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Preview: Denver Nuggets Challenge The New York Knicks At The Garden

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Fresh off a complete thrashing of the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, the Denver Nuggets are looking for their second straight (one more and it's a streak) victory in Madison Square Garden.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Game 9: 2014-15 NBA Season

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2-6 (1-3 on road)
Series 0-0
2-8 (1-5 at home)
Nov. 16, 2014
Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
11:00 AM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Ty Lawson PG Shane Larkin
Arron Afflalo SG J.R. Smith
Wilson Chandler
SF Tim Hardaway Jr.
Kenneth Faried PF Carmelo Anthony
Timofey Mozgov C Samuel Dalembert
Notes
You're Here -- WELCOME!!!
Blogs Posting and Toasting
Randy Foye (knee) - day-to-day Injuries Jose Calderon (calf) - Out, Andrea Bargnani (hamstring) - Out, Iman Shumpert (hip) - Doubtful

Denver have a 10 point per game scoring advantage over the Knicks (102-92)

Etc...

The Knicks have a 10 point per game points against advantage over the Nuggets (98-108).

On Friday night in Indianapolis the Nuggets had their most complete game of the season.  In total, there were seven Nuggets who scored in double-figures including Gary Harris, who made his NBA debut just 16 miles from his hometown of Fishers, Indiana.

Fresh off a must needed win and a nice day off in NYC, the Nuggets are taking on another team that is struggling as much or even more so in the New York Knickerbockers.  After getting blitzed by the Bulls to open the season the Knicks went on to beat the Cavaliers and the Hornets in back-to-back games.  Since then though they have dropped seven games in a row, the last four by seven points or less (the last two by two points).

Exploitable Match-Up: Lawson vs. Larkin

Without Jose Calderon in the lineup, Derek Fisher has turned to Shane Larkin to run the point for the time being.  Larkin is an extremely poor defender, with stiff hips and might actually have concrete in his shoes.  He allowed Trey Burke to have his best overall game of the season on Friday night (and it wasn't even a great game). Against Washington, Larkin was beat off the dribble by Andre Miller.  Yep, 106 year old, Andre Miller.

Okay, maybe he isn't that old.

We know the Nuggets tend to go how Ty goes and this is the most exploitable match-up the Nuggets.

Another area of exploitation that needs to happen is on the benches.  If Iman Shumpert is out as expected, that eliminates the Knicks biggest scoring threat off the bench.  Amar'e Stoudemire is their next biggest threat off the bench.  Would it also surprise you that 72.5% of the Nuggets (74 of the 102) points per game come from the bench?  The Knicks' bench generates about 37% of the Knicks scoring.

Faried vs. Anthony

The Knicks are extremely reliant on Carmelo Anthony, they need his scoring to stay competitive in games.  Without him ... things get ugly extremely quickly.  Anthony is not interested in playing defense, is not the most physical of players and has been goaded into foul trouble a few times this season.  Sadly, in those games he scored 25 points or more.  In those contests opponents did not have a typical banging power forward.  He was able to match-up with a stretch four.

In the contests against a more traditional power forward, one that tends to play the low block more, bang, rebound and the like, Anthony has only averaged two fouls a game, but he was forced to expended so much energy on defense he has only averaged 16 points in those games.

Final Thought

The Nuggets need to take advantage of another banged up team out on the road.  The Knicks are struggling in their transition into the new triangle offense and have long scoring droughts during games.  It will be up to Brian Shaw and the coaches to make sure the Nuggets take advantage of a team that has only scored 100 points just once this season.