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Preview: Denver Nuggets head across town to Brooklyn to take on the Nets

After defeating the Knicks on Sunday the Nuggets hang around to face the Nets, hoping to win two in a row in the Five Boroughs

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday was a pretty good day for Denver sports.  The Broncos won a somewhat-important football game, and the Nuggets handed the New York Knicks a defeat that ended with the Knicks firing coach Derek Fisher not 24 hours later.  So what can the Nuggets do as an encore for a victory-gorged Rocky Mountain region?  Handle their business and the hapless Nets and continue Denver's momentum heading into the All-Star break.

The Nuggets have won four of their last six and have a winning record over their last 15 games, while the Nets have lost 11 of 13.  Both teams have suffered similar devastating injuries that have helped derail their seasons, but the Nuggets seem to be overcoming theirs of late while the Nets are sinking, and even Brook Lopez's 20 points a game cannot buoy them.  If the Nuggets can treat Brook the way they treated his brother Robin yesterday (5 points, 5 rebounds, 4 personal fouls), this game is eminently winnable.

The Basics:

Who: Denver Nuggets (21-31) at Brooklyn Nets (13-39)

When: 5:30 PM MST

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY

How to watch: Altitude TV

Rival blog: Nets Daily

Brooklyn Nets Denver Nuggets Advantage
PG Donald Sloan Emmanuel Mudiay Nuggets
SG Wayne Ellington Gary Harris Even
SF Joe Johnson Danilo Gallinari Nuggets
PF Thaddeus Young Kenneth Faried Even
C Brook Lopez Nikola Jokic Nets
Bench

Thomas Robinson, Andrea Bargnani, Shane Larkin, Bojan Bogdanovic, Markel Brown

Will BartonJusuf NurkicRandy FoyeJoffrey LauvergneMike MillerDarrell ArthurJ.J. Hickson Nuggets

Injured players: Darrell Arthur - questionable (quad), Jameer Nelson - out (wrist),Wilson Chandler - out (hip), Jarrett Jack - out (knee), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson - out (ankle), Willie Reed - questionable (groin), Chris McCullough - questionable (knee)

Three Thoughts:

1) Let the Nets do what they do. Brooklyn shoots the most 2-pointers in the league, and they're terrible at it (22nd in 2-point FG%).  They don't get to the line (29th in free throw attempts).  They're terrible at shooting or making threes, and are 19th in defensive rebounds.  If the Nuggets play their usual winning brand of rebound, dish and attack the paint on offense, while limiting their stupid-foul quotient, the Nets should be there for the taking.

2) Don't let Brooklyn find a third option. Lopez and Young are the extent of Brooklyn's regular offense.  Jarrett Jack is done for the season, and Joe Johnson is a shell of his former self who only pokes his head out every 4th game or so.  Denver needs to corral the other scoring options and attempt to get Lopez into foul trouble.  With Denver's penchant for high-scoring games recently, a Nets team that cannot deploy Lopez for 34 minutes a game will have trouble both slowing the Nugget attack and keeping up in the scoring category.

3) No New York letdown. Michael Malone said in his Knicks post-game press conference that he hoped his guys would wait to enjoy New York's nightlife until after the Brooklyn game.  With no Ty Lawson on this team, hopefully the guys enjoyed the Super Bowl and managed to get back to their rooms before dawn, and will be at full strength for tonight's game.  There are a lot of young players who could go out on the town to celebrate rather than stay in and handle their business, but we'll see which Nuggets show up at tip-off.

Prediction: The Nuggets stay focused, Lopez and Nurkic get a couple of technical fouls, and Denver prevails 107-95.

Also, in case you missed the game yesterday due to a Super Bowl party, here's a highlight package just for you: