The reeling Atlanta Hawks will host the red-hot Denver Nuggets on Saturday night at State Farm Arena. The Hawks come into this game having lost four straight contests, and have a ton of issues that need to be addressed. The Nuggets have been playing great basketball on their current road trip, but lost a close game to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night. Denver beat the Atlanta Hawks by a whopping 45 points earlier this season.
The Nuggets come to town with a record of 17-8, and they have taken control of the Northwest Division in the Western Conference. This is their fifth game on the road trip and is their second game in consecutive nights. Atlanta has fallen to just 5-20 on the season, and they sit in last place in the Southeast Division. Denver is an eight-point favorite in this matchup with the Atlanta Hawks.
Trae Young Leading Hawks
Rookie Trae Young is having a solid season, but it has not translated into many wins for the Hawks. Young is averaging 15.7 points and 7.3 assists this season but has struggled to shoot the ball. He is shooting just 24 percent from the three-point line and 38 percent from the field. The Hawks believe that Young is the face of the franchise, but it is clear that he is going to need more help.
Atlanta is the worst defensive team in the NBA this season, allowing 119 points per game. The Hawks gave up 131 points in their most recent loss, and they don’t seem to have an identity on defense. Things won’t get any easier for Atlanta in this game as Taurean Prince will be unavailable after suffering an injury earlier in the week. The Hawks look to be on the verge of tanking.
Nuggets Defense Has Been Impressive
The biggest reason for the Nuggets great start to the season has been their defense. Denver is allowing just 103.4 points per game this season, which is the third-best mark in the league. The Nuggets are averaging 8.5 steals and over 4.5 blocks per game as well, and they have clearly bought in on that end of the floor. Denver’s defense should keep a bad Hawks offense to a low number in this game.
Point guard Jamal Murray is one of six Nuggets averaging double-figures this season, leading the team with 17.9 points per game. The real star of the Nuggets has been center Nikola Jokic. “The Joker” is averaging 16.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 7.8 assists so far this season. Denver has plenty of weapons on both ends of the floor.
Denver Bounces Back With Win
The Nuggets saw their seven-game winning streak snapped on Friday night, but they will be ready to start a new one on Saturday. The Hawks are the perfect team to play when looking for a bounce-back win, and the Nuggets will do just that on Saturday night. Bet the Denver Nuggets -8.0 over the Atlanta Hawks.