The Denver Nuggets wrap up a five-game road trip against the Orlando Magic tonight trying to salvage a trip which started so promisingly in New Orleans against the Hornets. That double-overtime victory seems to have sapped the energy the Nuggets had been playing with since the promotion of interim coach Melvin Hunt. Now three games into a slide, Denver hopes to right the ship against an Orlando team which only recently stopped a slide of their own.
Orlando is one of the seven teams in the league with a worse record than the Nuggets, but have shown signs of life in the second half of their season. It's been a season of skids for both teams, to the point of skid marks for everyone. New coaches, injuries galore, and lost seasons make today's contest one of those games: a game of interest solely to their two devoted fan bases.
Areas of interest if the Nuggets want to win this afternoon:
Get to the Point: The Magic have seen some inspired play from point guard Elfrid Payton of late, where the Nuggets' Ty Lawson has had a few lackluster moments. The Nuggets could use a revitalized Ty in tonight's game to counteract Payton's rising star.
Win the battle of the "itch"es: Nurkic vs. Vucevic, that is. Nurkic is still shaking off some rust from his ankle injury, but has shown signs of progress over his reintroduction to the court. A big game from the Bosnian Beast could certainly scratch a Nuggets itch for a win to wrap up the roadie.
Keep them in the Hunt: Coach Melvin Hunt came out of the gates hot, not only inspiring the team with a relaxed offensive flow, but coaching them well with timely breaks and inbound plays. Moreover, he had them playing some defense to boot. But the wear and tear of a long trip, double overtime, and two back-to-backs have slowed the defensive progress the team had shown as Hunt came in. Hopefully Coach has a few tricks up his sleeve to get the good guys back in the "W" column.
What's better than a lazy Sunday afternoon with your Denver Nuggets playing their first game of Spring? What do you hope to see out of today's game, Nuggets Nation?