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Bettor’s NBA West Top 5 Report: Jokic, Nuggets Back on Top

If you’re aiming to bet NBA online tonight, you need to know what’s been going on in the past week for the best teams in the West. As always, we deliver with our weekly Top 5 report.

 

Bettor’s NBA West Top 5 Report: Jokic, Nuggets Back on Top
Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets/Amanda Loman/Getty Images/AFP

1. Denver Nuggets

In the third quarter of Monday’s home game against Toronto, Nikola Jokic did this: 19 points on 7-for-11 FG, 1-for-1 from long range, 4-for-4 from the line, four rebounds, four assists, four steals and a block. That’s art. Just a masterpiece of a performance by the game’s best, who has the look of a guy focused on a repeat. Check out the NBA player props each night Jokic is in action, as you’ll find something fun to wager on.

The Nuggets needed all of Jokic’s contributions to get past the Raptors, giving them nine wins in their last 10 games. In that stretch, they’ve put an end to multi-game winning streaks of the Heat, Warriors, and Lakers, and also got the better of a Celtics team that had won 11 of its previous 12.

Essentially, Denver is becoming a brick wall, especially at home, and looking every bit as solid as they did last spring.

 

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with these guys, who simply happen to be mixed up with the defending champs for conference supremacy. They’ve won three straight and 10 of the last 12 since a mini-swoon a little before the break, and they enter Tuesday’s action a half-game ahead of the Nuggets in the West.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the only guy who can possibly pluck an MVP voter from Jokic’s camp, putting forth what’s becoming a historic run. If he carries this momentum into the playoffs, they can beat anyone.

A concern popped up in Sunday’s rout of Memphis, as Jalen Williams left with an ankle sprain. It doesn’t appear very serious, though, and the team’s No. 2 scorer should be back soon.

Oklahoma City has an upcoming stretch in which it plays nine of 12 on the road, with a couple of tough back-to-backs mixed in there. They might take a couple of punches to the chin during that span, and it’ll be interesting to see how this young squad looks when the dust clears.

 

3. Minnesota Timberwolves

Just like the Cavaliers, Knicks, and Sixers in yesterday’s East Top 5, so much of this team’s future success – or lack thereof – depends upon health. It’s uncertain whether they’ll have enough to get to the promised land if Karl-Anthony Towns is unable to come back strong from a torn meniscus.

Anthony Edwards can certainly carry a team but he’s also still somewhat up-and-down at this stage of his career. Rudy Gobert sat out the last game with a hamstring injury and the team was absolutely crushed on the inside by Anthony Davis.

Put it all together and it feels just a bit fragile right now in Wolves land. Healthy and clicking this team is as good as anyone with the defensive chops that play well in the postseason. We’ll have to see if they can tread water long enough.

The schedule should help a bit. After the current road trip wraps up with Tuesday’s game at the Clippers and then two in Salt Lake City, Minnesota plays 10 of its last 14 at home.

 

4. Los Angeles Clippers

Over the last six games, the Clippers have gone 4-2 with both losses coming against Milwaukee. The Bucks won’t appear on the schedule anymore, so that obstacle is out of the way.

What remains is the tricky task of navigating the inevitable injuries that are popping up. First was the loss of Russell Westbrook, who is out until late in the season (in all likelihood) following a fractured hand.

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard both sat out the most recent Milwaukee loss with various ailments, although one might pin that more on the NBA schedulers than anything. They had the Clippers and Bulls tip off at 1:00 p.m. PT on Saturday in LA, and then we all lost an hour of sleep before the Clippers and Bucks tipped at noon on Sunday.

Essentially, Los Angeles had two starts within 22 hours of one another. Head coach Tyronn Lue was rightly upset.

Unfortunately, things don’t necessarily get any easier. After Tuesday’s game against what will be a hungry Minnesota squad, the Clippers play eight of their next 11 on the road.

 

5. Phoenix Suns

The New Orleans Pelicans have every right to be here, but we continue to stick with Phoenix as just a slightly better option with the NBA playoff odds. The Suns have won three of their last four, with two of the wins coming at Denver and at Cleveland and the one loss coming at home to Boston.

That’s a pretty solid stretch for a team that operated for part of that period without superstar guard Devin Booker. He returned from an ankle injury Monday against the Cavaliers and was superb (27 points, 7 assists) in a huge road victory.

Kevin Durant scored 37 points in that win while Bradley Beal added 24 and Grayson Allen hit 4 of 5 3-pointers. Essentially, it was exactly the kind of all-around performance the Suns’ front office envisioned when it put this crew together.

A rematch with the Celtics in Boston on Thursday is looming and should be the marquee event for fans, pundits, and those betting online.

 

 

Questions Of The Day

Which NBA game stands out on Tuesday’s schedule?


The Timberwolves-Clippers matchup could really bunch some things up below Denver and Oklahoma City.

Why aren't the Pelicans in the top 5?


Why not indeed? They are ahead of the Suns and gaining on the Clippers, using a four-game win streak to solidify themselves in that top six in the West. We were this close to putting them back into the top five instead of Phoenix, but with a healthy Devin Booker, we still like the Suns this much more.

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