The Nuggets first game of the Las Vegas Summer League Tournament will be a familiar foe to Emmanuel Mudiay and Company. Denver and Atlanta squared off on July 10th, and behind Gary Harris' 15 points the Nuggets smashed the Hawks 86-71.
With Christopher "Don't Call Me Chris" Dempsey on site in Vegas (Adam and I are both back in Colorado), we have some game time news. Notably, it's that Denver may be without second year shooting guard Gary Harris, who is dealing with a foot issue, and is a game-time decision, according to Dempsey.
Gary Harris is dealing w/left plantar forefoot soreness & is a game-time decision for the #Nuggets summer league tilt tonight vs. Atlanta— Chris Dempsey (@dempseypost) July 16, 2015
The Nuggets did a great job in the first matchup of bottling up the Hawks offense with an active defense. Denver won the turnover battle in the first game 22-15, and taking care of the ball will be important tonight. Mudiay only committed two turnovers in the first matchup and has been stellar for the Nuggets at the point guard spot. With him on the bench, the Nuggets offense has struggled to see the same ball movement, and to play with the same sense of calm that Emmanuel brings.
Denver's big men have also been key. Both Joffrey Lauvergne and Nikola Jokic have been steady rebounding forces and have give summer league head coach Micah Nori great minutes. Lauvergne has shown to be a man among boys inside, and is a brute on the glass on both ends. He has even shown off some range from deep. Same goes for Jokic and his ability to stretch the floor. Nikola has rebounded well; and he had 6 boards vs. the Hawks in the first game, despite getting bullied a bit by the Hawks' Ed Tavares (guy is a legit 7' footer!).
Denver has also seen sharpshooting from Ian Clark and Erick Green, the two have provided Denver's bench with plenty of scoring pop. This should be a fun contest and tipoff is at 6:30 pm MST.