clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Preview: Denver Nuggets try to give Pelicans the bird

New, comments

The up-and-coming New Orleans Pelicans migrate in to the Pepsi Center, where the Nuggets hope to extend their winning streak to a trifecta.

The Nuggets front court has their hands full this evening...
The Nuggets front court has their hands full this evening...
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Game 12: 2014-15 NBA Season
@

(6-4, 2-3 away)
Series 0-0
(4-7, 2-3 home)
November 21st, 2014
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
7:00 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Jrue Holiday
PG Ty Lawson
Eric Gordon
SG Arron Afflalo
Tyreke Evans
SF Wilson Chandler
Anthony Davis
PF Kenneth Faried
Omer Asik
C Timofey Mozgov
Notes
The Bird Writes
Blogs Look up, you're already here
Omer Asik is listed as day-to-day, but has missed the past two games with low back pain. Injuries Randy Foye, J.J. Hickson, Nate Robinson, and Danilo Gallinari are all listed as day-to-day, but have played of late as listed.
New Orleans has dropped five in a row at the Pepsi Center and eight of their last ten. A trend the Nuggets would like to extend.
Etc... If the Nuggets hadn't had such a brutal second quarter in New York, they very well could be sitting on a four game winning streak, and this game could be for .500. If.

A couple of similar and positive arcs collide tonight at the Pepsi Center when the New Orleans Pelicans come to town to face your Denver Nuggets. Each team has won three of their last four games, and was one rough quarter from four wins in a row. The Pelicans had a 34-13 meltdown in the fourth quarter at the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night, taking a 12 point advantage to a nine point loss. They stood back up the next night against a decent Sacramento Kings team, and walked out of Sacto with a 106-100 victory. Denver's meltdown came against the Knicks, as well-covered on these pages.

Denver's wins admittedly came against competition that's been struggling themselves, but they've shown a possible righting of the ship in their play on both ends of the floor of late. The Pelicans will prove a good test in that regard, as they've played well against some decent teams on this road swing. New Orleans will be looking to start strong as this kicks off a second back-to-back on their four game trip. What needs to happen for Denver to win this game? Three possibilities:

1. Eye to eye - Stay at Brow Level

Here's the quick math: (A) Anthony Davis narrowly outdueled (B) DeMarcus Cousins the other night in Sacramento. (B) DeMarcus Cousins has abused the (C) Nuggets front court twice in this young season. If (A) is greater than (B), and (B) is greater than (C), and a train leaves Chicago at 8:40 am, then (C) had better find a way to cover its A. Every Nuggets big man who plays on Davis tonight should be doing their damnedest to battle him to a draw. This will be less simple than doubling him, because...

2. Wake up the bench

The bottom line? That starting five above for New Orleans is no joke. Here's hoping that the recent emergence of Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo, and the starters means positive +/- against a very solid starting New Orleans squad. The recently-struggling Nuggets bench will need to find a way to gain some traction against Ryan Anderson and the other Pellies second teamers to help the Nuggets achieve some distance, if available.

3. Balance out the paint

New Orleans is leading the league in points in the paint this year, at nearly 50 a game. That sort of game was recently the Nuggets turf, and though they may not want to outduel the Pelicans at their own game, they need to remember it well enough to combat it. Denver's recent play has seen a tendency to move the bigs out of Ty's way a little more. Often, they'll kick a big out of the lanes, taking him lower into the paint or along the baseline. This could neutralize those clogged lanes the Pelicans like to practice for Ty and Co... Assuming that Denver's big drags one of New Orleans' bigs out of the paint as well.

What about you? What do you think gets the Nuggets out victorious tonight, fellow Stiffs? Another loss would be for the birds.