Magic vs. Nuggets preview: The return of Afflalo

Arron Afflalo and J.R. Smith ... the "could have beens" for the Nuggets. - Sam Greenwood

Doesn't it feel like the Nuggets haven't played in forever? They have been off since beating the Lakers in Los Angeles on January the 6th. Some days off gave the team some valuable practice time and time to heal any nagging injuries. The team is back in action tonight at The Can to face the Magic.

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2012/2013 NBA Regular Season: Game 37
Orlando Magic (2001 - 2010)

vs
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12-22 (5-10 on the road)
Series 1-0
20-16 (11-2 at home)
January 9, 2013 - 7:00 PM (MT)
Pepsi Center - Denver, Colorado
TV Altitude / 950 AM / 104.3 FM The Fan
Probable Starters
Jameer Nelson PG Ty Lawson
Arron Afflalo SG Andre Iguodala
DeQuan Jones SF Danilo Gallinari
Andrew Nicholson PF Kenneth Faried
Nikola Vucevic C Kosta Koufos
Notes
Orlando Pinstriped Post Blogs Denver Stiffs
Glen Davis, E'Twaun Moore, Al Harrington, Gustavo Ayon are all out tonight for the Magic Injuries Wilson Chandler (out)
The Magic have lost 9 games in a row Stat The Nuggets only allow 99.3 points to their opposition

When these two teams played back on Nov. 2nd in Orlando, the Magic had their way with the Nuggets. Glen Davis looked like the second coming of Charles Barkley with 29 points and 10 rebounds (4 offensive) and J.J. Redick lit the Nuggets up off the bench for 21 points on 7-11 shooting (3-4 from deep).

The Magic were playing in their home opener and couldn't have played a better game - winning easily 102-89.

But that was not a good game for former Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo. AAA played 32 minutes and was just 3-13 from the floor for a total of 7 points. The guy involved in that massive off-season trade that came to Denver, Andre Iguodala, didn't play much better. Dre$ was just 3-10 from the floor and scored just 9 points for the Nuggets to go along with 3 turnovers.

Iguodala has played much better since then and is playing much better recently, too. Through four games in 2013, Iguodala is averaging 14.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and he's only averaging 2.0 turnovers per game (down from his season average of 2.8). Perhaps he's finding his groove in the offense or maybe he's just on a hot streak. But Iguodala and Karl have both pointed to January as the time when he'd begin to be comfortable in Denver's offensive system (yes, there is a system).

Iguodala has helped with the defense in a lot of ways. Every night he guards the opposition's greatest threat and he can guard multiple positions. He will forever be linked with Afflalo and the trade that occurred this past off-season.

Trip aka Afflalo has had an up-and-down season in Orlando and he has been more up than down recently. In 2013 AAA is averaging 24 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists (and 2.3 turnovers). His team isn't winning, but he has been playing pretty well and is clearly not happy with the losing his team has been doing. Afflalo is a competitive guy that wants to win so being on a rebuilding team has got to be tough for him.

I hope the Denver crowd gives him a tremendous ovation when he comes back. He wasn't with the Nuggets for long, but he hit some big shots (Terry face GIF in the comments?) and was stepping into a leadership role with the Nuggets before he was traded. Always a hard worker, I continue to wish AAA nothing but success.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Andre Iguodala 36 34.9 5.3 11.7 44.8 1.3 3.9 33.1 2.2 3.5 62.7 0.9 4.9 5.7 4.5 2.8 1.3 0.6 1.6 14.0


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Arron Afflalo 34 36.8 6.6 14.4 45.9 1.4 4.0 34.6 3.0 3.5 85.8 0.5 3.1 3.6 2.9 2.3 0.7 0.2 2.1 17.6


Player to watch tonight: Andrew Nicholson

The rookie out of St. Bonaventure was on the Nuggets radar leading up to the NBA draft. He was in Denver to workout for the team (where I was able to chat with him) and who knows what would have happened had the Magic not taken him with the 19th pick? But I'm happy Denver got Evan Fournier!

Nicholson is a standard sized power forward. He can stretch the floor with a mid-range game, but he has yet to take a three pointer this season - after adding that aspect to his game in college. I was excited about Nicholson coming to Denver because I thought Al Harrington would work well with him ... well Big Al is now in Orlando (working to come back from off-season knee complications) and might get that chance afterall.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Andrew Nicholson 33 14.3 3.3 6.0 54.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 1.3 79.5 0.7 2.5 3.2 0.4 0.8 0.3 0.4 1.8 7.6


Denver Nuggets Tickets

Nate_Timmons on Twitter
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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