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Denver Nuggets at Utah Jazz Game Preview: Time to get back on track

Denver Nuggets (8-8) @ Utah Jazz (5-12)
EnergySolutions Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
7:00 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports • Radio: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz limped into December with only 5 wins, having dropped five straight games -- and four straight at home. The Denver Nuggets are a .500 team that is 3-5 on the road. I don't think the Nuggets are that much better than the Jazz, but then again, I used to think Tyrone Corbin < REDACTED >.

They play at the 5th fastest pace in the league, which makes sense because they are the 9th best team at clearing their defensive glass, and that combined with the 6.8 spg and 5.4 bpg jump starts their transition attack. Their offense is 9th best in the NBA by Off RTG, and 4th best in PPG -- dropping on average 105.5 ppg on teams. Their defense isn't that much better than ours (25th by Def RTG), but they do make the other team take bad shots. One thing which they are NOT good at is that they foul. A lot. They foul teams 24.8 times a game, the other team takes 29.7 FTA against them, and they are last in the least in .276 FT/FGA. Sheesh.

If the Jazz can exploit that it would be nice, we are at home after all.

The Jazz struggle in many areas, especially defending the three. The Nuggets shoot .342% from there, and hoist up 25+ threes a game. This could be a fulcrum upon which the balance of this game lies.

Anyway, player stats!

Denver Nuggets:

2014 2015 Game 018 LAC at UTA - Nuggets Players

Ty Lawson is a blur at the PG spot with his speed and efficiency. Kenneth Faried is a beast at the PF spot with his size and energy. Everyone shares the load on offense, so you have to defend everyone. I'm not afraid of them as a team, but I respect them. I still think we should win.

Utah Jazz:

2014 2015 Game 018 LAC at UTA - Jazz Players

Man, this should be a break out game for our players if we can play at the speed we are meant to play at. It's contingent upon getting stops though. Denver could feat on offensive rebounds with their activity level and length. Also, I still believe that Gordon Hayward should be the best player on the floor in this game.


  • Jeremy Evans (UTA) is OUT with a left ankle sprain
  • Darrell Arthur (DEN) is PROBABLE with left knee contusions
  • JaVale McGee (DEN) is probable with a left leg strain, but should be good to go tonight
  • Randy Foye (DEN) is OUT with a strain of his right Vastus Lateralis (one of the muscles in the quadriceps for you laymen out there)
  • Toure' Murry (UTA) is still with the Idaho Stampede, not injured. But not here. (But not forgotten)


I hate the Nuggets. I classify them as one of our rivals. I don't need to get into it.

Fearful Prediction:

Ty Lawson goes for 35 tonight in a romp.