NBA Playoffs Picks: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets Preview Game 3
- Updated: April 23, 2011
Two of the most up tempo teams in the league continue their NBA playoffs betting series on Saturday night at Pepsi Arena, as the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder square off in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
The Thunder might have been fortunate to make it out of Game 1 alive at home, but they certainly didn’t leave anything to doubt in Game 2. In both games, their offense put up 106+ points, marking the sixth straight game against the Nuggets in which they scored at least 101 points. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both had absolutely amazing regular seasons, and it should come as absolutely no shock that the two have both put up remarkable numbers once again in the postseason. Durant is averaging 32.0 points, 7.0 boards, and 3.5 assists per game. Westbrook is at 26.0 points, 7.0 assists, and 5.0 boards per game. The only problem that Westbrook has is that he is turning the ball over too much. He has 12 blunders already in the series. James Harden is proving to be a double digit point scorer as well, but he is the only other player on the squad averaging more than 7.5 points per game. The good news though, is that Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka are dominating the paint in the blocks, as the two are combining for 16.5 rebounds per game.
The Nuggets have to be glad to be back at home in the playoffs, but they aren’t going to be able to win this series without eventually taking a game back at the Ford Center. Denver won 33 games this season at home, but in the playoffs last year, it was dropped by the Utah Jazz in one of the first three games. Ultimately, the team never ended up winning a game on the road, and it lost the series. So far, it’s really been a bit of a mish-mosh of scoring in the playoffs, and this type of inconsistency is why Denver is down 0-2 in this series. Nene has led the squad in scoring (19.0 points per game) and rebounding (8.5 rebounds per game). Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton continue to share the court well, as the two former North Carolina Tar Heels point guards of the past are combining to average 29.0 points and 9.0 assists per game, and the beauty of the whole thing, unlike Westbrook, is that the two are only turning the ball over 2.5 times per game combined.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets Pick: This is a game that the Nuggets really have to have. Denver might not ultimately make it out of this series, but we do think that it is going to survive this game and live to tell about a fourth game in this set. The Nuggets -5 are the right play back in front of the hometown faithful in the Rockies in NBA betting action.