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Preview: Nuggets go from Bullish to Bearish

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The Denver Nuggets come home to see if they can gain some traction on home turf

Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos. Old teammates might see some time against each other tonight.
Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos. Old teammates might see some time against each other tonight.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Game 34: 2014-15 NBA Season
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24-8 (11-4 on road)
Series 0-0
13-20 (9-8 at home)
Jan. 3, 2014
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
7:00 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Mike Conley
PG Ty Lawson
Courtney Lee
SG Arron Afflalo
Tony Allen
SF Wilson Chandler
Jon Leuer PF Kenneth Faried
Marc Gasol
C Timofey Mozgov
Notes
Grizzly Bear Blues Blogs You're here!
Zach Randolph - knee (day-to-day)
Injuries Darrell Arthur - leg (day-to-day), Danilo Gallinari - knee (out), JaVale McGee - leg (out), Randy Foye - quad (out)
The Grizzlies recent barometer has been beyond the arc. In their three game winning streak, they've shot 44.4% from three. In the four-game losing streak prior, only 22.4%.
Etc... The Nuggets are rarely threatening a .500 record at home this late into the season.

Your Denver Nuggets limp back to the Pepsi Center tonight on the heels of a three-game losing streak, most recently having given one away to the Chicago Bulls on New Years' Day at the United Center. The Nuggets have faced some quality opponents during that stretch, with the number two and three seeds (Toronto Raptors and Chicago, respectively) in the East a part of that trio, and a stink bomb against the L.A. Lakers at home in between.

Memphis, on the other hand, brings a winning streak into the Pepsi Center, having won their last three after a four-game slide sent them tumbling from having the league's best record. Their quick righting of the ship during injuries to Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph have only shown how potent a squad the Grizzlies have become, and what an challenge the Nuggets are facing tonight. A few keys to getting a win against the West's current third seed:

Bear down on D:
The Nuggets defense has been leaky-to-porous of late, after signs of something decent earlier in the season. Memphis has been feasting on offense in their last few games, and Denver needs to make things tough on the Grizzlies shooters with extra effort and communication on defense.

Bear with what's there:
The Nuggets have had troubling luck this year with stars coming back from injury to have big games against them this season, but if Zach Randolph does not play tonight, Kenneth Faried looks to have an advantage rarely given him against this tough Grizzlies squad. Memphis has been tough defensively for many years, but have sacrificed some of that to improve on the offensive end of the court. The Nuggets should take the shots Memphis affords them in the flow of the game, and try to keep getting penetration down low, even to open up the floor.

Bear down on the gas pedal:
Memphis is coming off of a close 109-106 win at the Los Angeles Lakers last night to finish up a back-to-back roadie against the Nugs this evening. Memphis had to play some extended bench minutes last night in the win, and look like they could be a little thin right now with guys playing through aches and pains. The Nuggets, while short-handed as well, would do well to run the Grizzlies all night, and see how much they have left in the tank for the fourth quarter.

How do you see tonight's game shaping up, Nuggets Nation? Been a rough go thus far, but some glimmers of hope amongst this squad, and the Nuggets have proven to be surprising several times this season. GO NUGGETS!