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NBA Lines - Separated by Half a Game

Posted by Elio Masi on 3/18/2012 5:29:53 PM

NBA Lines - Separated by Half a Game

Monday marks the 4th and final meeting of the NBA lines season between the Denver Nuggets and the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas currently leads the series two games to one and both teams will be looking to make a leap in the standings with a win Monday. With only one game separating 4th from 8th in the Western Conference, every win begins to matter just a little more now that the season is winding down.

(25-20) Dallas Mavericks vs. (24-20) Denver Nuggets
Live from: Pepsi Center – CO
Tipoff: 10:30 PM ET Monday, March 19, 2012
Broadcast: TNT, TSN2

Falling on Hard Times

The Dallas Mavericks have been in a little bit of a funk as of late. They’ve had recent difficulty against teams like New Orleans, Golden State, Sacramento, New Jersey and Utah – games that should have been put away easily. They’ve gone 4-12 in their last 16, a record that highlights their biggest concern: consistency. Simply put, they’ve had stretches where they’ve been unbelievable and others where they’ve been a disaster. Unfortunately for them, although they sit in 6th in the West, they are currently on the verge of being knocked out of a playoff spot. The 9th-placed Phoenix Suns have been on a ramped pace lately and have a 8-2 record to show for it. If they keep it going, Dallas’s 2.5 game cushion wont last for much longer and they’ll drop out of a NBA lines playoff spot.

The Mavs need to pull it together and fast; with games against San Antonio, Denver and the Lakers on the horizon, they wont be getting any chances at an easy opponent in the near future. Rick Carlisle will need to rally his troops as quick as possible. He’s led them to a Championship and I’m sure he’ll lead them out of this streak as soon as he gets his players to buy into the game plan.

Defence is the Answer

Denver is currently ranked as the best offense in the NBA lines. Only problem? Their defense is ranked as one of their worst. Although they average 103.8 points per game, it becomes difficult to close out matches when you also allow an average of 101.5 points. Most of their games have been dictated by easy scoring, whether it’s in the opponent's basket or theirs. They’ve had difficulty blocking the shooting lanes and haven't been able to limit the shots that actually make it to the basket. It’s been said so many times – defense wins championships, and without a good one a team’s playoff chances decrease tremendously. If Denver focuses on their defense and lets the offense come naturally like they’ve done all season long, they will begin to find themselves in the fourth or fifth seeds in the West instead of the 8th.

Denver Defense Ready for Dirk?

Dirk Nowitzki has been putting together a rather average NBA lines season thus far. His current 20.3 points per game is a whole 2.5 points below his career average of 22.8, although he’s still looked really good this year. He’s also averaging 6.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He has been their game breaker yet again this season and will need to be a marked man if Denver is to control the game. Nowitzki has had a tremendous month up to now, averaging 24.6 points per game thus far. He will be looking to add to that against the poor Denver defense on Monday and I’ll be looking for him to put together a big game on the score sheet.

Elio’s Edge

I like Dallas in this one. They’ve had a hard time as of late but they’ll be given a chance to get their offense going on Monday against one of the league’s worst defenses. If Nowitzki is given the room – which I belive he will on Monday – he could do great things. Not to mention that Dallas’s Jason Terry and Shawn Marion could also be threats in an offensive NBA lines game like this one will turn out to be. I’m feeling Dallas over Denver, 110-104.

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