Daniel Wettstein previews the Nuggets’ Game 2 against the Jazz and shares his predictions after Denver cruised to victory in Game 1.
Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets Game 2 Preview
The Nuggets came out of the gates firing in game 1 with 31 and 28 points in the 1st and 2nd quarters respectively to take a 7-point lead into the half with a defensive intensity they seemed to lose in the 2nd half.
That 2nd half saw the Jazz score 31 and 32 points in the 3rd and 4th. This offensive outburst sent the game into overtime and gave the Nuggets the jolt they needed to dominate the extra period. The Nuggets outscored the Jazz 20-10 in OT. This game was a great learning moment and it seems like one of the NBA’s budding superstars got the message. Here is what Michael Porter Jr. had to say to the Denver Post:
“In the playoffs, it’s all about defense,” said Porter, evidently a quick study. “The defensive intensity is way up. So being locked in every possession and really realizing every possession matters (is important).”
The Blue Arrow (Jamal Murray) went unconscious in the 4th quarter to truly save the victory for the Nuggets. He scored 20 of his team-high 36 in the 4th quarter and OT. He was complimented by 38 points off the bench spread across 5 players. A 29-point double-double by Jokic and a 13 point/8 rebound playoff-debut performance by the aforementioned MPJ. This is where I will dive into why the Nuggets will end their playoff-drought against the Utah Jazz.
This are not your daddy’s Nuggets, they’re not even the one I grew up with McDyess and Mutumbo ruling the Mile-High Basketball kingdom. This team is deep. If Murray and Jokic just continue to be themselves doing things like this:
They can not only break the drought of never beating the Jazz in a playoff-series, they can dominate and sweep this Malone/Stocktonless squad. Rudy did his best on the glass at both ends like usual, and Donovan Mitchell scored a game high 57-points while falling a rebound shy of a double-double. But despite the Jazz doing everything they need to win, they lost.
It is absurd to think Mitchell is going to drop 50+ every game. He had a great game, you can’t take anything away from the way Mitchell handled himself in game one. His teammates on the other hand, started sluggish, and no other player on the Jazz broke the 20 point mark. His bench chipped in a whole 14 points, as opposed to the aforementioned Nuggets bench throwing down 38.
Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets Game 2 Picks
Neither team is truly known for their defense outside of each team’s Center, every other position rank around the middle of the pack. So, this will more than likely be a high-scoring series with the Nuggets scoring-depth shining through. FOXBet has a good Matchbet:
FanDuel also came through with some total point lines I jumped on due to the fact this will be a high-scoring affair with 2 up-tempo offenses that love to throw up the 3:
FanDuel also has a good line on Win Margins as I don’t believe there will be any blow-outs:
Should MPJ and Torrey Craig play lights-out defense on Donovan Mitchell, this could change the complexion of the series and change my mind on the over/under game. But as things sit now and I see it, this will be a fun and fast-paced series that the Nuggets take in 5. So, make sure to tune into TNT at 2:00 p.m. MST on Wednesday to see a fast-rising team with budding superstars littering all corners of the court.