The NBA finishes out an exciting week of basketball with ten games on the board for Friday night. One of these games will be between the San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets. Both teams are sitting in playoff spots in the Western Conference, which should lead to a good matchup. These two teams will meet in Denver at 9:00 PM Eastern.
The Spurs have gone 19-16 to begin the season, which has them in eighth place of the Western Conference. San Antonio won their last game and eight of their last ten games. The Spurs have picked up their play after a slower start to this season. San Antonio will look to keep it going with another win on Friday night.
Denver has started the season with a record of 21-11. The Nuggets are currently sitting in second place of the Western Conference standings. Denver has lost two straight games, but had won eleven of their last twelve before that. The Nuggets have been doing really well this season and could really use a win to turn it around. Denver will look to bounce back with a home win on Friday night.
Friday night’s matchup between the Spurs and the Nuggets will be the second half of a home and home matchup between these two teams. San Antonio hosted the first game of the back to back on Wednesday night. San Antonio and Denver will meet again on March 4 and April 3 to end the season series. The Spurs will look to take a 2-0 season series into the back half of the season, while Denver will look to tie the series up at home.
The Spurs and the Nuggets met up four times last season. San Antonio won the first two games of the season series at home. Denver won the third and fourth game of the season series in their own home court. Both of the Nuggets wins were within ten points, while the Spurs were able to take one of their wins in blowout fashion.
The first game of this season’s series was hosted by the Spurs on December 26. Juan Hernangomez had a big night with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Malik Beasley scored 22 points off the bench, but it was not enough. DeMar DeRozan had a 30 point performance, while LaMarcus Aldridge dropped another 27 points. San Antonio was able to pull off a 111-103 win in front of their home crowd.
Last season, these two teams split the season series 2-2. San Antonio went on to make the playoffs, while the Nuggets barely missed out. The Spurs were able to win the first game of this season’s series and they will look to make it back to back with a win in Denver. The Nuggets have been a better team this season and they will look for this to propel them to a win.
The Spurs got some bad news before the season started, that they would be without Dejounte Murray for the season. San Antonio is also without Pau Gasol right now as he recovers from a fracture in his foot. San Antonio has not been hit with a lot of injuries, but they are missing some key players.
Denver has been hit hard this season with injuries. The Nuggets are without Will Barton, Gary Harris, Paul Millsap, Michael Porter Jr., Isaiah Thomas, and Jarred Vanderbilt right now. Barton, Harris, and Millsap have all played important roles at some point this season. Porter Jr., Thomas, and Vanderbilt have all not stepped onto the hardwood yet this season.
DeMar DeRozan has done a great job since coming over from Toronto in the offseason. DeRozan has averaged 23 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists per game this season. LaMarcus Aldridge has also had a strong start to the season, averaging 19 points and 9 rebounds per game. Rudy Gay is averaging 14 points and 7 rebounds per game. Bryn Forbes has done alright filling in for Dejounte Murray at the Point Guard spot. Forbes has averaged 12 points per game this season.
Nikola Jokic has had a strong start to the season, averaging 18 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists per game. He has continued to develop into a superstar at the Center spot. Jamal Murray has done well this season running the Point Guard slot. Murray has averaged 17.5 points and 5 assists per game this season. Juan Hernangomez, Monte Morris and Trey Lyles are all averaging 10 points per game.
DeRozan will likely have another prime matchup against Torrey Craig on Friday night. DeRozan put up a solid stat line against him on Wednesday and will look to do it again. Jokic will have an exciting matchup against Aldridge again. I believe that Murray could have a big night going up against Forbes or Derrick White. Murray will need to have a better night shooting the ball though if he wants to help his team get the win.
The Nuggets have struggled in back to back games coming into Friday night. I believe Denver has a good chance to turn it around though in front of the home crowd. Even though the Nuggets are hit hard with injury, Denver has been resilient this season. The Nuggets have players step up when one guy goes down and it keeps them going. Denver met up with the Spurs on Wednesday, which means they have fresh tape on what worked and what didn’t. This should help them prepare for Friday night’s matchup.
BetOnline has Denver listed as a -3 ½ against the spread. The Nuggets are at home, which is a big reason why they are favored. San Antonio is a hot team and they should be able to compete, but I believe Denver will win this game in the end. If the game is close at the end with the Nuggets leading, free throws could easily put them over this spread, which is why I am taking Denver against the spread.