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Denver Nuggets at Utah Jazz Marquee Match-up: Gordon Hayward and Danilo Gallinari

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Tonight's game should be a good one because of these two do-it-all forwards

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, yes, we know it's the Denver Nuggets against the Utah Jazz, but I can't help thinking that this game is pretty much going to be determined by their do-it-all forwards Danilo Gallinari and Gordon Hayward. Both lead their team in total minutes played, total points scored, average minutes played, and average points scored as well. When they are in there they are the straws that stirs their respective drinks. Both players rebound, pass the ball, and hit threes. And that's just where the similarities start. So let's dig into today's Marquee Match-Up!

This season Gallinari is averaging 19.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.6 apg, 0.7 spg, and 0.4 bpg. He plays 34.4 mpg and has played in and started in 43 of Denver's 49 games this year. Hayward is averaging 19.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.2 spg, and 0.3 bpg. He plays 35.7 mpg, and has played in and started in 47 of Utah's 47 games this year. Gallinari is shooting .414 / .368 / .874, while Hayward is shooting .436 / .370 / .823. Gallinari shoots 13.2 times a game, and gets to the line 7.7 times. Hayward shoots it 15.0 times a game, and gets to the line 6.0 times.

THERE ARE SOME SIMILARITIES HERE!

Gallo has a PER of 19.5, and an ORTG of 120, and DRTG of 110. Hairward has a PER of 19.3, and an ORTG of 111, and DRTG of 106. They both have 5.3 Win Shares on the season, and Gordon has the Box +/- advantage of 2.7 to 1.8. Their usage rates are similar too! Gallinari is rocking a 23.0 USG% / 12.4 AST% / 9.0 TRB%. Hayward? 26.2% / 18.7% / 8.5%. And okay, that's where it can deviate a bit.

Gordon is more of the playmaker for the Jazz, who have Raul Neto and Trey Burke as the point guards. Danilo doesn't have to do EVERYTHING on offense because his team has Jameer Nelson and Emmanuel Mudiay on it. But overall, this season these two guys are both playing very well, and somewhat similarly.

For the Jazz, we know that Gordon Hayward is the barometer of success when playing the Nuggets. Gallo has not always been healthy, but he's had a number of big games against the Jazz to his credit. For his career he averages 12.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, and 1.9 apg against Utah -- while shooting less than awesomely. He's only making 36.4 FG%, 29.0 3PT%, but still holding it together at the line with 86.2 FT%. In comparison Hayward has fared a lot better. Gordon averages 17.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, and 2.6 apg against Denver, and shoots 49.2 FG%, 38.0 3PT%, and 84.8 FT%. Historically he's been the more consistent player with bigger averages.

But the monkey wrench has to be the games. Gordon has played 20 times against Denver, and started 16 of them. Gallo has only played against Utah 14 times, starting 13. What are they like when they are playing one another? Well.....

They've faced off 12 times before, with six wins apiece! Danny Boy averages 13.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.7 bpg, and 1.3 made threes. Gordo averages 16.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.7 bpg, and 1.8 made threes. Gallo shoots .381 / .302 / .847. Gordo shoots .466 / .396 / .836.

So Gordon has the advantage here. But what can we take from all of this for tonight? It seems like they both bring out a good version of one another, but Gordon has had the upper hand. This season both are playing great and have had somewhat overlooked seasons. Tonight should be yet another solid game between the Jazz and Nuggets (preview here), but if Gordon can hold serve, it seems like he'll have the better night.

But what do YOU think?