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Nuggets vs Bucks Preview: Hi, my name is...

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A slightly reconstituted Denver Nuggets team comes out of the break with a pair of weekend roadies. First up: the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Untouchables. Coming soon to a theatre near you.
The Untouchables. Coming soon to a theatre near you.
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Game 54: 2014-15 NBA Season
@

20-33 (8-19 on road)
Series 0-0
30-23 (15-10 at home)
Feb. 20, 2015
Bradley Center - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
6:30 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Ty Lawson PG Tyler Ennis
Danilo Gallinari
SG Giannis Antetokounmpo

Wilson Chandler
SF Khris Middleton
Kenneth Faried PF Jared Dudley
Jusuf Nurkic
C Zaza Pachulia
Notes

You're already here!
Blogs Brew Hoop
Jameer Nelson - day to day (achilles)
Injuries Michael Carter-Wiliams - doubtful (toe), John Henson - hopeful (ankle), Jerryd Bayless - day to day (hip), Kenyon Martin - day to day (ankle), Larry Sanders - out indefinitely (personal), Jabari Parker - out for season (knee), Damien Inglis - out for season (foot)

The Nuggets have won the last eight meetings between the two teams, but...

Etc...

Milwaukee has won its last six home games.

Introductions will be in order tonight when your Denver Nuggets come out of the All-Star break in Milwaukee against the Bucks. Both teams made trades at the deadline, and between new players, injuries, shifts, and possible player punishments, there may be a new cast of characters in a few spots on the floor tonight for both teams.

For the Bucks, they've traded for last seasons' Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams. An interesting trade for them, as Carter-Williams may not yet be playing at the level Brandon Knight was for the Bucks this season, but may be a better long-term solution, in this nice writeup by Brew Hoops' Frank Madden. No matter what Carter-Williams long-term success with the Bucks becomes, that story will not start with the Nuggets, as he's out tonight with a toe injury. He headlines the list of the Bucks walking wounded, with seven players on the injured list. Backup Jerryd Bayless is also not a sure thing, so the point may be a floating target for Milwaukee tonight. Guessing Jason Kidd will be tempted to try "player-coach" tonight if Bayless is out.

For your Nuggets, Arron Afflalo, JaVale McGee, and Alonzo Gee all depart, with McGee gone in a salary dump to the Philadelphia 76ers, as reported by Stiffs own Nate Timmons, and AAA and Alonzo off to the Portland Trail Blazers. In addition to some nice picks, the Nuggets pick up the young trio of Thomas Robinson (bought out, not with team), Victor Claver, and Will Barton from Portland. It's unclear how much game time Barton or Claver might see on the night, though you will see changes in the loss of Afflalo. You might expect Randy Foye to be tonight's AAA-replacement-starter for Denver, but coach Shaw has hinted at a plan of starting Danilo Gallinari. Who knows, we might even see time for youngsters Gary Harris and Erick Green. Oh yeah, and then we get to the matter of that possible punishment.

Though it appears Brian Shaw and Ty Lawson have caught up about what happened to Ty's travel plans, according to the Denver Post, whether or not he'll be punished for said travel trouble is still up in the air before further discussion. That there hadn't been immediate communication when it first occurred is still curious, as apparently both gentlemen own phones and are capable of using them for other purposes. Maybe a lost number. If Ty doesn't go for the Nuggets tonight, Jameer Nelson is reported to be ready after missing a few games with an achilles injury.

Also to be seen is how Shaw will handle his backup center staffing, with a sudden glut of power forwards, as covered by Stiffs writer Jeff Morton. Two names joined the Nuggets yesterday at a position that was already wide but shallow. Headlining that new list, Euro-stud Joffrey Lauvergne is signed, and could be available tonight. Please bring your programs and a number two pencil.

It should be interesting to see how personnel changes affect a season that's already had it's challenges. The Bucks are a couple spots ahead of their usual spot in the Eastern Conference's playoff race, and Denver will have some interesting subplots over these last 29 games. Who's going to play tonight, Nuggets Nation? Can we win this thing? If we played Gallo at the point, could we start five power forwards (Gallo has played the 4 before)? This season is taking on the flavor of: "tune in next episode, to see what other interesting twists may occur."