NBA Regular Season 2012-2013: Utah Jazz (17-17) at Denver Nuggets (18-16) -- Game Preview

Fes and Nene - Doug Pensinger

Game #35 • Pepsi Center • Denver, CO • January 5, 2013 • 7:00 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports • RADIO: 1280 AM/97.5 FM and 1600 AM ESPN Deportes

NBA Regular Season 2012-2013, Game 35:

Utah Jazz (17-17) @ Denver Nuggets (18-16)

#UTAatDEN Game Stream -- Denver Stiffs -- Jazz vs Nuggets coverage

Let's not get #Boom-itched by The Koof

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The Basics:

The Nuggets are currently 8th in the West, and we're 10th. The 9th team, the Minnesota Timberwolves just got more bad news about Kevin Love (check out the full post here) so one could argue that these are two teams fighting for that last playoff spot right now. (Portland and Houston may rise or fall depending on what they do in the trade season, of course -- and the Lakers are sure to rise, they can't get much worse) The two former midwest division rivals, and sharers of a mountain range don't like each other.

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History:

The Jazz hold the lead all time at 100-69. Can tonight be win 101 vs the Nuggets? I don't know, we're 32 and 52 in their gym, and have split the season series so far at 1-1.

In both games we were down big at halftime. In game 2 we eventually came back from being 16 down to win. Hopefully tonight we can try to be TIED at halftime (+/- 5 pts).

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Scouting, Stats, and Stereotypes:

They are young, athletic, and full of energy. And each time they've made us look old, and disinterested.

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Injury Report:

Nuggets Injuries --

  • Wilson Chandler (SF) OUT -- Chandler is out indefinitely with a sore left hip
  • Kenneth Faried (PF/SF) ??? -- Aaron J. Lopez (Nuggs writer) pointed out that Faried missed morning shoot around due to an illness (non specified). He is a game time decision for tonight.
  • Julyan Stone (SG) OUT -- Stone is also out indefinitely due to hip surgery recovery.

Jazz Injuries --

  • Mo Williams (PG) OUT -- Mo is out because, well, I guess tomorrow I should do an injury report post on it.
  • Enes Kanter (C/PF) DOUBTFUL -- Enes has a sprained right ankle, is in a walking boot, and missed last night's game. I don't think he'll play tonight.
  • Raja Bell (SG) OUT -- It's Q1, and he's back to work making . . . uh . . . sprockets?

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Advantage --

If Faried is in or out, either way, we're at the disadvantage. We don't have much scoring punch with our starting guards without Mo, and our PGs behind him don't score much ever. Kanter is a bruiser who gets us extra possessions with his offensive rebounding, which is also a big part of our gameplan. The Nuggets are missing some forwards, but they still have Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, Ty Lawson, and Danilo Gallinari to give us fits. Heck, even Corey Brewer has given us fits this season. Their replacements / alternatives are better than ours. They have the advantage.

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The Game:

Saturday night game . . . I may actually record it if it's bad at halftime and spend some quality time instead (Of course, checking in just to make sure we're making our amazing comeback).

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Player Focus:

Al Jefferson -- in the first two games he finished with 4 points and 11 rebounds, and 28 points and 5 rebounds. He has no assists, steals, or blocks against the Nuggets this season. 32 and 16 is an average of 16 and 8 per game. Against Kosta Koufos, Timofey Mozgov and JaVale McGee he has to do better. He killed it last night and didn't even need to play a second of the fourth quarter. On a night that's the second of a back to back we'll need him to lay down the law. He got more rest than usual and it's not like he's playing against All-Stars. We'll need his offense and rebounding -- but we're going to need him to do more than get zeros across the rest of the board.

At the end of the day, he's supposed to be the best bigman on the floor tonight, and he has the capability to show the world that with his on court play.

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X-Factors:

Offensive rebounding -- they get about 14 a game, and we get about 13. Both team have problems on the defensive glass. It's going to be a grind it out game where the team who ends up with the most chances to score will probably end up with the most points in the game.

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Word from the Badguys:

We got Nate from Denver Stiffs to look into the Faried situation for us.

As of right now we're still waiting...

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As an aside:

I'd still take Andrei Kirilenko on my team over Carmelo Anthony . . . I'm just a hater like that. I like defense.

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Fearless Prediction:

Jazz win, why? Because there was no way for the team to go out and party last night for Al Jefferson 's birthday because they were in the air between Phoenix and Denver. They want to win tonight, AND THEN PARTY.

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