Nuggets lock down T-wolves, even series at 1-1

Tony Reyes
By , Updated on: May 5, 2024 08:00 PM
Nuggets lock down T-wolves, even series at 1-1
  • When: Monday, May 6th at 10:00 PM ET
  • Who: Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets
  • Where: Ball Arena in Denver, CO
  • What: NBA Western Conference Semifinals Playoffs game 2

The Minnesota Timberwolves made a statement in Game 1, seizing home-court advantage against the Denver Nuggets in their eagerly anticipated conference semifinal clash. 

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Despite their victory, the Timberwolves' success was more than relying on one player, as Anthony Edwards was the only one to score over 20 points in the win.

Game Preview

Edwards's standout performance in Game 1 presents an opportunity to exploit in Game 2, though caution is warranted when betting on Minnesota's continued success. 

MoneylineBetOnlineBetUSBovada
Minnesota Timberwolves+196+195+185
Denver Nuggets-226-235-225

Nonetheless, Edwards has emerged as a force to be reckoned with, showcasing confidence and composure in high-pressure playoff situations.

His 43-point display highlighted the Nuggets' defensive struggles to contain him.

Part of Edwards's dominance stems from Jamal Murray's injury concerns, limiting his ability to keep pace with the Timberwolves' star. 

Additionally, Denver's defensive options, including Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon, have proven ineffective against Edwards's strength and speed. 

The Nuggets were forced to resort to double-teaming Edwards, leaving Karl-Anthony Towns with favorable matchups to exploit.

Towns, a prolific scorer in his own right, capitalized on these opportunities in Game 1, demonstrating his ability to complement Edwards's offensive prowess.

Towns benefits from increased scoring opportunities and offensive mismatches as Denver focuses on containing Edwards.

Minnesota Timberwolves To win game
+196
BetOnline

In Game 2, expect the Timberwolves to leverage Edwards's offensive threat to create openings for Towns and capitalize on Denver's defensive vulnerabilities.

The Wolves effectively contained Nikola Jokić's passing prowess in Game 1, limiting him to just nine assists with tight defense. 

Their strategy involved keeping Jokić's defender close to him, preventing easy passes to Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon.

Rudy Gobert's presence in the paint further disrupted Denver's offense, leaving Gordon open for shots in the corner.

This defensive approach paid off, with Murray managing only 17 points and Gordon struggling to score.

Although Jokić still scored 32 points, it wasn't his best performance. It was marked by seven turnovers and poor shooting from beyond the arc.

Denver Nuggets To win game
-226
BetOnline

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Total Points

Offensively, the Wolves exploited Denver's defensive weaknesses, notably with Anthony Edwards scoring 43 points efficiently.

The Nuggets struggled to contain him, especially with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hampered by injury and Gordon needing more defensive speed.

Total PointsBetOnlineBetUSBovada
Over 205 Points-115-115-110
Under 205 Points-105-105-110

Looking ahead, the Nuggets might give Christian Braun more minutes, who showed promise in defending Edwards. However, they must improve defensively to counter the Wolves' scoring prowess.

Despite the Wolves' strong performance in Game 1, expect some regression in their 3-point shooting.

The Nuggets should focus on disrupting Edwards and finding defensive solutions to improve in Game 2.

With Denver down 1-0, they'll likely show more urgency and perform better offensively. Backed by Jokić's strategic play, expect the Nuggets to bounce back in Game 2.

In their recent matchups, the Timberwolves and the Nuggets have trended towards high-scoring games, with only one game each falling below the 205-point mark in their last series against the Suns and Lakers, respectively.

Over their past five encounters, these teams have surpassed the 205-point threshold just twice.

During their playoff series last season, only one game out of five was below 205 points; coincidentally, it was the first game.

This has been the only instance since November 2021 when these NBA teams played a game that didn't exceed the 205-point benchmark.

While Game 1 is expected to embody a playoff atmosphere characterized by defensive battles, both teams are still refining their defensive strategies.

It feels like the Timberwolves will continue to slow the Nuggets down. I would bet Under 205 points at -105 odds at BetOnline.

Under 205 Points Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets
-105
BetOnline

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Meet the author

Tony Reyes

With years of experience as an analyst, Tony brings an expert voice to picks and predictions. His love of sports betting comes through in coverage that informs and entertains in equal measure. You can find Tony shooting hoops or cycling the local trails when not watchin...

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