Stat Padders

The Official Site of the Michigan Basketball Analytics Association

Mike Beta #527

3 min read

Happy Friday. Yesterday was an 0-2 day. The over didn’t get there, and the Nuggets let up another late run that cost them coverage. This time, to be fair, they were only up by double digits because of a big run of their own. It’s never fun to bet on a 5.5 favorite and see them win by 5 though. We’ll bounce back today. But first, a quick look at last night’s action…

  • Nuggets 108, Lakers 103

The Nuggets are two wins away from The Finals after taking over Game 2 late. Jamal Murray was outstanding in the fourth, scoring 23 of his 37 points. He very nearly outscored the Lakers (24) by himself in the frame. It remains true that the Nuggets are going to be very difficult to beat if Murray is scoring like a star. Last night, his scoring helped make up a for a (relatively) inefficient night from Nikola Jokic. Jokic put up 23, 17, and 12, but it took him 21 shots to get to those 23 points. The Lakers threw the kitchen sink at him, and they still came up short. After two games of various adjustments and strategies that might have won them a game, they’re winless. There are, of course, worse situations to be in than heading home down 0-2 and just -11 on point differential in the series. But Los Angeles is up against the wall here. They can’t afford to lose one of these next two, and they’re going to run out of things to throw at Jokic at some point.

That means they could use some more production on the other end. After scoring 40 in Game 1, AD made just four of fifteen shots last night. He got 9 from the free throw line to finish with a somewhat respectable 18 points, but it was largely a dreadful offensive showing. D’Angelo Russell was just bad. LeBron, despite a few mistakes, ended up playing a solid game. But he didn’t take over the game either, and that’s what you need from your best players. It’s not clear that James is capable of that at this level anymore, at least with any sort of consistency. Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura continue to play well, but they’re not supposed to be anything more than support pieces. The Lakers need more from their stars. Some better three-point shooting would be nice too; the Nuggets were +18 from deep last night and +12 in Game 1. That’s a significant gap. It’s also who these teams are. Denver shot over 3% better from three during the regular season and is shooting 5% better so far in the playoffs, so their 6% edge in this series isn’t exactly coming out of nowhere. It’s a built-in math advantage, and it’s one the Lakers might need to eliminate through some hot shooting to have a shot in this series.


✅✅✅ = right team, right number of games

✅✅ = right team, one game off

✅ = right team

❌ = wrong team

First round tally: 4-4 on team picks, 2 within a game 

Second round tally: 2-2 on team picks, 1 exactly right on games

Conference Finals

Nuggets in 6 (Grizzlies > Nuggets original pick) 

Heat in 7 (Bucks > Celtics original pick)


NBA record: 252-217-8 ATS, 34-80 ML, 138-110-5 O/U, 2-10 parlay, 0-2 props, 0-2 series price -38.67 units

NBA regular season record: 225-198-7 ATS, 32-67 ML, 116-90-3 O/U, 2-10 parlay, 0-1 props, -23.62 units

NBA postseason record: 27-19-1 ATS, 2-13 ML, 22-19-2 O/U, 0-1 props, 0-2 series price, -15.05 units

  • Heat +9.5
  • Heat Celtics U215.5


  • Nuggets -165 – THREE UNIT PLAY
  • Heat +420

CBB record: 254-229-12 ATS, 57-83 ML, 5-5 O/U, 17-25 parlay, -9.83 units

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