The Dallas Mavericks will head to Denver and play their fifth game of the year. European superstars Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic continue to have staggering numbers this year and have led to a 3-1 start for the Mavs and 2-2 for Denver. Check down below to see my Mavericks vs Nuggets prediction.
This game could be played without star-forward Nikola Jokic for Denver. He may sit out after suffering a knee injury on Tuesday’s game in Utah. The Nuggets are still without Jamal Murray for the year, so if they are without Jokic, Denver could struggle to produce offense. They are coming off of two losses in a row and haven’t been able to find a groove just yet.
The Mavericks have played terrific basketball in the past week after a rough showing last Thursday versus the Hawks. Luka Doncic continues to lead the offense with outstanding numbers. Kristaps Porzingis has gotten off to a slow start, but head coach Jason Kidd continues to have faith in his former all-star.
The Denver Nuggets Need To Get Back to Winning, Potentially Without Jokic
The Denver Nuggets have been average through the first week of the NBA, currently holding onto the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are coming off of two double-digit losses to the surprisingly good Cavaliers team and the solid Jazz team a few days ago. The Nuggets are definitely struck with injuries right now but are hoping Jokic can play.
Jokic dropped 24 points in the past two games and only in 15 minutes against the Jazz. Michael Porter Jr. has been off to a slow start averaging just 11.5 points a game on 35% field goal. The Nuggets have had a spread-out attack to start the season, with Will Barton, Monte Morris, and Aaron Gordon all scoring 10+ points last game.
The Nuggets have not been great defensively so far, and they aren’t playing well overall the past two games. If they are able to have Jokic, then I think they’ll pick apart this Mavericks team. Michael Porter Jr. is going to break out of his slump and have a great night at home.
The Dallas Mavericks Shake Off the Scares After a Terrible Opening Night
Luka Doncic continues to power up this offense and find the open shooters while hitting his patented step-back nightly. They are coming off of three wins in a row, and this will be a back-to-back after beating the Spurs at home Thursday. They could be a little fatigued tonight, but I think they’ll be able to at least compete with the Nuggets.
The bench players were the key to defeating the Spurs, with Jalen Brunson dropping 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists and Maxi Kleber recording a 12 and 10 double-double. Doncic had 25 points and 5 assists to lead them in scoring. Kristaps Porzingis was out with low back tightness and is also questionable for tonight’s game.
The Mavericks need to continue to hit shots for them to win. They have beaten three-subpar teams their past few games, so this will be their first test since Atlanta last week. I expect Doncic to carve up the smaller guards tonight and have a huge triple-double game.
Pick and Prediction:
Based on the Mavericks playing back to back tonight, I’m gonna go with the Nuggets winning this game by at least 2. I think even without Jokic, their defense will be sustainable against the Mavs and that they will shoot lights out at home.
Pick: Nuggets -2