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The San Antonio Spurs are looking to grab a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
Nuggets hoping to get back in series
Heading into the series against the Spurs, there were many questions about whether their largely inexperienced roster was ready to handle what comes with playing in the playoffs. For the most part in the early goings of the matchup, this has certainly been the case as San Antonio has grabbed ahold of the series that was capped by a convincing Game 3 performance. The Nuggets have looked a bit overwhelmed being unable to keep up with the Spurs’ experienced roster as the two losses they have fallen behind in the second half and were unable to put forth runs to put them over the edge in each contest. In Game 3, Denver was able to put forth an efficient shooting outing shooting 51.9 percent from the floor and 51.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc while dishing out 31 assists. However, they came up short in the scoring column falling to a double-digit loss that largely the case for most of the contest as San Antonio stayed comfortably ahead, especially in the second half.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 19, 2019
This has seen their young core group be tested as they have at least held their own offensively. All-Star big man Nikola Jokic has been a strong source of production as he’s averaging a near triple-double with 17.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 9.7 assists per contest. This has seen him pour in two double-doubles including a triple-double outing and more than 20 points in each of the last two contests. His play has been a steady source of stability and helped give the necessary firepower as their centerpiece offensively. Meanwhile, guard Gary Harris has been a strong offensive factor as he’s averaging 18.3 points while shooting 51.2 percent shooting from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range. Harris has scored more than 20 points twice in the first three games while being a go-to option offensively. However, if the Nuggets hope to avoid a 3-1 hole, they will need to step it up from the get-go establish a rhythm on the road against the Spurs, who have a plethora of experience playing in this setting.
Spurs eyeing commanding 3-1 series over Nuggets
Through the first three games of the playoffs, the Spurs have taken command of their series against the Nuggets with their veteran-laden roster that has set the tone of the series. However, it has been the stellar play of their young guard Derrick White, who has emerged a promising talent in the first few games. White is coming off an impressive career performance with a career-best 36 points on an efficient 14-of-21 shooting from the floor. In total, he is averaging 23.0 points while shooting 68.3 percent from the field as he has notched more than 15 points in each contest and greater than 63.0 percent shooting from the field in each game. He has stepped into this increased role in the playoffs proving to be a highly reliable offensive weapon on the floor for the Spurs that has helped put them in this promising position heading into Game 4 where they can take even greater command of the series.
What. A. Game.
Highlights 🎥 pic.twitter.com/vnWKFw54y5
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 19, 2019
Former All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan has also stepped up in the playoffs being their leading offensive weapon averaging 24.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per contest while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor. This has seen him notch more than 25 points in each of the last two games while shooting greater than 50.0 percent from the field in each contest. DeRozan is a playoff experienced player that has been and will continue to be a major offensive factor for the playoffs and will continue to be so moving forward in the playoffs as he has been a steadying force on that end of the floor with his scoring and playmaking ability as a distributor. This will be a major factor in determining how things will play out for the rest of the postseason. All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge hasn’t been the most efficient scorer shooting 39.3 percent in the postseason, but he’s averaging 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds. This has seen him post more than 15 points in each of the first three playoff games against the Nuggets. Ultimately, if the Spurs continue to get consistent production from their core group grabbing a commanding 3-1 series lead should be in order.
- Spurs are 4-1 ATS in their last five Conference Quarterfinals games.
- Spurs are 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a winning straight up record.
- Spurs are 16-6-1 ATS in their last 23 games against a team with a winning % above .600.
- Nuggets are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games.
- Nuggets are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games against Southwest division opponents.
- Nuggets are 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games against a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Spurs have been the more consistent team in the league behind the play of their core group. The Nuggets inexperience has been on display and will continue to be so especially in this critical Game 4. Ultimately, it is San Antonio’s game to lose.
Prediction: San Antonio -3.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Although these two teams are more than capable offensive forces, they haven’t put forth huge outings. This will continue to be the case as both will remain efficient, but it will be a lower-scoring affair in what will be a pivotal contest. Also, keep in mind, the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between both teams.
Prediction: Under 211