With an 0-2 start to the Summer League, the Nuggets will play their last "regular season" game tonight against Otto Porter, Glen Rice Jr. and the rest of the Washington Wizards. The Nuggets will be without Jordan Hamilton, who is attending his cousin's funeral in Los Angeles today.
Without Hamilton, the Nuggets will use yet another starting lineup. In the first game on July 13th against the Bucks: Erick Green, Evan Fournier, Jordan Hamilton, and Quincy Miller were joined by O.D. Anosike in the starting lineup. Anosike was replaced with Kyle Barone on July 15th against the Bulls and tonight we will see a different combination.
We could see a more traditional lineup as Lester Conner could elect to slide Quincy Miller to the small forward spot, instead of power forward, and Anosike could return alongside Barone. No matter who starts, the Nuggets will be busy trying to adjust and find some chemistry on the fly. Hamilton has been the team's best rebounder, alongside Quincy, so we'll need to see guys step up on the glass. Anosike led the NCAA in back-to-back years in the rebounding department, but he has only recorded 2 total rebounds in approximately 23 minutes.
It's likely that we could see Luke Harangody start as he has been Denver's most productive big man. He's a gritty player that came out of the locker room draped in ice packs last night. He has struggled on the defensive end, but has proved to be a reliable scorer for the team with his experience with the Celtics and Cavaliers and the NBA DL's Canton Charge and Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
What to watch for tonight:
1.) Erick Green has been taking his performances pretty hard. You can tell the young fella wants to play better and I heard he even tried to get back into the gym after the first game to get some shots up. He has a tremendous work ethic and his shot came back to him a little bit against the Bulls (3-4 from deep), so look for him to try to be even more aggressive against the Wizards.
2.) Evan Fournier - can he follow up on his 20 points with another productive effort? The NBA schedule is often brutal with back-to-backs so let's see if Fours can be consistent.
3.) Quincy Miller - perhaps sliding over to small forward would work in his favor. Take some defensive pressure off and let's see what he can do on the offensive end. He has been struggling with his shot, but he just needs to keep on shooting. He has done good work on the glass and in post-defense. Look for him in one-on-one defensive settings and how he covers smaller guys - if he gets that match-up.
4.) Who will step up in Hamilton's absence?
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