Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets preview: Don't let the losing reach nine

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets held team and individual meetings yesterday in hopes of turning their season around, as Ty Lawson said. If the meetings were a success, we should see some sign of that in tonight's game.

Game 32: 2013-2014 NBA Season
Grizz_medium
@
Nugs_medium
14-17 (7-6 road)
Series 1-0 Grizz
14-17 (7-8 home)
January 3rd, 2013
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
7:00 PM MT
Altitude TV / 104.3 FM
Starters
Mike Conley PG Ty Lawson
Tony Allen SG Randy Foye
Tayshaun Prince SF Wilson Chandler
Zach Randolph PF Kenneth Faried
Kosta Koufos C J.J. Hickson
Notes
Grizzly Bear Blues (preview is up!) Blogs Denver Stiffs
Marc Gasol (knee) and Quincy Pondexter (foot) are both out Injuries Danilo Gallinari (ACL), JaVale McGee (leg)
The Nuggets are 46-23 vs the Grizz all time Stat The Nuggets have lost 5 in a row at home

How quickly can things turn around for the Nuggets? Will things change at all?

Andre Miller will be serving the first of his two game suspension tonight. The 37 year-old point guard is averaging just 19 minutes this season and had been a fairly quiet soldier this season ... until that Philadelphia 76ers game. Miller's outburst to the coaching staff seems very out of character for the business-like 'Dre. Was there something more to his outburst that first meets the eye?

With the Nuggets airing their grievances among themselves yesterday, what effect will it have on tonight's game? Can the wounds that have been created behind the scenes begin to heal in just a single day? If there were some resolutions, then we should see some improved play in this game. If the team is defending Andre Miller then we may see ... who knows.

It surely won't be an easy task to get back on track tonight against the Grizzlies. This Memphis team averages 94.8 points per game, but that average saw an incredible boost when the two teams met in Tennessee on Dec. 28th. The Grizzlies pounded the Nuggets 120-99 behind Randolph's game high 20 points.

The Nuggets led that game 56-55, but like we've seen plenty of times this season - the team had a second half letdown and allowed the Grizzlies to outscore them 30-16 in the third quarter and 35-17 in the fourth. That's 65 points given up to a team that averages, again, just 94.8 points a night.

The intriguing match-up between Koufos and Timofey Mozgov was highlighted even more as the two were both in the starting lineup in the first game, due to injuries to Gasol and Faried, and it was K2 that saw the better performance. Koufos played 26 minutes and put up 9 points and 12 rebounds (7 offensive), but shot just 4-10 from the floor. Moz played 32 minutes, but was just 1-3 from the floor for 4 points and he grabbed just 2 rebounds (one on each end).

Koufos is still the starter in Memphis as Gasol recovers from a sprained MCL and the Grizzlies have gone just 1-1 since that Nuggets game - they lost at home to the Bulls and then beat the hustling Suns on the road. An odd item: Memphis has a winning record on the road (see above) and they are just 7-11 at home.

Conley and Randolph are the big offensive options on this team, the point guard leads the team in scoring with 17.1 points per game and he also dishes out 6.3 assists a night. The Grizz still butter their bread on the defensive end with Allen leading the way and support from Prince.

This should be an interesting contest and the Nuggets must figure out if they want to, to steal a line from Shawshank Redemption, get busy livin' or get busy dyin'.

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