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Pelicans vs Nuggets preview: Forgetting Friday

Denver looks to bounce back from its worst loss of the season

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Game 22: 2013-14 NBA Season


11-10 (4-5 road)
Series 0-0
13-9 (6-3 home)
December 15th, 2013
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
6:00 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Jrue Holliday PG Ty Lawson
Eric Gordong SG Randy Foye
Al Farouq-Aminu SF Wilson Chandler
Ryan Anderson PF Kenneth Faried
Jason Smith C J.J. Hickson
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Anthony Davis (hand) is out, Tyreke Evans (ankle) is questionable Injuries Danilo Gallinari (knee) is out, JaVale McGee (leg fracture) is out

Pelicans have won 3 out of 5 since losing Anthony Davis

Stat The Nuggets have averaged 91.7 points per game while losing 3 out of their last 5

The Nuggets fell to the wisdom of the prophetic Scott Hastings and dropped their first game back from a long road trip on Friday Night. The 103-93 loss came to the team with the worst record in all of basketball. Now, Denver must turn its attention from Gordon Hayward and the Jazz to Eric Gordon and the steady Pelicans.

New Orleans comes to Denver riding a three game road winning streak, despite losing big man Anthony Davis for a month or two. Overall, the switch from Hornet to Pelican has worked out nicely, as the team continues to emerge and stay above water, as Pelicans do. A win tonight would move the squad two games above .500 and further into contention in a crowded Western Conference. The backcourt duo of Jrue Holliday and Eric Gordon merged for 45 points (27 from Gordon) in Friday night's 104-98 win over the Grizzlies. In contrast, the Nuggets starting guards Ty Lawson and Randy Foye were bizarrely blanked on Friday the 13th.

It's no stretch to say the Nuggets will need a better performance from their tandem of guards (Lawson in particular) in order to bring home a win tonight. The contest will also pose a challenge for Kenneth Faried, who has seen his minutes dwindle in the past few weeks in part because of his ineffectiveness matching up against "stretch fours." New Orleans starting power forward Ryan Anderson is the prototype of this profile player. He averages 21.4 points per game to lead all Pelicans but has always made his name from downtown with blistering three point shooting (averaging 45% on 7.9 attempts per game this year).

For Denver, slow starts and a dip in scoring has sent the team in to a December malaise. The team would be best to turn things around in a hurry, as the schedule looks much tougher during the second half of the month. The Nuggets have already suffered one "bad loss" on the homestand. Not taking care of business against an Anthony Davis-less New Orleans team they have owned on their home court the last few years would certainly fall into the "bad loss" category.

Coach Brian Shaw has hinted at a change in the starting lineup. We'll see if the first year head man has some magic up his sleeve to jump start his team's first half performance tonight.