Denver and Seattle have played twice so far this season and Denver has won both by an average of 29.5 points including a 42 point shellacking in the previous meeting.
Without those two wins the Nuggets point per game differential drops from 3.2 to 2.3.
Stat heads point to victory margin as a better indicator of the quality of a team than the win loss record. Without those two games against the Sonics, the Nuggets definitely do not look nearly as formidable statistically.
Seattle is currently on a seven game losing streak with an average defeat margin of 14 points per game. The Sonics are 1-11 over their previous 12 games, Seattle has had a 14 game losing streak this season and they possess the fourth worst record in the NBA. We could leave it at that, but let's keep going.
Seattle is last in the league in offensive efficiency scoring only 97.4 points per 100 possessions. They are eighth worst in defensive efficiency giving up 105.8 points per 100 possessions. (Of course I do not trust defensive efficiency because according to that stat the Nuggets are the fifth best defensive team in the league.)
I could spout out even more numbers, but I think we all get the point. If Seattle was a movie, they would be Single White Female. If they were a song, they would be Informer by Snow. If they were a decade, they would be the 1970s. If they were an office supply, they would be a leaky toner cartridge. If they were a body part, they would be a...well, you get the idea.
The Nuggets clearly had their effort on cruise control all night against Memphis. Facing Toronto they had the pedal to the metal for the entire night. The only question is how hard will the Nuggets play tomorrow night? There is no way Seattle can hang with them talent wise.
In order to keep building their confidence for the upcoming road trip, which is looking more and more difficult by the day with Philly beating San Antonio and New Jersey beating Utah tonight, they will have to build on their effort from the beat down of the Raptors.
From a matchup standpoint Seattle will have a big mismatch with Kevin Durant. They start him at shooting guard to get him matched up against smaller guards, but whether or not that is a good thing can be debated. I believe it has resulted in him playing a far too perimeter oriented game. The Nuggets will have to put Anthony Carter on him. AC will have the advantage of strength, quickness and experience, but Durant will be able to shoot overtop of him all night. It will be interesting to see if J.R. Smith will get a chance at guarding him as J.R. does not give up as much height, but is stronger and quicker than Kevin. Smith has started to match his effort with his defensive comprehension lately as he is making far fewer mental errors as of late.
Kenyon Martin will have his hands full with Chris Wilcox who is every bit as athletic and strong as Martin is. Fortunately for Kenyon, Wilcox does not have a perimeter game and he does all of his damage in the paint. Marcus Camby will have to keep Johan Petro off the glass which should be well within his abilities.
On offense, Melo will have a solid young defender on him in Jeff Green. Green can match Melo’s size and strength, but not Carmelo’s quickness. I doubt that Durant can keep Anthony Carter out of the lane and AI is too quick for Earl Watson.
It would certainly be a good sign if the Nuggets ran as much as they did against the Raptors, but it does not matter if the pace is fast or slow, Denver should be able to score on the Sonics whether it be in transition or in the half court.
Perhaps the most important thing will be to make sure the starters get to watch the fourth quarter from the bench again. AI has only played a hair over 30 minutes and Melo has played exactly 30 minutes in both games of this brief home stand. Camby has played 28 minutes in both and Kenyon has only played 28 and then 29 minutes. Chucky Atkins is able to take some of the minutes off of Anthony Carter’s plate.
You cannot put a price on being somewhat fresh at this point in the season.
I rarely feel so confident about the outcome of a game when the Nuggets are involved and maybe it will bite us all in the butt tomorrow. Seattle was embarrassed in the last meeting between these two teams and they are going to come out and play hard, but they just do not have the horses.
I expect by the half way point of the third quarter we will all be able to turn our attention back to our NCAA brackets.