Don't look now, look now - your Denver Nuggets have lost three straight games and three straight home games, as well! Who would have thought that at this point in the season, with 12 home games, that Denver would have just one more home win than Minnesota, Golden State, and Sacramento? Things don't get easier as the Dallas Mavericks, who have had three full days off, are in town and looking for revenge after losing to the Nuggets 115-93 on Dec. 26th.
Denver: 15-10 (7-5 at home)
Streak: Lost 3
Dallas: 14-11 (5-6 on the road)
Streak: Lost 3
Denver: Arron Afflalo (left ankle sprain/big toe sprain) and Rudy Fernandez (lower back strain) are both probable. Nene (left heel strain) is a game-time decision. Timofey Mozgov (left ankle sprain) and Danilo Gallinari (left ankle sprain) are both out. Corey Brewer (personal reasons) is doubtful tonight.
Dallas: Jason Kidd (right calf strain) is day-to-day. Sean Williams (sent to D-League) is not with the team.
Season Series: 1-0, Nuggets.
Opposition's Take: Mavs Moneyball
Things are looking a little grim for the Nuggets as the grueling February schedule stops for no man. And the Nuggets are close to having no men available for this game, well ... not really. Something is going on with the left legs of your Denver Nuggets.
Nene, Afflalo, Mozgov, and Gallo all have issues with their left legs. Is there a way to correct this wrong with a right? Anyway, it looks like Afflalo will be back tonight and Nene could be as well. This bodes well for Denver, who was forced to start rookies Julyan Stone and Kenneth Faried against the Houston Rockets Monday night (Feb. 6th).
It may not be a bad thing to get the young players some much needed on-court experience, but the Nuggets are a completely different team when they are without their key guys. Finding a way to win without Gallo is going to be a difficult process for the Nuggets.
Gallo leads the way for Denver with 17.0 points per game and with him out the Nuggets must find a way to make up not only for his scoring, but for his defense and rebounding (5.2 rebounds per game), as well. In a short time the Italian Stallion has proved to be a key member for the Nuggets. About the only good thing going George Karl, with Gallo's 3-4 week absence, is that he has been forced to sit the talented forward a couple times late in games due to his cold shooting nights.
The Nuggets still don't have that "go-to" scorer down the stretch, as the team is the emphasis and without Gallo the Nuggets might find themselves in a lot more games that come down to the wire. We all know who Dallas likes to use to close games, Dirk Nowitzki.
The big German has missed four games this season due to injury and is averaging just 17.2 points per game, his lowest scoring total since his second season in the league back in the 1999-2000 season. In fact, Nowitzki hasn't averaged under 23 ppg since the 2003-04 season.
The Mavericks have struggled to score the ball this season as a whole. As a team, the Mavs average just 93.8 ppg - that's good for just 10th place out West. But the Dallas defense has been a good one as they are virtually tied with the Lakers for allowing the least amount of points out West with 91.1 ppg.
Denver didn't have any issues in their season opener in the Big-D scoring points with 115, but this is a gimpy Nuggets squad that needs some sort of spark to get back to their early season winning ways. The Nuggets always play well versus Dallas and hopefully tonight they will get back in the win column.
Afterall, just one game separates the fourth place Nuggets and the eighth place Mavericks ...
Views you can use:
- Back on Dec. 26th, Ty Lawson scored a team-high 27 points in Denver's win in Dallas. The Nuggets will need another strong performance from their starting point guard.
- In the first match-up of the season, Al Harrington and Andre Miller combined to score 36 points for the Nuggets against the Mavs. Denver's bench will need to come up big tonight ... just like they have been doing all season.
- Stiffs reader U.N. Fab Five informed me that the Nuggets haven't lost four-straight games since the 2007-08 season, the only NBA team not to do so. Have to keep that streak alive!
Nate_Timmons on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Nate_Timmons