After a disappointing second half versus the Orlando Magic, the Denver Nuggets look to start a new winning streak against the young, talented, and tall Minnesota Timberwolves. In their first meeting this year, on the home opener, the Nuggets wilted, and shied away from the uber-long Wolves. Denver stopped taking the ball into the paint at all, instead settling for a series of contested mid-range jumpers. Unsurprisingly, Minnesota trounced the Nuggets 95-78, led by the 28 point, 14 rebound performance of #1 overall pick, Karl-Anthony Towns.
That game set a precedent that has continued throughout the first quarter of the season. Be physical on the perimeter with the Nuggets and challenge them at the rim, and Denver will stop playing team offense. Instead, they will degenerate into taking turns playing iso basketball with very, very limited success. Perhaps, seeing this team for the second time, the Nuggets can garner some lessons watching film (if they haven't burned it) of that first game. At some point, the lessons - delivered through the pain and suffering of five point quarters and bucketfuls of missed buckets - of this early season will take root. Whether this is the game where we begin to see a refusal to settle when things get tough or not, we should at least hope that the Nuggets don't play as scared as they did in the first game.