114 d Knicks 89 at Madison Square Garden
Final Thoughts: Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks reside in the top four of their respective conferences – but every win at this stage of the regular season is crucial with the standings so congested.
The 43-22 Nuggets are third in the West and have won nine of their last 11. But a five-game winning run came to an end via a 93-89 loss to the LeBron-less Lakers earlier this week.
The defeat saw Denver post their second-lowest total of the season – despite the efforts of red-hot MVP favourite Nikola Jokic (32 pts, 9 reb, 5 ast).
The 37-28 Knicks have surged to fourth in the East courtesy of 12 wins in their last 13 outings. Their last seven wins have come by double-digit margins – including an impressive 118-104 victory over the Grizzlies this week, just a day after beating the Rockets by 25 points.
Julius Randle’s outstanding season continues to gather steam. He’s averaging 24.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists. Meanwhile, 20-year-old RJ Barrett is going from strength to strength and veteran Derrick Rose is enjoying a wonderful renaissance since joining from the Pistons mid-season.
Knicks look for rivalry circuit-breaker in Mile High City
The Nuggets have won 11 of their last 12 against the Knicks, including the last six straight. The Knicks are also winless in Denver since 2006.
Jokic (22 pts, 10 reb, 5 ast) and a strong bench effort negated Randle’s (29 pts, 10 reb, 5 ast) fine individual performance for the Knicks as the Nuggets banked a 114-89 win in New York in January.
But the Knicks have evolved into a far more formidable opponent since then as they eye off their best finish since the 2012-13 season.
The Nuggets are 24-10 at home – but just 15-19 against the line. The Knicks are 15-17 on the road, but their 22-11 ATS record is the NBA’s second-best away from home.
The Knicks’ ranked in the league’s bottom six for points scored per game, but they lead the NBA in least points conceded. The Nuggets will be eager to bounce back from a poor offensive showing against the Lakers and I’ll back Jokic and co. to get the job done – albeit narrowly.
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|Milwaukee Bucks V Washington Wizards||Margin – Bucks 21-30|
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