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Game Preview: Utah Jazz face inter-mountain rivals, the Denver Nuggets

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Game #80: Utah Jazz (24-55) @ Denver Nuggets (34-55)
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
April 12, 2014 -- 7:00 pm MT
TV: ROOT Sports -- RADIO: 1280 am / 97.5 fm

Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
April Game Streams -- Denver Stiffs -- Jazz vs Nuggets coverage

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Lets be real here. This has been a crazy season for both teams. The Denver Nuggets had enough injuries this season to even make a Utah Jazz fan cry (never forget the year we lost everyone except Mehmet Okur and Greg Ostertag to injury). And for the Jazz, well, I don't know if we're getting what we thought we would. But there are signs of life for both of these lotto teams -- the main one being that they both have only 3 games left this season.

The Jazz aren't a very good offensive or defensive team. And they play at a slow pace. The Nuggets are not so hot on defense, but are Top 10 in scoring, and Top 3 in pace. The injury situation for the Jazz has, maybe, Marvin and Brandon out. For the Nuggets it's much more disproportionate as they are missing the majority of their bigman group, and possibly two of their better point guards.

As a result, a frantic pace with no bigs makes you unpredictable and hard to figure out. This is absolutely the case as the Nuggets, injured as they are, have won their last two games. Who did they beat? They beat the Houston Rockets in Denver, and then the Golden State Warriors the very next night, in Oakland.


Yeah. So how do you game plan for this? And how do you gameplan for the fact that these last two wins have happened without their best player, Lawson, on the court? It's insane. The Jazz looked like they could hang tough last night against the Trail Blazers, but crumbled at the end. Some of our guys played heavy minutes, while Denver didn't play last night. They are at home, and at a slightly higher elevation -- and winning games.

Denver's current squad:

Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG PER BARPS FG% 3PT% FT%
1 Ty Lawson 1 62 35.9 17.6 3.5 8.8 1.6 0.2 19.0 31.7 43.1% 35.6% 79.8%
2 Randy Foye 2 1 78 30.4 12.8 2.8 3.4 0.8 0.5 12.9 20.3 41.3% 38.4% 84.1%
3 Aaron Brooks 1 2 26 28.2 12.0 2.7 5.2 0.9 0.3 13.7 21.1 41.3% 36.3% 88.9%
4 Kenneth Faried 4 3 77 26.9 13.5 8.4 1.2 0.9 0.9 20.1 24.9 54.7% 0.0% 64.9%
5 Timofey Mozgov 5 79 21.3 9.3 6.4 0.7 0.3 1.2 16.7 17.9 52.4% 19.0% 75.1%
6 Evan Fournier 2 1 73 19.5 8.1 2.6 1.5 0.5 0.1 10.3 12.8 42.4% 38.7% 73.4%
7 Darrell Arthur 4 5 67 17.3 6.0 3.1 0.9 0.6 0.7 9.5 11.3 39.6% 38.1% 85.5%
8 Quincy Miller 3 4 49 14.7 4.9 2.7 0.4 0.4 0.6 9.0 9.0 37.3% 33.3% 69.8%
9 Jan Vesely 4 18 14.2 4.4 3.7 0.6 1.2 0.8 15.4 10.7 50.0% 41.7%
10 Anthony Randolph 4 3 42 12.1 4.5 2.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 11.1 9.1 37.1% 27.3% 73.8%
x Danilo Gallinari 3 4
x Wilson Chandler 3 4 59 31.3 14.0 4.8 1.8 0.7 0.5 12.7 21.8 41.6% 34.9% 71.6%
x J.J. Hickson 4 5 69 26.9 11.8 9.2 1.4 0.7 0.7 16.3 23.8 50.8% 0.0% 51.7%
x Nate Robinson 2 1 44 19.7 10.4 1.8 2.5 0.8 0.1 15.6 15.6 42.8% 37.7% 83.5%
x JaVale McGee 5 5 15.8 7.0 3.4 0.4 0.2 1.4 10.2 12.4 44.7% 100.0%

Utah's current squad:

Player Pos G MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG PER BARPS FG% 3PT% FT%
1 Gordon Hayward 2 3 75 36.3 16.0 5.0 5.2 1.4 0.5 16.1 28.1 41.3% 31.3% 81.4%
2 Trey Burke 1 67 31.9 12.4 2.9 5.6 0.6 0.1 12.4 21.6 37.8% 33.6% 89.2%
3 Derrick Favors 5 4 70 29.9 13.2 8.7 1.2 1.0 1.4 18.9 25.5 51.7% 0.0% 67.6%
4 Alec Burks 2 1 75 28.0 14.0 3.3 2.7 0.9 0.2 16.0 21.1 45.5% 34.1% 74.6%
5 Richard Jefferson 3 79 27.1 10.2 2.7 1.6 0.7 0.2 12.1 15.4 45.2% 41.7% 75.3%
6 Enes Kanter 4 5 78 26.5 12.1 7.3 0.9 0.3 0.5 15.4 21.1 48.7% 0.0% 72.5%
7 Jeremy Evans 4 63 17.9 5.9 4.6 0.6 0.6 0.7 16.1 12.4 52.8% 0.0% 66.7%
8 Diante Garrett 1 2 68 14.8 3.5 1.4 1.7 0.6 0.1 7.0 7.3 38.3% 38.0% 83.3%
9 John Lucas III 1 2 42 14.1 3.8 0.9 1.0 0.3 0.0 5.2 6.0 32.6% 29.8% 62.5%
10 Rudy Gobert 5 42 9.8 2.3 3.4 0.1 0.2 0.9 12.3 6.9 48.7% 50.0%
x Marvin Williams
3 4 66 35.4 9.1 5.1 1.2 0.8 0.5 14.0 16.7 43.9% 35.9% 78.1%
x Brandon Rush 2 3 38 11.0 2.1 1.2 0.6 0.1 0.2 4.2 4.2 33.3% 34.0% 60.0%

I wish I could predict who is going to win. I want the Jazz to lose. But looking at who Denver is missing makes it hard for me to say we have the worse available team. No final news on Marvin or Ty (currently questionable for tonight), and I hope to know more closer to game time. Can the Nuggets make it three in a row? Somehow? For our ping pong ball's sake, I sure hope so.