The first time Denver played in Sacramento, just 13 days ago, they lost 106-101. That game came just a night after the Nuggets lost to Dallas at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets are again in Sacramento, once again for the second night of a back-to-back, but this time they are coming off a huge Melo-less win against the red hot Cleveland Cavaliers. Will the momentum from last night's win carry over?
The particulars ...
Denver: 23-13 (15-3 at home, 8-10 on the road)
Sacramento: 14-21 (11-8 at home, 3-13 on the road)
Denver: Chauncey Billups (groin) Chris Andersen (ankle) are both probable, Ty Lawson (ankle) is a game time decision. Carmelo Anthony (knee) is out tonight.
Sacramento: Donte Green (ankle) is doubtful. Kevin Martin (wrist) and Francisco Garcia (forearm and wrist) are both out.
Opposition's Take: Sactown Royalty
If you say you want to use a reverse jinx does that mean that is wont work? Or maybe that it will again reverse the jinx? But if you say a reverse jinx to reverse a jinx will that reverse the jinx? What the hell am I even talking about? Let me try to explain ...
Not a lot of people, myself included, thought Denver had much of a chance to win last night's game against LeBron and the LeBrons, but with their backs against the wall and everyone counting them out, Denver found a way to win ... much like they did last season on numerous occasions.
So, as of this writing ... I'm thinking Denver has the deck stacked against them tonight. Coming off a close and emotional win with a roster littered with hobbled players and facing a young team on their home floor, where they are 11-8, the Nuggets face another uphill battle. Also, the Nuggets lost to the Kings less than a fortnight ago when SacTown was without their two best players (Kevin Martin and Tyreke Evans).
Evans is back and will play tonight and is coming off a team-high 25 point performance last night in a 108-101 loss to the Warriors in Golden State. If you have yet to see the exciting rookie play ... then you, like me, are in for a treat. I have yet to put eyeballs on Evans and I'm once again excited to see their other surprising rookie Omri Casspi play. So with the cards perhaps stacked against Denver ... how can they win?
Keys to the game:
- The Kings are also on the second of back-to-back tonight after losing to Golden State last night (108-101). Which ever team can find their leg will have a major advantage tonight. Sacramento is a bit younger than Denver, but veterans know when to use their energy.
- Denver can capitalize on their momentum from last night and roll it into the game tonight. Remember what has worked and keep it up.
- The Kings are still without Kevin Martin and Denver wont have Melo so sharing the ball (which is starting to really catch on) will once again play an important role.
- Defense. The Nuggets defense has picked up over the past few games and after holding the Cavs to just 97 points that gives the Nuggets cofidence that they can shut down high octane offenses. (as reader "hvino" points out ... the Nuggets defense was atrocious against the Warriors for all but the last 2 minutes of that game. Denver did have a stronger defensive effort against the Jazz and last night against the Cavs ... hopefully it'll carry over tonight.)
- Play smart. With Billups back Denver has their floor general back and that should help in key momentum swing periods during the game.
Denver could use a winning streak and although the Kings are young and can score ... the Nuggets have to find a way to beat them tonight. The win last night was great and it's too bad we can't enjoy it a bit longer, but in the NBA games come at you in a hurry ... it's time to get back to playing winning basketball.
Photo courtesy of AP Photos: Steve Yeater.