As of this writing, the status of the NBA playoffs is uncertain due to players boycotting. The league postponed Wednesday’s games due to recent events in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and around the country. Nuggets vs. Jazz betting could be in danger.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a five-month pause, the NBA found a way to convince players on 22 teams to relocate to Orlando to finish the regular season. Then the league successfully made its way into the playoffs and produced several compelling series’.
Now, it’s all in jeopardy of coming to a premature end due to the social justice movement, of which many players and coaches are an integral part. Hopefully, the parties involved can find common ground and keep making progress while putting a quality basketball product on the floor.
If teams do return to action, Game 6 of the first-round playoff series between the third-seeded Denver Nuggets and the sixth-seeded Utah Jazz will take place Thursday or after that. Denver is a slight favorite at -1.5, and the over/under is 224.5.
Game 5 Recap
Jamal Murray had 42 points to pull the Nuggets back from a 15 point deficit to win game six 117 – 107 as three-point underdogs. On the other end of the floor, Utah seemed to become rushed and subsequently went cold down the stretch. It would be nice to say that Denver found some defense in holding the Jazz 17 points below their series average, but that wouldn’t be accurate.
Utah still shot 50% from the floor and got 30 points from Donovan Mitchell. It appeared the Jazz lost focus and had trouble responding to Murray’s 65% shooting and timely baskets. Still, the 224 total points were good enough to cash ‘over’ 220.5 tickets. It seems the oddsmakers have learned a lesson and increased that total to 224.5 for Game 6.
Game 6 Preview
The Nuggets somehow found a way to defeat the Jazz in Game 5, but it’s a seven-game series, and Denver still faces the pressure of having their backs against the wall. To get to a Game 7, the Nuggets will need another stellar performance from Murray and a lack of execution in the fourth quarter from the Jazz. A Murray scoring binge isn’t unlikely, but the Jazz collapsing offensively again is.
Denver had no answer for Utah’s offense through the first three games of the series, especially Mitchell. The 107 points tallied by the Jazz in Game 5 equaled the lowest given up by the Nuggets since arriving in the Orlando bubble. Do the Jazz bounce back, and do we see the Nuggets revert to their defensive form? If so, it will likely be a win for Utah and advancement to the next round.
For the Nuggets to extend the series, they’ll need to get 35 points or more from Murray and hope someone else steps up in a supporting role. They will also need help from the Jazz, similar to what they got Tuesday night when Utah fell apart in the fourth quarter. I suspect head coach Quin Snyder will have his team better prepared to close out the game and series in Game 6.
It would be irresponsible and tone-deaf to ignore the country’s situations that are resulting in the cries for social justice and reform. Change, in one form or another, is required. Hopefully, all parties will find a way to continue while bringing people together.