The Denver Nuggets face another tough test tonight as the San Antonio Spurs roll into the Pepsi Center for a nationally televised matchup.
San Antonio managed to hang around .500 while Manu Gilobili and Tony Parker were out with ankle injuries. Now that both are healthy, the Spurs have dropped two of the three games their big three has played in. One was an embarrassing road loss to Houston and the other a home loss to the struggling Detroit Pistons in which the Detroit outscored them 28-14 in the fourth quarter.
Thanks to the experience of a couple of playoff matchups the Nuggets have learned how to play against the Spurs as made evident by the fact they have won three of the last four games in the series including two straight at home. Denver really does match up pretty well with them as both Nene and Kenyon Martin can make Tim Duncan work for everything he gets. Now Chauncey Billups is on board to try to contain Parker. Dahntay Jones should also be able to frustrate a still rusty, and still balding, Ginobili and Anthony Carter will be ready to come off the bench and go after either one.
On the other end of the floor San Antonio has no one capable of guarding Melo. Bruce Bowen does not have the strength or quickness to stay with Carmelo anymore. The one thing he will do is hit Melo’s sore shooting elbow over and over in an attempt to level the playing field. Chauncey will have fun backing Parker down on the block and have his way with him and do not forget that J.R. Smith has been playing very well against the Spurs as the Spurs have no one capable of keeping him away from the rim.
This may sound like an easy win for the Nuggets, but San Antonio has that championship pedigree that counts for a lot. They will play sound team defense and try to slow the game down as much as possible. Remember Greg Popovich called a timeout less than a minute into the game to lay into his players after the Nuggets scored a fast break bucket in the first meeting this season. If Roger Mason and/or Michael Finley are draining shots they are still as good as anyone in the NBA. Add in the fact that they will be seriously motivated to bounce back after two subpar performances and we should have another typical rough and tumble 94 foot brawl between these two rivals.
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