The Denver Nuggets play host to Northwest Division Rivals the Utah Jazz in less than 30 minutes. You can almost feel the excitement! Again, this is all a work in progress . . . more breakdowns as soon as I finish them.
The Denver Nuggets are a formidable team, particularly on offence. They have the fastest pace in the entire league, and they also score the second most in the entire league. It’s not just a volume scoring team though; they have the best field goal % (FG%) in the entire NBA. They share the ball around, and George Karl’s defense always generates a lot of steals. If Denver can get out and run on you, especially at home, they will run you out of the building. The Jazz are steadily improving game by game, but their 7-4 record is much less legit than the Nuggets 8-4 record. The Jazz like to slow things down, and limit the other teams’ offensive chances. If Utah can control the glass, and control the pace of this game, perhaps the Jazz can keep it close. If the Nuggets have their way, it will be a track meet. And any team that starts Al Jefferson in a track meet is going to lose.
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The last time we played the Nuggets they destroyed us, in the second game of the season. We couldn’t defend their inside game, and picked up a lot of silly fouls – and they took advantage of every mistake we could make. It was the opposite of the Lakers blowout (which happened to happen the night before), where we couldn’t make a shot. Our offense was working in Denver, but we just couldn’t get a stop. The Nuggets have the highest pace in the league, and they will use it to their advantage. They did when we last played, and we just did not have the horses to keep up with them.
The Beats and the Rests:
It’s pretty clear that Denver has the speed advantage everywhere – which they’ll use by shifting Nene to center, and bringing in another swift wingman to help them accelerate their fast break. On paper we’re better inside – but we all remember what happened in the paint last time we played the Nuggets.
Tonight is about Nene and Big Al. That is, if we can slow the pace down to a halfcourt crawl it will be. As stated earlier, if we can’t control the tempo of this game it won’t be about these soloists at all, but the whole Nugget symphony running up and down their home court.
The Nuggets will face off against a less-than healthy Jazz team. We’ll be without Josh Howard – who was having a nice string of positive games for us off the bench. We’re going to need to see something from Gordon Hayward and C.J. Miles tonight in his place. Or, dare I say it, more than just garbage time for Colorado’s own Alec Burks – who was just phenomenal in garbage time in the last game these two teams had.
- The Nuggets will be without DeMarre Carroll
- The Jazz will be without Josh Howard
- Denver run us out of the building last time we played there
- Also we hate the Nuggets
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