NBA Regular Season: Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets -- Game Preview

Marc Piscotty

Game #6 • Pepsi Center • Denver November 9, 2012 • 8:30 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports RADIO: 1280 AM/97.5 FM

NBA Regular Season 2012-2013, Game 6:

Utah Jazz (2-3) @ Denver Nuggets (2-3)

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The Basics:

This is a rivalry game for sure. I don't think our two teams like each other much; and our fans don't like each other either. We don't like their players. They don't like ours. There was that whole "Melo's people of Utah thing". There was the whole "our owner getting in a Fist fight in the stands" thing. There was the whole Andrei Kirilenko being an All-Star before Carmelo Antony thing. So many technical fouls. So many playoff games. And the whole "Jazz don't have heart" deal from the 80s.

And it's the surprising matchup between two teams that made the playoffs in the Western Conference -- despite both trading away their franchise player recently.

What a country!

Both of these teams are 2-3 right now, and trying to make a name of themselves early on this year. Both have talent, depth, youth, and strange foreign players.

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History:

Last season these two teams played three times last season, with the Jazz getting blitzed in the first game (our second of the season) on their court; then coming back and winning the next two (one at home, one in their gym).

Of course, this was the series that brought us "The Hug, Part 1".

ShandonFan is awesome. Or crazy. Oh wait, that just means she's a Jazz fan.

There was a reason for that video. And that reason is that our bigs kill Denver. In Game 1 PAL JEFFERSAP had 32 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. In Game 2 they had 44 points, 24 rebounds, and 4 assists. And in Game 3 they had 37 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists. They didn't dominate, but they did quite enough to win the paint from last seasons' Nuggets bigs.

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The Game:

First game against the Nuggets. We have a game tomorrow night at home against the Phoenix Suns. The Nuggets also play tomorrow night, on the road against the Golden State Warriors. Both teams have a tough test tonight that they can't afford to look beyond.

It's going to be a battle of contrasts and I'm worried. Denver usually kills us by running in the first game of the season series. We need to slow it down and pound it. They aren't as big as us. They aren't as talented as us in the paint. Even while we are trying to run more, and take more threes, the path to victory tonight has to be through our bigs. If they get us in an up and down game, we may never catch up.

We've seen it before. I don't want to see it tonight.

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Word from the Badguys:

I know there are a ton of great Nuggets fans -- but to me no guy is more honest and willing to be honest about his team than J.R. You know him on twitter as @Smooth_Operatah , or the guy being unreasonably yelled at by Matt Moore.You can read his work here at Smooth's Hoops.

Gm_6_--_badguys_1

Gm_6_--_badguys_2

I really think the team that is able to establish the pace of play will win tonight. He fears our bigs. I fear their speed. The other unsaid thing beyond fear is that we both respect each other's teams.

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X-Factors:

C'Mon. It's gotta be Alec Burks. He's went to school there and he really goes nuts on them. Out of all the teams in the NBA, Burks scores the most against the Nuggets: 13.3 ppg, 11 FTA in 3 games, and shooting 61.5 fg%. (1.54 PPS because you know I was going to do that calculation) And he's doing this is only 15.6 MPG. He's playing way more MPG against some other teams, but he's not going for the jugular there.

Against the Nuggets -- in DEN -- yeah, he turns it on.

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As an aside:

Ty Lawson and Andre Iguodala are two guys many Jazz fans have wanted for a long time. We'll see them up close and personal tonight.

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Fearless Prediction:

Jazz win. Why? Because it's a rivalry game against the hated Nuggets. We need to build some momentum, and after beating the Los Angeles Lakers -- we'd put the L on notice with a win in Denver. We have a lot of road games this month, and we are still looking for our first W outside of the 'Solution. It has to start tonight.

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