Before the start of this eight game home stand, the Denver Nuggets put forth a goal of going 6-2 over the eight games. A 3-1 start put them on the right path, but the loss to the Thunder means they need to win their next three games - including tonight's contest against the Memphis Grizzlies - in order to reach that goal. The challenge for the Nuggets is to find a way to combat the blue bears inside while not letting them set the pace of the game. Memphis wants to slow it down, set up, and punish you physically in the half court. Denver, on the other hand, want a faster pace. They want to get early looks against a defense still setting up, even if they aren't able to get an outright fast break bucket.
On that note, one thing that has been encouraging over this home stand is an improvement in the consistency of the half court offense. There are still segments of the game where it bogs down and they settle too much for long jumpers without ever penetrating below the foul line, but overall we've seen those times less and less often. If the Nuggets end up succumbing to the Grizzlies pace (and it should be noted that Memphis is really, really good at dictating the pace of the game...like amazingly good), all is not necessarily lost, it just makes it a more difficult proposition. Execute in the half court. Continue to move both ball and man. Know who it is that is defending you (I'm looking at you, Gary Harris...Tony Allen is going to never give up). In other words, maintain that never give up mentality that has become more and more apparent as the season has continued.