How did that setting the clock ahead thing go for everyone? Hopefully the Memphis Grizzlies, after losing last night in Phoenix against the Suns, the additional loss of an hour of sleep helps the Nuggets avenge two heartbreaking losses earlier in this year.
Denver: 23-18 (12-9 at home)
Streak: Won 1
Memphis: 23-16 (8-11 on the road)
Streak: Lost 1
Denver: Rudy Fernandez (lower back strain) is doubtful. Timofey Mozgov (left ankle sprain) is day-to-day. Kosta Koufos (knee tendinitis) is day-to-day.
Memphis:is day to day
Season Series: 0-2 Memphis
Opposition's Take: Straight Outta Vancouver
I'll make this simple. The Nuggets need to win this game. BADLY. Not only to keep their current streak going, but to remove the hex of two close losses to Memphis. Two games the Nuggets should have won.
The last game stings particularly, because it came while the Nuggets were missing alot of their roster (with Danilo Gallinari, Nene Hilario, Rudy Fernandez out) and they made one of the best comebacks in Nuggets history, coming back from 23 points down in the second half. Yet, they lost at the buzzer on a Dante Cunningham put-back of a Rudy Gay missed jumper. It was heartbreaking.
Yet, one comes away with the feeling that Memphis isn't exactly a "better" team than the Nuggets, just one that happens to be more fortunate. Before you say it, yes, I understand all about "execution" down the stretch and whatnot ... but don't sit there and tell me you got this overwhelming feeling that Memphis was the better team when you watched those games. They weren't and in my opinion are not. I understand that Marc Gasol is every Stiff's dream. I understand that Mike Conley is a good (not great) point guard. Rudy Gay is a good scorer, and O.J. Mayo has some good moments off the bench. Yes, you can say that Tony Allen is a good shut down defensive two guard who can play bigger than he is. All that is understood...
Yet, if the Nuggets take care of business in both games they win. No counter-argument can be acceptable. This is the time the Nuggets have to get that bad taste out of their mouths. The game is at home. The Nuggets are rested and the Grizzlies are coming from Phoenix on the second night of a back to back, and as stated above they lost an hour's sleep due to Daylight Savings.
No excuses. Nuggets must execute better, and win.
Nuggets of Wisdom
Nene and Gallo have continued to try to work themselves back in to game shape with each subsequent outing. Nene looked more solid on Friday against the Hornets than he has in awhile. Meanwhile, Gallo continues to struggle offensively but was FAR more aggressive on Friday than he was the previous two games. It will be a long process for both players, particularly for Gallo who's ankle is clearly not 100%. The Nuggets need him, however, and once he becomes more comfortable the better the Nuggets offense will be.
Arron Afflalo had himself a good game on Friday, and he is slowly becoming more consistent as the games go by. Ty Lawson will continue to have good games as long as he stays consistently aggressive. Al Harrington had his best game in awhile on Wednesday against the Cavs, and had an ok game against the Hornets. I hope that Al get's more rest soon and is not played so much as the season goes on. When Al was having limited minutes he was more affective than he is when he is overused.
The second half of the Nuggets homestand is far more difficult than the first half. In a way this is good because it's pretty clear the Nuggets have been taking perceived inferior competition lightly. Let's see how the Nuggets respond going forward to more intensive competition starting tonight with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Twitter: @jmorton78 https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78