Nuggets vs. Knicks Preview: Denver sick of the New York state of mind

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Knicks cap off a nightmare New York sports week for Denver?

Game 48: 2013-14 NBA Season
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24-23 (10-12 on road)
Series 1-0 Nugs
19-30 (11-17 at home)
February 7th, 2014
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
5:30 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Ty Lawson PG Ray Felton
Randy Foye SG Pablo Prigioni
Wilson Chandler SF Iman Shumpert
Kenneth Faried PF Carmelo Anthony
J.J. Hickson C Tyson Chandler
Notes
Denver Stiffs Blogs Posting and Toasting
JaVale McGee (leg fracture) is out, and Danilo Gallinari (ACL) and Nate Robinson(ACL) are out for the season. Injuries Metta World Peace (Knee), Kenyon Martin (anklie) are both out, Beno Udrih (Knee) is day to day.    
Quincy Miller has played double digit minutes in seven straight games Stat J.R. Smith is averaging 21.8 points, while shooting 13-27 from 3-point range over his last four games

The city that never sleeps is causing Denver sports fans to lose sleep. First, the Broncos failed to put any kind of positive stamp on the "New York" Super Bowl. Two days later, the Avalanche were blown out of Madison Square Garden by the hometown Rangers. Needless to say, if your phone number begins with 303 or 720, you probably just want to be done with the Big Apple for a while.  Or....

You can hope for the Nuggets to save the tiniest bit of face tonight. They'll go against a Knicks team much more similar to itself than they would probably like to admit. Both are streaky, can be explosive, and have the potential of beating or losing to any team in the league on any night (see Nuggets blow out Pacers then lose to Bobcats and Raptors while New York recently boasts signature wins over Miami and Phoenix with losses to Philadelphia and Milwaukee). And..., unconfirmed sources say there allegedly might be a couple former Nuggets currently suiting up for the Knicks.

The volatile squads are currently trending in opposite directions. Denver heads into its four game pre-All Star Game road trip on the heels of two straight victories. Coach Brian Shaw's number one priority is bringing an "A-Game" to the arena despite the opponent.

"For whatever reason, (we are) not bringing the same energy," Shaw said. "We don't look forward to the match-ups when those marquee names aren't out there. We are not going to meet the challenge. We have to find a way to bring it consistently regardless who our opponent is."

Shaw's team has been consistent on the road this season, and can move to one game under .500 by beating the Knicks, who are among the league's worst teams at home (11-17). New York has parlayed a four game win-streak into a three game skid after falling to the Blazers on Wednesday. Negativity continues to plague all aspects on the team, with Coach Mike Woodson labeling the season a disaster. If disaster can tip to tragedy and turmoil, the Nuggets fans and their potential top 5 pick in the draft (courtesy of NY) certainly wouldn't mind. Hey, they might even get a good night's sleep for once.

Key Matchup:  Wilson Chandler vs. Carmelo Anthony.

Due to injury, this will be the first time Wilson Chandler has played at MSG since being traded from the team in the Carmelo deal. The swingman has played well (15.4 ppg in last 5) and was the go to man in the closing minutes of Denver's win over Milwaukee.

Anthony continues to score at a high level despite his team's outcome. He trails only Kevin Durant in scoring, with 27.3 points per game.

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