Opening night in the NBA is here for a couple of teams as the Denver Nuggets travel to Philadelphia to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 pm start time and it will be televised live on ALT2 (Denver) and Comcast SportsNet (Philadelphia). Currently the odds have Philadelphia favored by 1.5 points with the total sitting at 198.5 points for the contest. Find out what side the Public is taking on all the games by clicking HERE.
Free Analysis: Two of the principals involved in this past summer's blockbuster trade will meet in their season-opener when the Denver Nuggets visit the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nuggets and Sixers were part of the huge, four-team deal that sent Arron Afflalo from Denver to the Orlando Magic, Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia to the Nuggets, Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers to the 76ers and Dwight Howard from Orlando to the Lakers.
So much for the rebuilding phase in Denver. Just a year and a half on after Carmelo Anthony forced his way out of the Mile High City, the Nuggets are seen as legit contenders coming into the season, thanks in large part to some savvy front office moves. Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri is responsible for turning around Denver’s fortunes in such quick fashion, orchestrating the trade with New York and most recently acquiring All-Star Andre Iguodala in the offseason, in exchange for the bloated contracts of All Harrington and Arron Afflalo. Denver made its seventh consecutive postseason appearance and pushed Kobe Bryant and the Lakers to seven games last season before succumbing. Possibly the league's most athletic team, the Nuggets led the league in scoring (104.1 points) and assists (19.3) last season so it's no secret they prefer a pedal-to-the-metal pace under veteran coach George Karl. The multi-skilled Iguodala should flourish in that system after playing in a defense-oriented scheme with the Sixers. Ty Lawson, who signed a four-year, $48 million extension on Tuesday, is a blur at point guard and led the team in scoring (16.4 points per game) last season. While 7-0 Kosta Koufos is the starting center, skywalking JaVale McGee and Kenneth "The Manimal" Faried gave the Lakers' front line fits in the playoffs. Forward Danilo Gallinari, who averaged 14.6 points, is day-to-day with an ankle injury.
What a difference a year makes. After a surprising 2011-12 campaign, one in which they managed to win a playoff series, the 76ers secured the All-Star they were searching for after successfully trading for center Andrew Bynum. Although they had to give up Andre Iguodala to get the dominate big man, it was a small price to pay given they have former second round pick Even Turner waiting in the wings. While Bynum's acquisition garnered the headlines, Philadelphia completely revamped its roster and features only five players from the team that upset the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs and pushed Boston to a Game 7 last season. The 7-1 Bynum averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds - both career highs - in earning an All-Star nod but he will not play until he is pain-free. Lavoy Allen will hold down the center spot for now while explosive scorer Thaddeus Young moves from the bench to starting forward opposite former No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner. Point guard Jrue Holiday will start in the backcourt alongside sharpshooter Jason Richardson, one of three players brought in by coach Doug Collins to bolster the team's perimeter shooting.
Head to head, the Nuggets are 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Philadelphia, while the road team is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings. The 76ers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 vs. Western Conference and 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. NBA Northwest. The Nuggets on the other hand are 22-6 ATS in their last 28 vs. Eastern Conference and 38-16 ATS in their last 54 road games.
Free Pick: I like the Under in this game. I know the Nuggets like to push the ball, but Doug Collins like a slower paced game, especially at home and he will find a way to slow this one down. Last year Sixer home games averaged just 188.4 ppg and I don't see that number increasing too much this year. The Sixers don't have Iggy this year or 6th-Man runner-up Lou Williams and Bynum is out so they will have to look to their defense to win this one and I don't expect them to try and run with Denver. The Nuggets heve a few of new faces and it may take some time for their offense to gel. About 190 points is what I expect here.
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Love the work Jeff. Appreciate you taking the time and doing the write ups brother! Hope you and family and friends are doing well on the east coast.