|Game 37: 2014-15 NBA Season|
|Jan. 9, 2014|
|Sleep Train Arena - Sacramento, CA
|8:00 PM MT|
|Altitude / 950 AM
|Danilo Gallinari - knee (out), JaVale McGee - leg (out), Randy Foye - quad (out)||Injuries||Omri Casspi - knee (day-to-day), Eric Moreland - shoulder (out for season), Ramon Sessions - back (day-to-day)|
|The Nuggets won't see the Kings again until their third-to-last game in April.
||Etc...||The Kings put a 21-point whuppin' on the Oklahoma City Thunder two nights ago at home.
Early on in this Denver Nuggets season, our Nugs started the year right with a win against the Detroit Pistons, and a hard-fought loss against the Thunder at their place. Debate was still hot amongst the Stiffs faithful as to how good this team was/could be when things settled in.
And then we ran into the Sacramento Kings. A tough home-and-away later, and Denver was sitting at 1-3 three and struggling to recover. No one knew the Kings would begin their season at 9-5 with some big wins in that span against Chicago, San Antonio, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Portland.
Fortunes change for us all, though. Denver kept up its bumpy ride, and recently traded away starting center Timofey Mozgov as a byproduct of what looks to be a lost season (there's still hopers lurking amongst us, me being one). Sacramento got their center back, in form of their best player, DeMarcus Cousins, who'd sat out 10 games due to a bout with viral meningitis. During his absence, the Kings dropped eight of the 10.
Cousins took some time getting back to form, but the Kings were back to their season-opening ways on Wednesday night against the Thunder, besting them 104-83, and with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook playing in the game. It was an impressive showing for Sacramento.
The Nuggets have won their last three in a row, starting the streak with an statement game of their own against the Memphis Grizzlies last Saturday night. Denver will need that level of effort and synchronicity (plus they were shooting the lights out that night) to get a win in Sacramento. A few things I'd like to see tonight to have this contest go the Nuggets way...
Sacramento tends to win the games they tighten up on defense, and get fouls on offense. In both of those cases, it behooves the Nuggets to turn on the jets, and stay out ahead of of the Kings on both ends of the floor. Quick hands and feet, and getting out on the break where available could help the Nuggets chances. Ty Lawson needs to put on the afterburners on offense, and Wilson Chandler needs to stay ahead of Rudy Gay on D. If so, it's going to be fun.
Get to Bouncing (Back)
The team took the loss of Mozgov hard, and understandably so. But after that emotional letdown, they still squeezed a win out against the Minnesota Timberwolves. A bounceback game is now in order, or at least hoped for. We'll see early on if Denver has some wind back in their sails. The Kings often play a physical brand of basketball. If the Nuggets are already a bit edgy, you may see a hard-fought game tonight.
I know there will be ups and downs, but... Jusuf Nurkic. DeMarcus Cousins. Could. Be. Interesting.
I have also noticed that I am barely hitting 50% on my "keys to the game", though, so... What are YOUR keys, Nuggets Nation? How do we knock out the Kings in their Capitol?