|-3 DEN (-110) @ Fanduel|
My 10* Situational Stunner is on the Den Nuggets at 9:10 ET.
The New York Knicks are playing meaningful games in May for the first time in nearly a decade and at 37-28, are closing in on ending the third-longest playoff drought in the NBA (last playoff appearance was back in the 2012-13 season). The Knicks are currently 4th in the East, 1 1/2-games up on the No. 5 seed, 2 1/2-games up on the No. 6 seed and three games up on the No. 7 seed (seeds 7-10 are regulated to the "Play-In" tournament). The Knicks have won 12 of 13 as they visit Pepsi Center Wednesday night to take on the 43-22 Nuggets. Denver (the East's No. 4 seed) has clinched a top-six playoff seed in the West, meaning it will avoid having to take part in the play-in round. The Nuggets finished 13-3 in April, which was the best record in the NBA.
PF Julius Randle (24.2-10.3-5.9) and SF Barrett (17.6 & 5.8) have starred all season for the Knicks. Randle has been spectacular of late, averaging 31 points in the Knicks' last 11 contests. A group of five players (averaging between 10.6-14.3 PPG) are 'flying under the radar.' Both PGs are healthy right now in Rose (14.3 & 4.1 APG) and Payton (11.1 & 3.4 APG). SGs Burks (12.5 & 4.4) and Quickly (11.6) plus SF Bullock (10.6 & 3.4) complete the group.
No Denver Nugget has ever won league MVP honors but center Nikola Jokic just may change that. Jokic (26.3-10.9-8.5) has carried the Nuggets through some key injuries and as noted above, are guaranteed a playoff spot. Denver is just a half-game back of the third-seeded Clippers plus owns the tiebreaker over LA, as well. The Nuggets have continued to play well even after the loss of PG Murray (21.2-4.0-4.8), going 9-2 in his absence. With backup PG Monte Morris (10.1 & 3.2 APG) and now swingman Will Barton (12.7-4.0-3.2) out due to hamstring injuries, Campazzo has taken over the starting PG role and has averaged 8.9 & 5.6 APG in the 11 games without Murray. SF Porter was excellent in last year's bubble and is having a career season, averaging 18.9 & 7.5. He's scoring 20-plus points in 16 of his last 19 games and has averaged 27.3 PPG in his last seven. The acquisition of Aaron Gordon (10.5 & 4.8) from Orlando has worked great, as although he's not scoring as much as he did with the Magic he's been a "great fit," with Denver going 16-4 in his 20 games.
The Nuggets routed the Knicks 114-89 back in January back in January but obviously, the Knicks are a different team now. That said, the Knicks' lone loss in their last 13 games came at home vs the Suns and it's hard to find many "quality" wins during their current surge. I guess wins over Dallas and the Lakers (without LBJ and A.D.) count? Lay the 'cheap' number.
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