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The NBA features just two matchups on Thursday night, and this Western Conference clash is brilliant! When the action tips off, the reigning champion Denver Nuggets face off against the 2021 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors! It'll be an intense clash, with both teams trying to improve their standing!
The Denver Nuggets (24-11) are just a game away from making a claim for the top seed in the West, so their intensity will be high in this matchup. The Golden State Warriors (16-17) are struggling to stay in playoff position but could make a statement with a victory on Thursday night!
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The Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors will put on a competitive affair, as both teams are desperate to improve their position in the Western Conference table. Having met the Warriors twice this season, the Nuggets will be confident after two impressive victories.
Through 35 games this season, the Denver Nuggets have posted an ATS Record of 16-18-1. That ranks them 20th in the league in spread coverage while posting a 45.5% cover percentage, a 5.4 margin of victory, and a 0.0 ATS +/- on the season. The Nuggets have covered the spread in two of their last five games, coming against the Hornets and Grizzlies.
The Denver Nuggets’ injury list only includes Vlatko Cancar (Knee), who is out indefinitely after undergoing knee surgery. The Golden State Warriors remain indefinitely without Gary Payton II (Calf) and Draymond Green (Suspension).
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Nikola Jokic is in MVP form for a consecutive season. Having carried his Denver Nuggets through a problematic patch earlier in the season, he’s recently been able to relax his offensive form and focus on the auxiliary contributions to the game. However, when he faces the Warriors, Jokic must take advantage of Golden State’s decided lack of resistance in the paint.
In 34 games played, Jokic has averaged 25.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 9.1 assists on 55.9% from the field and 33.3% from three-point range. Jokic’s numbers have been modest through five games by his high standards. He’s averaged just 20.4 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 8.0 assists over his last five appearances with the Nuggets–where they’ve gone 4-1.
Jokic has been the primary offensive option for the Nuggets this season, scoring 25 points or more in 22 of his 34 appearances. Through his last five games, Jokic has scored 25 or more twice. When he faces the Warriors on Thursday night, he’ll take advantage of the Warriors’ weakness at the pivot position.
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Stephen Curry is carrying the weight of the Warriors’ ambitions on his back through the early season. While his teammates struggle to perform consistently, Curry continues to impress, averaging 27.6 points and 4.7 threes per game on 45.8% from the floor and 41.0% from the three-point range.
Curry has hit four or more threes in 24 31 appearances this season. He’s also in excellent shooting form, hitting four or more threes in back-to-back matches. Against a stalwart Nuggets defense, expect Curry to maintain his volume to take down the reigning champions.
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Teams: Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors
Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
Date: 10:00 PM EST, Thursday, January 4, 2024
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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