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NBA : ATS Matchup
Saturday 10/20/2018Line$ LineOU LineScore




PHOENIX (1 - 0) at DENVER (1 - 0)
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Saturday, 10/20/2018 9:05 PM
Board OpenLatest
PHOENIX - Current Season Performance
 Straight UpAgainst SpreadTeamOpponent
 W-LUnitsW-LO-UScoreHalfFG PctReb.ScoreHalfFG PctReb.
All Games1-0+1.21-01-0121.056.054.3%48.0100.046.043.2%47.0
Road Games0-000-00-0000.0%0000.0%0
Last 5 Games1-0+1.21-01-0121.056.054.3%48.0100.046.043.2%47.0
PHOENIX Team Statistics
 Shooting    3pt ShootingFree Throws Rebounding 
Team Stats (All Games)121.056.044-8154.3%19-3455.9%14-1687.5%48635225112
vs opponents surrendering1215644-8154.3%19-3455.9%14-1687.5%48635225112
Team Stats (Road Games)000-00.0%0-00.0%0-00.0%0000000
Stats Against (All Games)100.046.038-8843.2%10-3330.3%14-2070.0%47102816795
vs opponents averaging1004638-8843.2%10-3330.3%14-2070.0%47102816795
Stats Against (Road Games)000-00.0%0-00.0%0-00.0%0000000

DENVER - Current Season Performance
 Straight UpAgainst SpreadTeamOpponent
 W-LUnitsW-LO-UScoreHalfFG PctReb.ScoreHalfFG PctReb.
All Games1-0+11-00-1107.059.037.9%
Home Games0-000-00-0000.0%0000.0%0
Last 5 Games1-0+11-00-1107.059.037.9%
DENVER Team Statistics
 Shooting    3pt ShootingFree Throws Rebounding 
Team Stats (All Games)107.059.033-8737.9%8-2433.3%33-4278.6%671420226108
vs opponents surrendering99.552.534-9136.8%8-2826.3%25-3276.9%641419266116
Team Stats (Home Games)000-00.0%0-00.0%0-00.0%0000000
Stats Against (All Games)98.054.035-8740.2%8-2828.6%20-2483.3%52921323129
vs opponents averaging1035135-8441.9%10-2735.2%24-3078.3%56921283136
Stats Against (Home Games)000-00.0%0-00.0%0-00.0%0000000
Average power rating of opponents played: PHOENIX 94,  DENVER 91
PHOENIX - Season Results
 Team StatsOpp Stats
10/20/2018@ DENVER              
10/22/2018@ GOLDEN STATE              
10/24/2018LA LAKERS              
10/27/2018@ MEMPHIS              
10/28/2018@ OKLAHOMA CITY              
10/31/2018SAN ANTONIO              

DENVER - Season Results
 Team StatsOpp Stats
10/17/2018@ LA CLIPPERS107-98W-2W222.5U33-8737.9%671035-8740.2%5212
10/21/2018GOLDEN STATE              
10/25/2018@ LA LAKERS              
10/29/2018NEW ORLEANS              
10/31/2018@ CHICAGO              
11/1/2018@ CLEVELAND              
PHOENIX: LAST SEASON: 21-61, missed playoffs.
COACH: Igor Kokoskov (first season).
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Devin Booker (24.9 ppg), G Shaquille Harrison (6.6 ppg), F Trevor Ariza (11.7 ppg, Houston), F Ryan Anderson (9.3 ppg), C Deandre Ayton (rookie, 20.1 ppg at Arizona).
KEY LOSSES: F Marquese Chriss, C Alex Len, F Jared Dudley
KEY ADDITIONS: Ariza, Anderson, Ayton, G Mikhal Bridges
PLAYERS TO WATCH: First and foremost is Ayton, the 7-foot-1 multi-skilled big man chosen No. 1 overall in the draft. Kokoskov sees him as a rim protector on defense and he possesses a soft outside touch to go with bruising, athletic inside moves. The question is how he handles the much tougher world of the NBA. Also, Booker. He underwent hand surgery and missed the preseason, athough he did a lot of left-handed workouts. He wants to be back by the season opener and is anxious to prove he was worth that five-year, $158 million contract he signed in the offseason.
OUTLOOK: It's been a long time since this franchise was relevant and there is more turmoil as this season begins. Nine days before the opener, Suns owner Robert Sarver fired general manager Ryan McDonough. There is no true proven point guard on the roster and who knows whether the team can find one. The hope rests with Booker, Ayton and Josh Jackson, who will come off the bench at least initially. Kokoskov is widely respected. But it's hard to see that eight-year absence from the postseason ending anytime soon.
DENVER: LAST SEASON: 46-36, missed playoffs.
COACH: Michael Malone (fourth season).
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Gary Harris (17.5 ppg) G Jamal Murray (16.7 ppg), F Will Barton (15.7 ppg), F Paul Millsap (14.6 ppg), C Nikola Jokic (18.5 ppg).
KEY LOSSES: F Wilson Chandler, F Kenneth Faried, F Richard Jefferson, F Darrell Arthur, G Devin Harris
KEY ADDITIONS: G Isaiah Thomas, F Michael Porter Jr.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: In the offseason, Jokic signed a max deal contract worth around $147 million for five seasons. He's one of the top big men in the game. The Serbian standout turned in 10 triple-doubles last season, including the fastest triple-double in NBA history. He needed just 14 minutes, 55 seconds to reach the accomplishment at Milwaukee on Feb. 15. Jokic is the centerpiece for an organization trying to get to the postseason for the first time since 2012-13.
OUTLOOK: The addition of Thomas gives the Nuggets even more veteran leadership. They're stacked, but so is the rest of the Western Division. Denver has improved each season under Malone, going from 33 wins his first year, to 40 in 2016-17 and 46 last season. The Nuggets lost out on the eighth and final playoff spot in '17-18 when they lost in overtime at Minnesota on the final game of the regular season.
Nuggets take on Booker, Ayton in home opener vs. Suns

Michael Malone has a contract extension, Nikola Jokic inked a max deal in the offseason and Paul Millsap is healthy.

Things seem to be trending well for the Denver Nuggets, so it's important to them to not squander opportunities when the only goal is reaching the playoffs in April.

So, not squandering opportunities means things such as winning their home opener Saturday night against the Phoenix Suns.

After finishing a game out of the postseason for two straight years getting there is tantamount to the progress of the organization. The Nuggets (1-0) took a big step in rallying to win their season opener, 107-98 at the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

The Suns (1-0) offer a challenge in that they have young talent in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, and they happen to play in Denver the night before the Golden State Warriors are in town. The Nuggets can't overlook a rebuilding Phoenix team in favor of the two-time defending NBA champions.

If Wednesday is any indication, Denver is focused. After the Clippers took an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter the Nuggets clamped down on defense and outscored Los Angeles 23-6 down the stretch. It was a change from last year when Denver would have to outscore teams to win some nights.

"We were really exciting last year, we were one of the most unselfish teams in the NBA every year, high-powered offense and we missed the playoffs because our defense wasn't where it needs to be," Malone, who signed a two-year contract extension, told reporters after Wednesday's game.

Despite the Suns being in a rebuilding year, they have enough pieces to steal some games. Booker, who missed the last 12 games of 2017-18 with a right hand injury that required offseason surgery, went off on the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday to lead Phoenix to a win. He scored 19 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, a performance that left teammates shaking their heads.

"Watching Book hit them threes, it was crazy," Ayton, the rookie 7-footer, said after the game. "Yeah. Booker hit a lot of threes. That was amazing.?

Booker will have a bigger challenge going against Denver's backcourt that is still missing Isaiah Thomas. Thomas, acquired in the offseason, is rehabbing a hip injury without a timetable for his return, but Gary Harris and Jamal Murray are playing well. Harris is one of the better two-way guards in the NBA, consistently guarding the best opposing guard.

The intriguing matchup will come down low, where Jokic, who signed a five-year, $148 million deal in the offseason, will battle Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft. Jokic can play inside and outside and has great court vision.

Ayton showed he can pass, too. He had 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists against the Mavericks.

Ayton's talents are obvious but he adds an intangible in the locker room -- youthful exuberance. His infectious personality keeps things loose and teammates entertained.

"It gives an upbeat to the locker room," Suns guard Troy Daniels told The Arizona Republic. "You don't want to come in there bored like, damn, I got to come to work. He keeps things live in the locker room, which is fun. You want that."

Last Updated: 4/19/2019 5:34:16 AM EST

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