By Greg Dempson
I’ve dubbed tonight’s match-up as the post All–Star “reverse osmosis,” game, as former Denver head coach George Karl now coaches the Kings while former Kings coach Michael Malone now coaches the Nuggets.
The game tips at 10:00 ET at the Sleep Train Arena and I don’t anticipate either team to be sleeping on offense as this contest features two high powered offenses, (with lack luster defenses,) which should keep the score keeper busy!
Sacramento averages 107.1 PPG while allowing 109.1 points per game. While the Nuggets score an average of 100.5 PPG while allow an average of 103.1 PPG.
It was widely rumored that coach Karl would be fired but GM Vade Divac gave defensive coach Vance Walberg his walking papers instead. In their last 10 games, prior to the All–Star break, the Kings allowed an average of 117.3 PPG on 48.3% shooting and in three of their last four games they allowed 120 or more vs. Brooklyn, (128,) Boston, (128,) and Cleveland (120 points.)
The woeful 76ers also posted 110 on February 10th. The Kings are last in the league in points allowed per game at 109.1 which might surpass their worst mark in franchise history, (109.3 PPG,) during the 2008–2009 season. The one stat that might surprise many is they are ranked #3 in scoring offense averaging 107.1 trailing only the Warriors, (115.5,) and the Thunder at, (110.1.)
Denver is 4–1 ATS in their last five games averaging 100.8 PPG while holding their opponents to an average of 97.6 PPG. Meanwhile, the Kings are 0–5 ATS in their last five while being outscored by an average of 118.6 PPG to 110.8 PPG.
Free Throws and Tip-Ins
· The Nuggets have won 12 out of the last 16 straight up as well as six of the last eight played in Sacramento.
· Sacramento is 2–8 straight up in their last 10, as well as 3–3 straight up at home in their last six games dating back to January 13th.
· Denver is 18–09 ATS on the road this season losing by an average score of 101.7– 98.7 or 3 PPG.
· The road team is 7–2 ATS in their last nine meetings.
· Sacramento is 1–4 ATS in their last five at home vs. the Nuggets losing four of five straight up.
· In the second half of the season Nuggets head coach Malone is 10–01 ATS vs. teams who make six or more 3 point shots per game.
· Sacramento’s head coach Karl is 02–11 ATS after scoring 100 or more points in four consecutive games.
· The past two seasons the Kings are 02–13 ATS after scoring 100 or more points in four straight games.
· The Kings are 03–15 ATS after three straight games where both teams scored 100 or more points the last two seasons.
· Denver’s head coach Malone is 27–11 ATS in road games when coaching against up tempo teams that average 83 or more shots per game.
· Malone is also 26–12 ATS versus good offensive teams that average 99+ points per game.
· The Nuggets are 24–13 ATS when the total is greater than or equal to 200 this season plus 8–1 ATS when the O/U is 220 or greater.
· Sacramento is 41–63 ATS and -28.30-units after two straight games with 26 or more assists.
· The Kings are 1–9 ATS after scoring 100 points or more 5 straight games over the last 2 seasons.
· The past three seasons the Kings are 11–25 ATS in home games after one or more consecutive wins.
· Play against home favorites after allowing 100 or more points in four straight games when playing against an opponent that’s scored 100 or more points in four straight games. This system is 52–22 = 70.3% ATS since 1996 as well as 22 – 10 ATS the previous three seasons. The average line in this system favored the host team by 5 points vs. an average combined losing score of 2.4 PPG.
· Play on Friday night road underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points following a road win by 10 points or more. This system is 73 – 40 = 64.6% ATS since 1996. In this system the home team was favored by an average of 6 PPG while losing by an average of 3.3 PPG.
Denver at Sacramento Pick
My Friday night Every Edge selection is on the Denver Nuggets getting +4 points.