The last time Dallas came to the Pepsi Center the Nuggets played a horrible first half and then a nearly perfect second half. After being down 70-60 at half time the Nuggets outscored Dallas 34-16 in the third quarter and then 24-19 in the fourth.
Denver and Dallas seem to play pretty tight games in Denver and they have split the two games in Denver since the 2003-2004 season up until last season where they only played in Denver once.
The Nuggets should be full of energy tonight as they are playing the first game of the second Chauncey Billups Era. Add in the fact that they are 1-3 and need a win badly and I think we will see a sharp and focused Nugget team tonight.
I will only give two keys for success tonight. Move the ball on offense and prevent Dallas, especially Erick Dampier, from dominating the offensive glass.
Those are pretty simple, but they are very important.
Melo is probably going to see every team double him and even send a third defender to his side of the floor when he has the ball. His passing out of those situations will be vital for the Nuggets to succeed on offense. It will also be vital for J.R. and Chauncey to hit their open threes or penetrate and score off of those passes.
Keeping the Mavericks off the offensive glass is obvious. Dampier’s per game stats are not that impressive, but he is a very good offensive rebounder and Nene, Kenyon and Birdman must get physical and box him out.
There will certainly be a period of adjustment for working Chauncey into the lineup, but for any of you who have played pick up ball and are used to playing with strangers a good point guard is one of the easiest players to play with. Chauncey will make the game easier for everyone and players like that are enjoyable to play with.
Look for Dahntay Jones to start again tonight and bring some defensive intensity and run the floor. Still no Juwan Howard or Antonio McDyess as the Nuggets continue to work on a resolution to the buy out of Dyess’ contract.
The Nuggets face another important early season game with against another solid team coming to town. Check out the exceptional blog Mavs Moneyball to see what Dallas fans thoughts are heading into tonight’s matchup.