In Game 1, the Denver Nuggets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves at home 109-80 behind a strong shooting performance.
Minnesota struggled on offense, getting just 11 points from Karl-Anthony Towns and 18 from Anthony Edwards.
Denver came roaring back from halftime, outscoring Minnesota 32-14 in the third quarter to gain the advantage and extend their lead.
Denver was the clear-cut favorite in Game 1, and oddsmakers expect more of the same in Game 2. Denver is set as an 8.5-point favorite.
Denver holds a 53-29 win-loss mark this season and is responsible for 18.6 fouls per contest while shooting 75.1% from the charity stripe. They assist teammates 28.9 times per game (2nd in NBA) while losing possession through turnover 14.5 times per game. Since January 1st Denver has scored 9,495 points (115.8 per contest) while collecting 43 boards per game on offense and connecting at 50.4% from the field, ranking first overall in basketball.
Denver’s defense allows opponents to shoot 77.5% from the free throw line and score 34.4% on 3-point attempts (933 of 2,711). They allow 25.7 assists and 40.8 boards per game – placing them 16th and 1st in their league, respectively. On defense, Denver ranks eighth overall in points allowed per contest with 112.5; their opponents average 13.5 turnovers each game with opponents shooting 47.8% from the field (20th best in NBA)
Minnesota entered this game with a 42-40 record, averaging 115.8 points per game, shooting 49.0% from the field and 36.5% on three-point attempts (997 of 2,731). Their team average is pulling down 41.9 boards per game while totalling 2,145 dimes to rank eighth in NBA passing totals. Furthermore, Minnesota loses possession via turnover 15.3 times per game on average while committing 21.6 fouls each night as an entity.
Defensively, the Timberwolves force opponents into 15.4 turnovers per game while drawing 20.2 personal fouls; they currently rank 12th in allowing assists to the opposition with 2,051. Furthermore, their field goal percentage against them stands at 47.1% (3,428 of 7,277), with 44.7 boards surrendered per game as an overall unit, and they allow 36.9% three-point shooting while ranking 18th overall in points per game allowed (115.8).
The Nuggets have been stellar at home this year and are poised to cover the spread against Minnesota.
Denver has had great success as a home favorite this season, winning 22-15-1 against the spread and outscoring opponents by an average margin of 10.2 points per game.
Minnesota must improve its offense, yet the team still plays Rudy Gobert despite him restricting how floor spacing can be utilized.
Denver can undoubtedly do better in their next contest; Nikola Jokic fouled out early and only scored 13 points during this encounter.
Minnesota will likely shoot above 37.0 per cent, but is that enough to narrow a 29-point deficit down to nine?
I don’t buy into an argument from a Wolves team that has struggled in two Play-In games and one playoff matchup so far.
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