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Dallas (21 - 33)

Expert Pick
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Denver (20 - 34)

Playoff hopes

The Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets have a equal record at the moment.
Both teams are 20-30, with 2.5 games back to the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets are the numer 8 seat right now.
Both the Nuggets and the Mavericks could still hope to land there bofore the Playoffs start.
But this will not be easy, because injuries are huge problem for both teams also.

So letīs have a look at the actual injury reports:



Dallas Mavericks:
PG Lonzo Ball
PF Paul Millsap
C Alex Len
C Ivica Zubac

Denver Nuggets:
PG John Wall
SF/PF Andre Roberson
SF/PF Jonathan Isaac
PF/C Nerlens Noel
C Chinanu Onuaku

A lot of these guys are starters for their team.
Wall startet every 41 games of this season so far, now he will be out for 6-8 weeks.
Roberson just joined the team some weeks ago and started all of his 12 games for Denver.
Both of these misses will hurt the Nuggets, Noel could also be a starter if he would be healthy.

The Mavericks also waiting for their Starting PG Ball to return.
Millsap is out for a long time but should return soon.
Len also just arrived a couple weeks ago, like Roberson for Denver, and was a starter most of the season.

So both teams are missing 3 of their starters if everyone would be healthy.
This hurts for the hunt of the playoff spots, but it equals this matchup.

After all of this injuries the starters for both teams are:

Dallas Mavericks:
C Jusuf Nurkic
PF Henry Ellenson
SF Otto Porter
SG Tyler Johnson
PG Emmanuel Mudiay

Denver Nuggets:
C Salah Mejri
PF Pau Gasol
SF Cedi Osman
SG Dwyane Wade
PG Jameer Nelson

So both having their backup PGs starting.
The veteran Nelson could have a small advantage over the struggeling Mudiay.
Wade, even with his age, should win the matchup against Johnson.
Porter is the clear favorite in the matchup with the rookie Osman.
Gasol is the best starter on the floor for the Nuggets at the moment, he should have the advantage over Ellenson.
Nurkic will win the battle against the newest member of the Nuggets Mejri, who just joined the team a couple days ago.

So after a look at the one on one starter matchups the Nuggets have a small advantage with 3-2.
Now we look at the bench...

The bench players for both teams are:

Dallas Mavericks:
PG Fred VanVleet
SG/SF Norman Powell
SF/SG Joe Harris
C Luke Kornet
SG/SF Alex Abrines
PG/SG Kyle Collinsworth
SF/SG Abdel Nader

Denver Nuggets:
C/PF Enes Kanter
SG Courtney Lee
C Tristan Thompson
SG Troy Williams
PG Wade Baldwin IV
SF Alfonzo McKinnie

Kanter is the best player for the Nuggets at the moment, an he will come off the bench.
He and Thompson should have a big advantage against the Mavericks bench at the front court positions.
But the Mavericks bench back court is more telented and deeper.
So the question is, will the Nuggets big men make a huge difference here?




Mavericks Star

Jusuf Nurkic

Can Nurkic lead the Mavericks as their best player and be the anchor at the rim?

 
PPG 20.6
RPG 11.3
APG 1.6
SPG 1.3
BPG 1.1
FPG 3.3
TPG 1.1

 
PPG 21.2
RPG 12.1
APG 1.2
SPG 1.3
BPG 0.8
FPG 3.0
TPG 1.0

Nuggets Star

Enes Kanter

Could Kanter lead the Nuggets of the bench and give them a huge advantage against the Mavericks bench>?

X-Factor
Backup Points Guards Mudiay and Nelson as starters



Both players who will run the offense for their teams will be out of the second unit, with both starting PGs out with an injury.
Who will be better at this job and be the X-Factor in this game.

My prediction: Denver will win this one, what could be a close game most of the time.
The experience of Nelson and Gasol with Kanter from the bench could be the advantage, even with Porter and Nurkic on the other side.



  Comments (1) 
jmac
02/09 04:19 pm
43-15!?