DENVER NUGGETS (33-20)
at BROOKLYN NETS (30-22)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 7:35 p.m. ET
Line: Brooklyn -2.5, Total: 198
The banged-up Nuggets head to Brooklyn Wednesday to take on the Nets who will be without their best player, PG Deron Williams.
Denver has lost two straight games while the Nets are coming off of a big upset victory at 9-point favorite Indiana on Monday night. The Nuggets are already going to be without PF Wilson Chandler (groin) and C JaVale McGee (tibia) for this game, but SF Danilo Gallinari (sinus) and SG Andre Iguodala (neck) are both questionable as well. While the Nuggets will be without some of their better support cast players, the Nets will be missing PG Deron Williams (16.7 PPG, 7.6 APG), who is resting his bad ankles. Denver has controlled this series in recent years, going 8-2 SU, but the Nets have three straight ATS victories against the Nuggets.
Which injury-riddled team will prevail on Wednesday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. For NBA Best Bets, StatFox Scott is in the midst of a monster run, going 14-2 ATS (88%) since Feb. 3, and improving his record to an impressive 57.1% ATS (84-63-1) for the season. The experts are a collective 48-34 ATS (59%) in the month of February. StatFox Gary is 6-3 ATS (67%) in the past eight days, while StatFox Dave is 14-12 ATS (54%) during the month. For NBA Totals, the experts are a strong 41-31-1 (57%) in the past 19 days with Gary at 16-9 (64%) and StatFox Brian going 13-10-1 (57%) since Jan. 25. For the season, Scott is a whopping 57% (74-57) in Totals, while Gary is a profitable 52% (67-62-4).
The Nuggets are 1-2 SU (2-1 ATS) on their current road trip and have now lost two straight. On Tuesday, they were beaten in Toronto by a Rudy Gay step back jumper with just under five seconds left to play. Nuggets PG Ty Lawson (15.7 PPG, 7.0 APG) has been doing everything he can to help his team win games lately, but his efforts have come up short. In both losses, Lawson has scored 29 points with nine assists. He is 25-for-42 (60%) from the field over this stretch, while grabbing four steals. With the frontline depleted, head coach George Karl turned to seldom-used PF Anthony Randolph (2.7 PPG, 2.2 RPG) against the Raptors, and Randolph delivered. He scored 16 points (6-for-13 FG) with seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Randolph was active on both ends, and could wind up earning himself a spot in the rotation if he plays well against Brooklyn with the large amount of injuries on this club. PF Kenneth Faried (12.4 PPG, 9.8 RPG) has remained consistent for Denver, averaging 16.0 PPG (63% FG) and 10.4 RPG over the past five contests.
The Nets are coming off of a big win over the Pacers in which PG Deron Williams did not play. Without Williams in the game, SG Joe Johnson (16.8 PPG, 3.4 APG) hit some big shots on his way to scoring 17 points. He has struggled to find his stroke at times this season, but when the Nets need him in the fourth quarter, he always seems to deliver. The real story, however, was C Brook Lopez (18.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG), who has been on a tear lately. Lopez scored 25 points while also having eight rebounds and two blocks in Monday's victory. Over the past five games, Lopez is averaging 20.6 PPG (46% FG), 9.0 RPG and 2.6 BPG. He has been the Nets best player recently and by far their most consistent player this season. PG Tyshawn Taylor took advantage of the extra playing time he is receiving without Deron Williams by scoring 12 points and contributing two assists in 34 minutes against Indiana.