The San Antonio Spurs are tumbling down the standings in the Southwest Division. San Antonio has lost four straight, five of the last six and nine of the last 11. The Spurs are giving up points in bunches as San Antonio has allowed an average of 123.6 points per game over the last six games played which has resulted in five losses. The Spurs are 24-25 and sit in third place in the division 3 ½ games behind front-running Dallas, but less than three weeks ago, San Antonio led the division.
Denver is headed in the opposite direction as San Antonio. The Nuggets have won 7 straight and have climbed to within five games of first-place Utah in the Northwest division. Denver is fourth-best in the NBA in scoring and 12th best in points allowed. The Denver defense has held opponents to less than 100 points in three of their last five games played. Nikola Jokic continues to lead Denver in several statistical categories and is averaging nearly a triple-double.
San Antonio defense has disappearedSan Antonio is allowing an average of 111.9 points per game but as mentioned earlier the Spurs have allowed an average of 123.6 points per game over the last six games played. Opponents are shooting 46.9% against the Spurs and San Antonio is 28th in the NBA in rebounds allowed per game at 47.7. The Spurs are averaging only 44.0 rebounds per game led by Jakob Poeltl with an average of 8.0 per game. The Spurs are averaging 7.0 and 5.1 blocked shots per game. Dejounte Murray is the leader in steals with an average of 1.5 per game and Poeltl is the Spurs rim protector with a team-high average of 1.6 blocked shots per game.
hustle pays off y'all pic.twitter.com/jgR6rAU3T6— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 8, 2021
Of late the San Antonio offense has not kept pace with the points its defense is allowing. San Antonio is scoring an average of 110.2 points per game led by DeMar DeRozan with an average of 20.9 points per game followed by Murray with an average of 15.7 points per game. DeRozan Is also the dish leader for San Antonio with a team-high average of 7.0 assists per game. San Antonio is averaging 24.3 assists and only 11.0 turnovers per game for a league-high 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Injury Report: Kieta Bates-Diop, Trey Lyles and Lonnie Walker IV are all out indefinitely.
Nikola Jokic Carrying NuggetsThe Denver Nuggets have won seven straight and much of that success is thanks to the overall play of Nikola Jokic, who is leading the Nuggets in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. Jokic is averaging 26.3 points per game, while the second-leading scorer is Jamal Murray with an average of 21.3 points per game. Jokic is the leader for Denver in assists with an average of 8.7 per game. Denver averages 27.1 assists per game and 12.7 turnovers per contest for a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Nuggets are scoring an average of 115.5 points per game which is fourth in the NBA.
Denver's defense has improved of late and overall is allowing an average of 111.0 points per game but has held opponents below the century mark three times in the last five games played. Rebounding is a big reason as the Nuggets are giving opponents fewer second look opportunities. Denver averages 44.4 rebounds per game with 33.8 on the defensive boards and 10.6 off the offense of glass. Jokic, like in so many other categories, leads Denver in rebounding with an average of 10.9 boards per contest. The Nuggets are averaging 8.1 steals and 4.5 block shots per game and Jokic is the leader in steals with an average of 1.5 per game and Michael Porter Jr. is the swat commander with a team-high 0.9 blocked shots per game.
Injury Report: Greg Whittington is out indefinitely with a knee injury
- Denver is 6-1 ATS in the last seven
- San Antonio is 1-5 ATS in the last six
- The Spurs are 1-6 ATS in the last seven against a Western Conference team