Golden State Warriors will host the Denver Nuggets in their second encounter of the NBA 2021-22 playoffs series on Monday evening. The hosts will be eyeing the 2-0 lead in the tie, and they will search for another confident display. The away side looks forward to a better performance that can secure them a positive result.
Golden State has been on fire lately since the home side celebrated six times in a row. Another victory would make them dominant in this tie and halfway to the quarter-finals. On the other hand, Denver seeks improvement after a defeat in the series opener. The visitors want to break their losing run and level the tie before moving it to the home court.
Golden State Warriors – Can they continue the run?
The Warriors closed the regular season in style, winning five straight games in the closing two weeks. They managed to pick up where they left off in the playoffs, beating the Nuggets 123-107 in their opening encounter. Denver was competitive only in the first period, but Golden State has controlled the game since then. They had a very good field goal percentage that went to 52.4, while the two extra turnovers didn’t impact their success in this game. Jordan Poole led the Warriors to victory by scoring 30 points, followed by three assists and a rebound for 30 minutes on the court.
Stephen Curry’s return was the highlight of the game, and he contributed with 16 points, four assists, three rebounds, and a steal for 22 minutes off the bench. Andrew Wiggins also had 16 pts, followed by a team-high nine rebs, a pair of assists, and one steal, while Klay Thompson produced 19 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Draymond Green was another player with a double-digit number of points (12) and a team-high nine assists. Stephen Curry is finally off the injury list and should be able to help his teammates again. James Wiseman is the only unavailable player for the Warriors ahead of this game.
Expected Line-Up: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
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Denver Nuggets – Will they level the tie?
The Nuggets were not competitive enough in the first match of the series, which resulted in a defeat. They struggled after the first quarter, and it was very hard for them to get back in the game. It was Denver’s second straight defeat, including the one against the Lakers in the closing round of the regular season. Despite having a decent 46.2 field goal percentage, the Nuggets were inferior in the paint. Nikola Jokic was slightly below his regular-season average, producing 25 points, ten rebounds, six assists, three steals, and one block for 35 minutes on the court.
Aaron Gordon was way below his numbers since he scored only eight pts and five rebs for 26 minutes. On the other hand, Will Barton was very productive with 24 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while Monte Morris was the best assistant and a stealer with six and four, respectively. He also contributed with ten points, the same as Bones Hyland. Regarding the selection issues, Michael Porter Jr. is still out for the Nuggets, but all other players should be available.
Expected Line-Up: Monte Morris, Will Barton, Aaron Gordon, Jeff Green, Nikola Jokic
Expert Pick #1 – Denver Nuggets +7 @-110
Although Golden State is in a better momentum, Denver should be more competitive in this encounter. I’m not sure whether the Nuggets can pick up a victory here, but they can certainly cover the number. Therefore, I’ll back the visitors to cover as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 224 @-110
Denver’s road games have been pretty efficient since five of the last six went over the margin. On the other hand, Golden State hasn’t been involved in high-scoring games that much, but this one should produce more than 224 points in total. Give me the Over as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Nikola Jokic Over 28.5 @-110
Nikola Jokic might be more efficient than in the opening clash when he scored 25 pts. This time, I expect a bigger contribution, and he could go to the 30s in this one. That’s why I’m going to back them to score at least 29 points as the third pick, at the same odds as the two above.