Denver Nuggets Make Lakers Look Old

By Lucas M.

The Denver Nuggets were six point favorites against the Lakers on Monday night, but you wouldn’t know it from the way they schooled their much older conference rivals. The Nuggets, the owners of a 24-3 home court record, ran the Lakers off their floor with their trademark blend of blinding speed and fast break offense. The Nuggets outscored the Lakers 33-3 in fast break points, and 78-50 in the interior, mind-boggling numbers both.

“First, we know that they played last night,” Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson said, who scored 22 points. “Coming into the altitude, also they’re a little slow getting back. So, once they miss a shot, it seemed like a jailbreak. Everybody was trying to run downcourt and get the layup.”

“They just ran out of the starter’s blocks and beat us down the floor,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “… We couldn’t catch them. We just couldn’t catch them. For whatever reason, they just took off. Even on just a missed shot, we couldn’t get back quick enough.”

The Lakers are undoubtedly an older and slower team than the Nuggets, but the ease with which Denver scored on L.A. should give any Lakers fan pause. Here were some of the betting trends for both teams heading into the match, per OddsShark.com:

Los Angeles Lakers Trends:
When playing on Monday are 6-4
Before playing Minnesota are 5-5
After playing Dallas are 2-8
After a win are 6-4

Denver Nuggets Trends:
When playing on Monday are 6-4
Before playing Portland are 5-5
After playing Charlotte are 5-5
After a win are 8-2

Lakers at Nuggets Trends:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of the LA Lakers last 6 games when playing Denver
LA Lakers are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of the LA Lakers last 18 games when playing on the road against Denver
LA Lakers are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games on the road
Denver is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Denver’s last 11 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Denver’s last 13 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Denver’s last 6 games when playing LA Lakers

 

“It’s tough to neutralize speed, especially when they’re very good at what they do,” the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant said. “Yeah, their speed. Their speed got us. They got out on transition, got easy buckets. Kept the pressure on us. We had to labor for opportunities, think we might have had two fast-break points. Contrast that with 33. It’s crazy. I think it was their speed. Their speed was something that was tough for us to adjust to all night long. They continually pushed the ball down our throats. Shots go up and those guys are already leaking out, to go along with the speed. They got a lot of easy buckets because of it.”

The Nuggets have been simply sensational this season, averaging 105.4 points per game, good for third in the entire NBA, while averaging 45.2 rebounds per game, second-best in the league. Of course, they have the 26th-best defense, but with an offense as explosive as theirs, they can allow a few lapses from time to time. At 25/1 odds to win the Western Conference, the Nuggets are an intriguing futures bet as well as a solid play currently, too.