It figures to be a shootout at the OH Corral when in-form Denver visit Cleveland on Saturday. The Nuggets will go for a ninth consecutive victory, fresh from scoring a season-high 128 points against the normally stingy Bulls. They’ve averaged 115 per game during their current streak, shooting over 50%. Danilo Galinari is doing his utmost to repair the reputation of Italian basketball and Kenneth Faried has proved to be a beast.
But Cleveland have a tyro of their own in Kyrie Irving, who is averaging 23.9 points per night and even more at home. The Cavaliers have won three in a row while averaging 118 so while the Nuggets should come out on top on the handicap of -5.5, expect the points total to soar.
Detroit and Milwaukee are both set to be missing men in the middle when they face off with the Pistons. They've lost rookie star Andre Drummond for up to two months and Larry Sanders, the league’s toppi shot blocker, is a doubt for the Bucks with back problems. But Greg Monroe figures to make life tricky for Milwaukee, who have struggled against bigger physical teams.
The Pistons' physical front line came up big in beating a Tim Duncan-less San Antonio on Friday but the x-factor is whether they can repeat that on the second night of a back-to-back. Milwaukee have been resting since losing to Utah on Wednesday but in what could be a close one, back Detroit on the handicap of +7.
Who would have expected at the end of last season that the Philadelphia 76ers would have been destined for the Lottery this term rather than making a concerted push deep into the play-offs? The trade for Andrew Bynum has been a bigger bust than Jordan and the Sixers; with a paltry 21-27 record, they have squandered what is an attractive core.
Jason Richardson is to undergo season-ending surgery on his knee and with little to play for, it’s hard to argue against the move. Which means Jrue Holiday’s All Star selection remains the only bright spot on the horizon in Philly. But despite all that, they’ve still managed to resist their fellow strugglers of late, especially at home. The Charlotte Bobcats come calling this evening and although the 76ers are having to scrap, their fighting qualities should see them take what might prove to be one of their infrequent scalps down the stretch.
Bet of the day: Go over 215 total points in Denver – Cleveland at 1.91