Folks, we made it. After getting dominated in the opening round of the playoffs by the Warriors during each of the past two years, the Spurs narrowly avoided them in the bracket this time around. They come into this one having lost seven of their past eight road playoff games and are 1-2 all-time in road game sevens. A Gregg Popovich win would tie him with Pat Riley for all-time playoff wins. (#2 on the list)
Denver, on the other hand, has not had much playoff success in the past quarter-century. They made it to the Western Conference Finals during the 2008-09 postseason but have not won a playoff series since then. When they made it as far that year, it snapped a 15-year drought of not winning any playoff series. They are hoping that with their new star #15 Nikola Jokic, they can be like the #15 Carmelo Anthony team of 08-09.
Spurs vs. Nuggets odds
Moneyline: SAS +190, DEN -230
Spread: DEN -5.5
Spurs vs. Nuggets stats
Spurs: They could not have executed better in Game 6. One of the major keys I wrote about ahead of that was winning the three-point game. They held Denver to just 6-24 from deep while making 10 themselves. They shot 57% from the floor. They made Denver do all of their work in the paint. DeMar could not miss in the second half when LaMarcus was scoring on all other possessions. They had five players in double figures, including 19 from Rudy Gay. This team will need the experience of Mills, Gay, Belinelli, and Aldridge for Game 7.
Nuggets: Other than Nikola Jokic, who went off for 43-12-9 in Game 6, the team struggled. Jamal Murray scored 16 while Gary Harris added 14. Paul Millsap got off to a strong start but was held completely in check during the second half. While Torrey Craig has improved the defense, his offensive numbers (5-6-6 last game) have not been there. Denver obviously will not give Isaiah Thomas any minutes, so they will need both Monte Morris and Malik Beasley to power the offense off the bench.
Spurs vs. Nuggets H2H
The home team has gone 4-2 in this series so far, with the majority of the games being broadcast on NBATV. With Brian Anderson and Kevin McHale on the call for Game 6, the Spurs got it done in front of their home fans. TNT has the game again for Game 7. Also worth noting, SA went on a 12-2 run to open the fourth with Jokic out. That run is what swung the game in their favor.
Spurs vs. Nuggets predictions
This game is going to be exciting. It’s worth noting that #7 seeds lose Game 7’s by an average of 15 points in the opening round. This year won’t be like that. Make sure you bet SA +5.5! This is going to be a tight one. Jokic vs. LaMarcus. Murray vs. DeRozan.