NBA Basketball: Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies - Nuggets Favored
92% of Bets Placed on Denver -2 | Matchup | NBA Picks
A lack of chemistry is clearly still a problem for the Denver Nuggets. They have less than two months left to remedy that or two of the NBA's most exciting players won't be part of the postseason.
The Nuggets hope to avoid matching a season-high five-game losing streak Monday night when they visit the worst team in the Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies.
Oddsmakers have made Denver -2 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 227.5 total
points (View NBA Sports Books).
Adding Allen Iverson to a club that already had the league's leading scorer in Carmelo Anthony figured to make Denver (26-28) a serious contender in the competitive Western Conference, but that hasn't been the case. A 115-95 loss Saturday night at Dallas dropped the Nuggets to 2-6 with both Iverson and Anthony in the lineup.
The two players combined for 37 first-half points, but the Mavericks clamped down in the second half. Anthony had 15 points after the break, but Iverson was held to eight of his 26.
Iverson was 0-of-6 from the field with three turnovers in the fourth quarter, when Denver was outscored 27-16.
"My turnovers hurt the Nuggets tonight," said Iverson, who committed nine in the game. "I would never say that was a good game for me even if I scored 40 points."
Marcus Camby added 10 points and 17 rebounds for Denver, which lost 114-104 at Utah on Friday night and didn't arrive in Dallas until 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
"Turnovers are the No. 1 thing that takes confidence away from your team," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "You know you've made a mistake. Turnovers create a lot of easy baskets. It's easy to play offense when you get 23 points off turnovers."
The pairing of Iverson and Anthony appeared to be one that would make the Nuggets difficult to defend, but they have averaged only 93.2 points - more than 11 below their season average - during the four-game skid.
The losing streak has dropped Denver into eighth place in the West, just a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The absence of guard J.R. Smith won't help the Nuggets either. Smith, averaging 15.4 points, missed his first game Saturday since tearing cartilage in his left knee Tuesday against San Antonio. He'll be out for a month.
Memphis (15-42) overcame a strange ending Friday night to salvage the finale of a four-game road trip with a 103-102 victory over Portland.
With the Grizzlies holding 102-101 lead, Damon Stoudamire hit the first of two free throws with 0.8 seconds left before missing the second on purpose. Memphis' Lawrence Roberts was called for a loose-ball foul on the ensuing rebound, but Portland's Ime Udoka missed his second free throw after making the first, blowing a chance to tie the game.
Pau Gasol scored 23 points as Memphis recorded its league-low fourth road win of the season.
"It was unbelievable," Gasol said. "I couldn't believe that foul (call) was made. We had the win and they made the call. It was devastating. I'm happy he missed the free throw because we deserved the W."
The Nuggets and Grizzlies have split two meetings this season, both in Denver. The Nuggets have won seven of nine overall meetings, but are 2-6 in their last eight visits to Memphis.
Anthony is averaging 33.2 points on 58-of-102 (56.8 percent) from the field in his last four games against the Grizzlies.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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