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Nuggets bear down against Memphis Grizzlies

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On the second night of a back-to-back, the Denver Nuggets enter the lair of the Grizzlies in an attempt to slay the 2nd place team in the Western Conference.

Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Randolph pal around
Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Randolph pal around
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Game 68: 2014-15 NBA Season

@

26-41 (10-22 on road)
Series 1-1
46-20 (25-7 at home)
March 16th, 2015
FedExForum - Memphis, TN
6:00 PM MT
Altitude / 104.3 FM

Jameer Nelson (?) PG Beno Udrih
Randy Foye SG Courtney Lee
Wilson Chandler SF Jeff Green
J.J. Hickson (?)
PF Zach Randolph
Jusuf Nurkic C Marc Gasol
Notes
Denver Stiffs Blogs Grizzly Bear Blues

None

Injuries

Mike Conley Jr. - Questionable (Ankle Sprain)

Denver has two 5-game winning streaks already this season, a win tonight would be their third such streak. Etc... Memphis has a 1-game lead over Portland for the #2 seed in the NBA Playoffs

Update: According to Chris Dempsey, Nuggets will rest Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried, and Danilo Gallinari

The last time these two teams met, Memphis led wire-to-wire in an absolute drubbing.  Denver put up a season low 69 points as the Grizzlies won by 30.  Not long after this performance, paired with a loss to the lowly 76ers, then head coach Brian Shaw suggested his players were trying to lose on purpose.  After ripping off four straight victories against opponents like the Eastern Conference leading Atlanta Hawks, Western Conference leading Warriors, and a road win against the playoff worthy New Orleans Pelicans, to the chagrin of many Nugget fans, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Nuggets are on the second game of a road-road back-to-back.  Last night they played ten extra minutes battling a Pelican team fighting for their playoff lives in double overtime.  Memphis had last night off and are looking to get out of a recent rut.  The Grizzlies are 5-6 in their last 11 games.  Mike Conley Jr. is questionable, and if he sits again tonight they will certainly be more vulnerable.  But even without their offensive conductor leading the charge, a Nugget victory would be a tall order.  Memphis is a hostile environment, as the team had a streak of 22-straight regular season home wins (Denver won 23-straight in 2013).

Everyone knows Memphis plays one of the slowest paces in the NBA.  Their goal is to grind down their opponent with tough interior defense and an even tougher interior offensive attack.  Jusuf Nurkic needs to be at his nastiest tonight if Denver is to have a chance.  I have no doubt he will be up to the challenge.