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Wizards vs Nuggets Preview: Wizards hit Yellow Brick Road

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A five-game losing streak finds the Nuggets at home against the Wizards, at odds themselves. We are certainly not in Kansas any more.

All around me are familiar faces. Ty Lawson and Andre Miller.
All around me are familiar faces. Ty Lawson and Andre Miller.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Game 44: 2014-15 NBA Season
@

29-15 (11-9 on road)
Series 1-0
18-25 (12-11 at home)
January 25, 2015
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
6:00 PM MT
NBA-TV/Altitude / 950 AM

John Wall
PG Ty Lawson
Bradley Beal
SG Arron Afflalo
Paul Pierce
SF Wilson Chandler
Nene Hilario
PF Kenneth Faried
Marcin Gortat
C Jusuf Nurkic
Notes
Bullets Forever
Blogs You're here!
None
Injuries Ty Lawson is day-to-day (personal reasons), and JaVale McGee (leg) is also due to return soon.
John Wall's All-Star start will be the first of his career.
Etc... A Denver loss would have them at .500 at home after 24 contests. Eesh.

Your Denver Nuggets face the Washington Wizards at the Pepsi Center tonight, with the Wizards coming in on the second night of a back-to-back, after narrowly losing in a back-and-forth affair last night against the Portland Trailblazers last night at the Moda Center. Washington was up by 12 at the end of the first quarter, but watched the lead slowly slip away, and should be tired for their second game in 24 hours.

Washington comes in having won six of their last ten games, having narrowly lost in overtime to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night before last night's loss in Portland. The Wizards are led by All-Star starter John Wall, who will be facing Ty Lawson in his return to the team, post-DUI arrest.

Speaking of Lawson and struggles, the Nuggets have been struggling of late themselves, splitting their last ten games into a five-game winning streak followed by a five-game losing streak after giving away a no-brainer against the Boston Celtics on Friday evening at the Pepsi Center. Denver let that game squeak away just as the Wizards did last night, and both teams will be looking for a better result out of tonight. What gets the Nuggets back into the win column tonight?

Trust your upgrades

Denver will be looking at the present and the past in the frontcourt, with Kenneth Faried battling Nene down low. Faried took Nene's job a couple seasons back, and there should be an intense battle in the power forward position. The Nuggets will also be looking at their future in their recent move to Jusuf Nurkic at center, who will have his hands full with fellow Eastern bloc player Marcin Gortat. The Nuggets will need strong play down low to compete with one of the East's best squads.

Heed the speed

Lawson should be back tonight, and is facing one of the league's premier point guards in Wall. Not many points can keep up with Lawson, but Wall also has speed to burn. Should be a fireworks show as these two go to town, and Lawson will need to bring an aggressive A game to hang.

Don't let up

After last night's nail biter with Portland, the Wizards will come in work mentally and physically. Denver would do well to apply some pressure all game long, as even if Washington can hang early, they should be gassed by the fourth quarter.

Going to be another uphill climb tonight for these Denver Nuggets, Stiffs faithful. We're now on the outside looking in for the playoffs, and are doing just well enough to finish outside the draft lottery as well. Hope is found of late in the nightly progress (or lack thereof), and the second half of the season could be a view into the Nuggets future, as much as anything. What do you expect for tonight's contest?

Also, don't forget! Stiffs Night Out is coming up on Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans at Jake's Food and Spirits! I'm envious of the Colorado Stiffs crew that will get to go, please join in!