Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) is defended by San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)


Kyle Barrette

We will be breaking down a potential western conference playoff matchup in this one. Both these teams have had some injuries and underperforming players that have left both teams off to slow starts. Porzingis looks to be on track to play in this one after sitting out last night’s game with back tightness. The jury is out on the Joker, who left Wednesday night’s game after banging knees with Gobert and did not return and missed practice on Thursday. I would be surprised to see the Joker in this game, which is the first of a back-to-back for the Nuggets this early in the season, unless his knee is 100%.

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Denver has gotten off to a forgettable start. Joker is banged up along with a few other starters and Porter has struggled to get going offensively. With Porter’s slow start and no Murray for the foreseeable future, the scoring has been all on the Jokers’ shoulders. We saw what this offense could do last season with everyone healthy, and we have seen so far this season that the offense is a shell of its former self. No Nikola Jokic in this one would be a big deal for Denver. We saw in the second half of the Jazz game what this offense in its current state without Joker looked like, and it was not pretty. Even if Joker is able to suit up for this one, his supporting cast is going to have to step it up to get this win.

Jason Kidd has the Mavericks off to a solid 3-1 start to the season as they defeated the Spurs last night at the front end of their back-to-back. After a blowout loss to Atlanta to start the season, the Mavericks have reeled off three straight wins, all by multiple possessions. Despite the recent wins, this offense has been off to a slow start compared to what they were able to do last season. Dallas ranks 25th in points per game, down seven spots from last season when they ranked 18th. Dallas is slightly better on defense, allowing seven points less than last season. With a head full of steam coming into this one, it could be a long night for Denver depending on who suits up.

The Prediction: Mavericks +1.5.
I think there is a good chance that Joker will not suit up for this game, given his track record the past few days. Porzingis will likely play for the Mavericks which will give them a big advantage over a struggling Porter Jr. and the rest of the Nuggets.

Same Game Parlay:
Mavericks +1.5, Luka Doncic first basket and Mavericks over 106.5 total points.

SGP Odds +1261

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