Pistons vs. Nuggets preview: Battle of the beaten

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Pistons come to Denver tonight to face the Nuggets; both teams are looking for their first win of the 2012-13 campaign.

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2012/2013 NBA Regular Season: Game 3
Detroit Pistons (1997 - 2001)
vs
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0-3

0-3
November 6th, 2012, 7:00 PM (MT)
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
TV Altitude / 950 AM / 104.3 FM The Fan
Probable Starters
Brandon Knight PG Ty Lawson
Rodney Stuckey SG Andre Iguodala
Tayshaun Prince SF Danilo Gallinari
Jason Maxiell PF Kenneth Faried
Greg Monroe C Kosta Koufos
Notes
Detroit Bad Boys Blogs You're here!
Corey Maggette (day-to-day) Injuries Timofey Mozgov (day-to-day) Julyan Stone (out)
Versus Lakers, Det. starters +/- equaled -150 Stat Nuggets are shooting 24.6% from 3-pt land

The Nuggets will be in action tonight on election night. The fans and media types will be able to monitor the results as they are pouring in, but players and coaches must focus on the game. The politically mindful George Karl wants to be able to track what is going on.

"This election is so interesting; I'd like to feel the intensity of it. I'd rather not be playing, but I'm glad we are," said Karl. "If we were 3-0 I definitely wouldn't want to be playing, but I think we need to play now. We need to get the monkey off our back and get going."

The Pistons are in town and coming off an embarrassing loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in their last game on Nov. 4th at Staples Center. The Pistons lost 108-79 and the game wasn't even that close. Karl likes to point out the plus/minus stats, just check out the Pistons' starters +/- against the Lakers:

Pistons_medium

Ugly. I watched that game and it was just as ugly as the numbers indicate. Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey were not meshing well and the there was no semblance of a cohesive offense. I'm a little worried that tonight's game could resemble a preseason contest with lots of sloppy play, turnovers, and mistakes. Hopefully that will come just from the Pistons side, but the Nuggets want to turn the game into a track meet -- let's just hope it's a controlled chaos from Ty Lawson and Company.

The Nuggets can "get right" tonight against Detroit, but they must be mindful of a few players. Greg Monroe is a very talented big man and if we've learned anything so far this season about the Nuggets, it's that they have had major problems defending big guys.

"We've been getting hurt (by bigs)," said Karl. "Big Baby (Glen Davis) killed us in Orlando and of course (Chirs) Bosh killed us."

Add Spencer Hawes and his 16 points and 12 rebound effort to that list. Davis went for 29 points and 10 rebounds and Bosh shot an incredible 15-22 against the Nuggets en route to 40 points. Monroe poses the problem for the Nuggets tonight.

"He's (Monroe) getting a lot of touches and a lot of opportunities to be good. He's left handed, kind of slippery left handed, good shot. He's been able to make the 15-footer more consistent this year. He's very powerful around the basket, very clever. I don't think he's speedy, but he's quick," said Karl. "I think it's going to be interesting to see how our guys adapt to him because I think he's a little bit unorthodox."

If the Pistons decide to deploy their twin tower lineup of Monroe and rookie Andre Drummond, it could be Kenneth Faried that finds himself matched up against Monroe. And Faried is relishing the opportunities to guard the Glen Davis types to LeBron James himself.

"It's fun. You get the opportunity to guard some of the best players in the league," said Faried. "Any given night, it doesn't matter, you can switch onto anybody and just stay there in front, slide your feet, and do what you got to do to stop that player."

Faried was asked to guard James down the stretch and did a pretty good job on the best player in the league. Heck, had LeBron not had Ray Allen to dish the ball too in Miami, Faired might have made the defensive stop that earned the Nuggets their first win. Had James needed to take that jumper instead of passing the ball; it would have been a difficult shot as Faried did not allow him to get to the rim. I will stop with the "coulda, woulda," but the point is, Faried is working to become a more versatile defender. The results have been mixed thus far as Davis used his body to abuse Faried, but the second year forward is still learning the ropes of the NBA world.

Offensively, Faried busted out against the Heat for 22 points and looked like the exciting rookie that helped propel the Nuggets to the playoffs last season. What changed against the Heat for Faried?

"(I had) more confidence," said Faried. "The first two games I was kind of nervous, just coming in I didn't really know what coach (Karl) wanted from me. But then I just played, against Miami he (Karl) said, "Go out there and play. Do what you do." I went out there and played and did what I did. It speaks for itself really."

The Nuggets desperately need Faried and JaVale McGee to play with confidence and help fill the scoring void that has become of the Denver bigs. Drummond can protect the rim as is averaging 1.7 blocks in just 17.7 minutes per game. Monroe doesn't do as good of a job protecting the paint as he is averaging just 0.3 blocks per game. The Nuggets need to attack the rim, as usual and they should find success (as the Lakers did) tonight.

A couple Pistons to watch ... Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler. Against the Lakers the duo played with good energy and helped changed the flow of the game for the 29 and 26 minutes, respectively, that they were on the floor. But the Pistons will be rudderless if Knight and Stuckey can't control the offense and the Nuggets must pounce on them.

"We have got to be aware of a wounded team," said Karl. "They are searching for a win too and we can't let them get it here. We have got to come with the enthusiasm, pace, and intensity that we played with in Miami."

Faried on Nuggets fans and where the team's confidence level is:

"I know our fans stick with us. That's the best part about everything. They stick with us, they are there with us through thick and thin. I'm just focused on getting our first win and as coach would say, get this monkey off our back. We got better each game. We got better from the Philly game, to the Orlando game, and the Miami game. Hopefully we come out and show we even got better from the Miami game and our defense comes into play and makes our offense click."

Views you can use:

-Denver has been miserable from downtown: 4-18 vs. the Sixers, 7-26 vs. the Magic, and 5-21 vs. the Heat. In total the Nuggets are just 16-65 = 24.6% from three-point land. Yuck.

-Gallo is 3-18 (16%) from deep on the season. He must have shot 300 threes after practice yesterday - good sign.

-An infamous stat going around the NBA world right now ... Rodney Stuckey is shooting 1-23 on the season, thus far. Let's hope he doesn't get right tonight.

Go to the game tonight with some cheap seats!

Denver Nuggets tickets link right here.

Nate_Timmons on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nate_Timmons
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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