Wizards vs. Nuggets preview: Andre Miller makes his return

An early start for the Nuggets against the Wizards today at Pepsi Center and the return of Andre Miller.

Game 70: 2013-14 NBA Season
Wiz_logo_medium
@
36-33 (19-17 away)
Series 1-0 Nugs
31-38 (18-16 home)
March 23rd 2014
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
3:00 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

John Wall PG Ty Lawson
Bradley Beal SG Randy Foye
Trevor Ariza SF Wilson Chandler
Trevor Booker PF Kenneth Faried
Marcin Gortat C Timofey Mozgov
Notes
Bullets Forever Blogs Denver Stiffs
Nene (sprained MCL) is out Injuries Danilo Gallinari (ACL), JaVale McGee (leg fracture), Nate Robinson (ACL) and J.J. Hickson (ACL)

The Wizards have a better road record than home (17-16).

Stat

Just 12 more games for the Nuggets in this rollercoaster season


"If we cross paths I have no problem speaking with [Andre Miller]," said Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw. "I'm sure both of us didn't take this personal. It's unfortunate that it had to happen and neither one of us wanted that to happen, but I don't have a problem with him."

It doesn't appear that things have improved much between Shaw and Miller, but rather that bygones are bygones.

"I have the utmost respect for Andre Miller," said Shaw. "But he has moved on and is in a better place in terms of his situation, his team is going to be in the playoffs and he will contribute to that. I'm happy for him to be in that situation, but for us we had a chance to develop players."

One would think the player Shaw is referring to is Evan Fournier. That is the guard the Nuggets are developing. After Miller was suspended, Jordan Hamilton was benched, and it was Fournier who saw the increased minutes. He went from 9.4 minutes per game in December to over 20 minutes per game since January.

At just 21 years old, Fournier has been having his ups-and-downs this season, but any way you sliced it ... he needed more court time. The Nuggets needed to play their younger guys to start getting a look at what the new front office has or lacks.

The recent season ending ACL injury J.J. Hickson suffered will now give the Nuggets a chance to evaluate Jan Vesely in what could and should be extended minutes to see if they want to bring him back into the fold this summer. That's where we are with the Nuggets: evaluation time.

The Wizards are on the opposite side of things. They are jockeying for playoff position in the Eastern Conference and are just 5-5 in their last 10 games. Former Nuggets Al Harrington and Andre Miller are coming off the bench for the Wiz and even Drew Gooden is back in the league with Washington. But the two guys to watch are still John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Wall plays with reckless abandon and with speed that any uptempo coach would love. Beal was on a number of teams radar when he entered the draft, Denver being one of them, and he has been a steady scorer in his short time in the league.

We'll see what happens today ...

If you haven't read this piece with Andre Miller yet, check it out here.

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