Today, your Denver Nuggets play the penultimate contest in a six-game swing that has carried them from Northwest of home (Utah) to the Southwest end of the country (Orlando), finally swinging back through Dallas, all in the course of ten days.
The Nuggets have dropped three of four on the trip thus far, part of a larger trend of having lost seven of their last nine games. Early concerns over defense and turnovers have only multiplied as the season has continued, so the Nuggets could go a long way in improving their fortunes by focusing on those parts of their game.
The Magic arrived home this week fresh off a considerable road trip of their own, winning four of five, before having Boston paste them on their home court on Wednesday night, and having Charlotte do the same last night. Keep an eye on both squads tonight to see who might have any gas left in the tank.
Maybe the Nuggets can pull a rabbit out of their hat for this one.
Who: Denver Nuggets (8-15) at Orlando Magic (7-13)
When: 5:00 PM MST
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
How to watch/listen: Altitude/92.5 FM The Wolf
Rival Blog: Orlando Pinstriped Post
|PG||Jameer Nelson||D.J. Augustin||Nuggets|
|SG||Will Barton||Evan Fournier||Even|
|SF||Danilo Gallinari||Damjan Rudez?||Nuggets|
|PF||Kenneth Faried?||Aaron Gordon||Magic|
|C||Jusuf Nurkic||Serge Ibaka||Magic|
|Bench||Wilson Chandler, Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Darrell Arthur, Juancho Hernangomez, Mike Miller||Jeff Green, Elfrid Payton, CJ Watson, CJ Wilcox, Mario Hezjona, Jodie Meeks||Nuggets|
Injured players: For the Nuggets, as of this writing, Emmanuel Mudiay is still listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Gary Harris is out with an ankle injury as well. For Orlando, they may be thin up front, as both Bismack Biyombo (shoulder) and Nikola Vucevic (back) are listed as questionable. *Matchups above feature none of these four players, and may be updated as status reports come in.
Key matchup: Frontcourts
With both teams tired, and both of Orlando’s centers listed as questionable, there’s good reason for the Nuggets to put on a ton of pressure up front with their extra-deep roster of big men.
What to watch for: Kenneth Faried and Emmanuel Mudiay
Will the Manimal make it off the bench? Will Emmanuel continue to have ankle issues? Who sees the floor tonight as Michael Malone looks for pieces that fit?
Opening thought: Four good quarters
Denver needs to commit to playing tough on both sides of the floor. When this team is playing inspired defense, they are a joy to watch. Let’s hope they can string together enough quarters to the positive that we see another rare win on this road trip!