Let's hope if the Nuggets get a lead in this game that they can sustain it.
Denver, coming off of two back-to-back nail-biters against Utah and Portland are hoping to show some consistency. After a disastrous 2-7 run, the Nuggets put together a 5-game winning streak that propelled them up to the .500 mark. The Utah game seen Denver jump out to a 22-point lead, only to let Utah back in the game. Ty Lawson made a double-pump jumper with 29.6 seconds left, giving the Nuggets a 103-101 win.
The Portland game was more of the same. The Nuggets squandered a 14-point lead in the second half, and Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge assisted on a Robin Lopez lay up with 1.3 seconds left. Portland won 105-103.
|Game 19: 2014-15 NBA Season|
|Dec. 5, 2014|
|Verizon Center - Washington, DC
|5:00 PM MT|
|Altitude / 950 AM
|Ty Lawson||PG||John Wall|
|Arron Afflalo||SG||Bradley Beal|
|Wilson Chandler||SF||Paul Pierce|
|Kenneth Faried||PF||Kris Humphries|
|Timofey Mozgov||C||Marcin Gortat|
|Denver Stiffs||Blogs||Bullets Forever|
|Jusuf Nurkic (not w/ team personal reasons), Darrell Arthur (Day-To-Day), Danilo Gallinari (Day-To-Day), Randy Foye (out)||Injuries||Nene Hilario (Out), Martell Webster (Out), Paul Pierce (Day-To-Day)|
|Denver has won 11 of the past 14 games against the Wizards.||Etc...||Paul Pierce can pass Reggie Miller for 16th on the all-time scoring list with 25 points.|
This game with Washington should be an interesting one. Back in March of 2012, JaVale McGee arrived from Washington in a three team trade, where Nene Hilario arrived from Denver to D.C., and guard Nick Young (SWAGGY P!!!) went to the Lakers. Now both McGee and Hilario are out due to injury, though Nene has seen much more success than McGee at this point.
Given the Nuggets struggles with the back up point guard position (particularly in the Blazers game), it's fitting that this contest will feature the other Washington-Denver trade. Andre Miller was sent to D.C. in a trade deadline deal last season for Jan Vesely(!), who left the NBA as a free agent.
Washington is riding a modest three-game win streak after the return of starting shooting guard Bradley Beal's (injury). Their offense (albeit against the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers) has been on fire, but their defense (see the win over the New Orleans Pelicans) has been the real story. The Wizards are allowing only 87.0 points and holding opponents to 40.3% shooting during their streak.
Key Matchup: Ty Lawson vs. John Wall
Ty Lawson's play is the tip of the spear for Denver. Lawson is averaging 17.8 points and an astounding 11.8 assists in the last five games. John Wall is averaging 11.0 assists in his last five games, as well, including games of 13 and 15 dimes against the Heat and Lakers.
This has all the indications that it will be a fast-paced, high scoring game. Wall might not spend all his time guarding the quicker Lawson, but expect to see Paul Pierce, and maybe Bradley Beal on him as well. In any case, the Wizards do not have a great defender to send against Lawson on a regular basis.
Lawson's ability to get to the rim against a Wizards' defense that ranks 2nd in opponent FGM at the Rim per game (10.1) and 4th in Opp FGA at the Rim per game (19.7) is going to be a key in getting the Nuggets easy buckets. The Nuggets currently rank 19th in three point percentage, and easy buckets created by Ty are a necessity tonight.
Wall on the other hand should see time against Arron Afflalo more than Lawson, as his perimeter size is a good match up against the 6'4" point guard. I won't go into detail, but when Wall is slowed down, the Wizards offense suffers and so does their ability to win games (see this chart listed at HoopStats.com).
This should go the way of which point guard stands out above his contemporary.
The Wizards have been on a tear at home. Look for the minutes that Lawson has been logging (37.0 minutes per game in the last five, including 41.0 in the last two) to somewhat catch up, and the Wizards to take advantage on the defensive end late to pull out a 111-103 win.