The Denver Nuggets is trying to be the first team to win consecutive series when trailing 3-1 in their Game 7 game against the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat versus the Boston Celtics Eastern Conference Finals series tips off Tuesday.
Nuggets +7.5 (-110) vs. Clippers
Clippers -7.5 (-110) fans and beat writers have been pounding the table all season, saying Doc Rivers should play C Ivica Zubac more and Doc has obliged. Zubac’s workload has been increased from 18.4 minutes per game in the regular season to 26.2 MPG in this series.
The result: Nikola Jokic is giving him the business. He’s outscored Zubac 66-7 over the past two games and has been the best player in this series. I said it.
He’s putting up 25.8 points, 12 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game and is shooting the highest percentage from the field (.530%) out of any player playing 20-plus minutes per game. It took a brilliant effort from Jokic to get the Nuggets +7.5 (-110) back in the series but Los Angeles did blow two double-digit leads in Game 5 and 6.
The Clippers held a 16-point lead in Game 5 and a 19-point lead in Game 6 but were outscored by a combined 72-44 in both fourth quarters. So there’s a world where the Clippers’ lead holds up either by their sixth-best 3-point shooting or a lockdown effort from their fifth rated defense.
However, there is a major concern with the Clippers’ offense and their bench. The Sixth Man of the Year, Montrezl Harrell, is only averaging 10.3 points per game and former Sixth Man of the Year, Lou Williams, is putting up just 10.5 points per.
Los Angeles relied on these guys all season and if they are going to be a no-show in Game 7 it’ll force Kawhi Leonard to put the team on his back. We know Kawhi is capable of that so I won’t waste words discussing it.
The way I envision this game being played out is Kawhi trying to get Paul George (who’s been very good in this series) and the role players involved to see how aggressive he needs to be.
Denver’s defense and 3-point shooting has been impressive this series. Look for the Nuggets to take an early lead locking up LA’s supporting cast and perhaps knock down a couple of early threes.
This series is much closer than people expected and the average score in the six games is Clippers 105.5, Nuggets 103.5. You can say LA is choking but Denver squandered their own double-digit, and fourth quarter, lead in their Game 3 loss.
The last six Game 7s in the NBA have been decided by five or fewer points and so will Nuggets-Clippers. BET NUGGETS +7.5 (-110). New to sports betting? A $110 bet on the Nuggets +7.5 (-110) pays a $100 profit if Denver wins — or loses by seven or fewer points.
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