Nuggets at Utah preview: Don't worry Nuggets fans, yours is no disgrace

Gordon Hayward - Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

The Nuggets travel to Utah to face the Jazz. The Jazz are 0-7, the Nuggets are 1-4. This may be the most depressing Jazz vs. Nuggets matchup in 15 years.

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Game 6: 2013-14 NBA Season


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1-4 (0-2 road)
Series 0-0
0-7 (0-3 home)
November 11th 2013
Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
7:00 PM MT
Altitude TV / 950 AM
Ty Lawson PG Jamaal Tinsley
Randy Foye SG Gordon Hayward
Jordan Hamilton SF Richard Jefferson
Kenneth Faried PF Derrick Favors
J.J. Hickson
C Enes Kanter
Notes
You're here! Blogs SLC Dunk
Wilson Chandler (hamstring) is a game time decision, Danilo Gallinari (knee) is out, JaVale McGee (leg fracture) is out Injuries Andris Biedrins (questionable) Trey Burke (doubtful) Jeremy Evans (questionable
Nuggets managed to make the flight to Utah, so that's something Stat Nice to finally see a squad that is slightly more bleak than the Nuggets

The Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets have both got off to a rough start this 2013-14 season. The Jazz have yet to win a basketball game, and your Nuggets have managed to win one game ... but have yet to look good in any game they have played this season. Something has to give right?

The Jazz are something of an anomaly. The contract extension they gave power forward Derrick Favors is an interesting case in point. The contract (4 years, around $48 -49 million) was curious, and can likely be chalked up to "big man, paying for potential" contract that the recently injured JaVale McGee got last off season. It also exacerbated the contract situations of other big men who are owed early extension next offseason. This affects greatly what the Nuggets do with Kenneth Faried, and the hefty extension given to Favors is not helping things.

Shooting guard/Small forward Gordon Hayward was also due for an early extension, but he will enter into restricted free agency and, depending on how he performs this season can be up for more money than Utah would want to spend (or maybe they would ... who knows). Thus the wacky and crazy world of NBA contracts marches on and on.

Much like the Nuggets, the Jazz have taken what appears to be a developmental approach to their team. Hayward leads the team in scoring at 19.1 points per, and Favors seems to be coming along. Enes Kanter is a solid block of granite in the middle, and has proven to be an adequate center for what the Jazz are doing. It's the other positions on the floor that are likely what's keeping the Jazz down.

Richard Jefferson is so old he no longer leaves fingerprints. Unfortunately for the Jazz he has long since outlived his usefulness on the court. Also, Jamaal Tinsley has scraped out a midling career, careening from team to team and has been serviceable in the role he has been playing ... but he is in no way the answer at point guard for the Jazz (they are missing promising rookie Trey Burke, who is recovering from a broken finger).

Additionally the Jazz have someone on their roster in the form of Rudy Gobert, whom the Nuggets ostensibly selected "for" the Jazz in draft last season and was swapped for later second round draft picks that resulted in the draft pick of Erick Green in the second round. While Gobert is a nice prospect, he is just that, a prospect. Someone who would likely take a very long time to round into shape. Will be interesting to see him tonight.

Nuggets of Wisdom

Well, we learned on Sunday afternoon that JaVale McGee has a stress fracture in his left tibia. He has possibly been dealing with this injury, of some sort, since last season. This "may" explain his poor play, to a degree. Although much of McGee's issues have been mental, and not physical. How much does dealing with pain affect decision making? There are those who will say that this injury is the likely cause of McGee's poor play this season. All I can say is, I hope you are right.

Wilson Chandler appears to be a game time decision for the Nuggets. He has been out over a month with what was described as a hamstring injury. Hopefully the extended period he has had off will help him on the court even more.

Outside of that, in a curious decision, the Nuggets decided to start J.J. Hickson at center instead of the much bigger Timofey Mozgov to go up against the much bigger Kanter. We can only speculate as to the reason. Many have said that coach Brian Shaw wants to keep his bench rotation the same. Which would be interesting because Shaw's rotations have been quite random in the first five games. Maybe that means he is sticking to somewhat of a consistent rotation? At this point we can only speculate.

It's hard not to be pessimistic about the current state of the Nuggets. If we keep in perspective what they are trying to accomplish, it is still somewhat bleak. As always, keep a good attitude, and the Nuggets foibles and odd decisions won't be as painful to watch and maybe will begin to make sense..

We hope.

Go Nuggets!!

Update from Raj Sharon from 102.3 ESPN

***

Twitter: @jmorton78

mortonagency@juno.com

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