Steve Merril’s NBA Fullcourt Report (Thursday, March 9)

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There is a great deal of focus on college basketball this week; however the NBA is also in full swing with just over a month remaining before the playoffs begin. Below is a look at both national TV games for Thursday night on TNT.

DENVER (-1, 211) at PHILADELPHIA (TNT)

The Nuggets finished last season as one of the hottest teams in the league and Denver is once again making a stretch run this year with a solid 7-3 SU/ATS record over the past ten games, including 3-1 SU/ATS over the past four games. Overall, Denver is now 15-3 ATS in March the past two seasons.

The Nuggets might be without two of their top forwards tonight as both Kenyon Martin and Eduardo Najera are questionable due to injuries. Martin averages 14.0 points per game and is third on the team in rebounding (6.8 rpg). Najera averages 24.8 minutes per game and is fourth in rebounding (5.6 rpg).

Despite the recent absence of these two key rebounders, the Nuggets have still played well as Denver is 2-0 SU/ATS the past two games without Martin and 4-2 SU/ATS in the past six games which Najera has missed.

Philadelphia is coming off a 104-101 road loss at Boston last night in which the Sixers blew a five-point lead with just 1:34 remaining in the fourth quarter. Philadelphia struggled to contain Boston’s Paul Pierce who recorded his sixth career triple-double. It was the second straight loss for the Sixers; however Philadelphia is still a decent 5-3 SU/ATS since the All-Star break.

Philadelphia won the first meeting this season at Denver, 108-106, as a 4-point road underdog. Both defenses struggled as the Sixers outshot the Nuggets 50-46 percent from the field. Philadelphia was led by Allen Iverson’s 36 points and Chris Webber’s 32 points, while the Nuggets top scorer was Carmelo Anthony who poured in a game-high 45 points.

SAN ANTONIO at PHOENIX (Pick) (TNT)

Phoenix enters this game with an eleven game winning streak and overall the Suns are a strong 14-1 SU (10-5 ATS) since the end of January. Phoenix did suffer a major blow on Monday when point guard Steve Nash rolled his ankle and did not return versus New Orleans.

Nash was injured late in the third quarter, however the Suns played incredibly well without their superstar as Phoenix outscored the Hornets 30-9 in the fourth quarter with Nash on the bench. Nash is questionable tonight and he leads the team in assists (10.8 apg) and is second in scoring (19.4 ppg).

The Spurs had their seven game straight-up winning streak snapped on Tuesday with a 98-85 road loss versus the L.A. Clippers. The defeat came the night after a big win over the Lakers, 103-96. Overall, San Antonio is still 7-1 SU (6-2 ATS) since the All-Star break.

The Spurs and Suns have split the two head-to-head meetings this season, with the home team winning both games straight-up. The Suns lost 97-91 at San Antonio on November 19th, but Phoenix covered as a 9 ½-point road underdog in that game. The Suns also covered as a 1-point home underdog when they won outright 91-86 on January 7th in the most recent meeting.

STEVE MERRIL is a professional sports handicapper and a documented member of The Professional Handicappers League. Get his Premium plays here.



Source by Steve Merril

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