The Denver Nuggets are winless through three games in the 2013-14 NBA regular season. A match-up with the Atlanta Hawks, which have yet to win a game in Mile High City since 2006, could be a good opportunity to notch their first victory of the season.
In the first year without George Karl, who mentored the team from 2005 to 2013, the Nuggets have struggled off the gates with losses to the Sacramento Kings (90-88), Portland Trail Blazers (113-98) and San Antonio Spurs (102-94) for their worst start in 15 years.
The Bryan Shaw-led squad has struggled on both offense and defense in the new season, placing just 24th (93.3 PPG) in points scored and 22nd (101.7 PPG) in points allowed in the league.
"We didn't sustain that in the fourth quarter. That killed us," said the first-year Nuggets head coach to nba.com after the loss to the Spurs. "We just kind of lost our mind in the fourth quarter."
The Nuggets were outscored by the Spurs, 30-14, in the payoff period. Five players did finish in double-figure scoring for the Nuggets, led by Ty Lawson's 20 points and Keneth Faried's 15 markers.
The Hawks, meanwhile, are showing good chemistry while averaging 104.8 PPG (7th in the NBA) to split their first four games in 2013.
This team play was evident in their last game—a 105-100 win over the Sacramento Kings as the team got big games from big men Al Horford (27 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots) and Paul Millsap (25 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals).
"I feel like any time you go on the road your team gets a little closer," said Millsap after the win in Sacramento. "It was a dogfight tonight and everybody had each other's backs so I feel like we got a little closer."
Point guard Jeff Teague added 18 points and 10 assists for the Hawks, which have played three of their four games on the road.
Betting Against the Spread (ATS) Betting Line: Atlanta Hawks (+3) vs. Denver Nuggets (O/U: 204.0)
Atlanta Hawks Trends - Hawks are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games - Hawks are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games on the road - The underdog is 3-9 ATS in the last 12 games between Atlanta and Denver - The road team is 3-8 ATS in the last 11 games between Atlanta and Denver
Denver Nuggets Trends - Nuggets are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games - Nuggets are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games at home - Nuggets are 17-8 ATS in their last 25 games vs. Southeast division teams - Nuggets are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games after a loss
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