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Preview: Denver Nuggets host the Washington Wizards

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Fresh off a dominant defensive performance against the Kings, the Nuggets host the explosive Wizards Monday night.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

What a whirlwind the first week of the season was for the Nuggets, with a great offensive performance for three quarters on the road against the Jazz and then five quarters of flat offense.

What matters most is that the Nuggets were able to get a win against the Kings on their home court, and they’ll look to be victorious here a second time this season against John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards.

The Basics

Who: Washington Wizards (2-0) at Denver Nuggets (1-1)

When: Monday, October 23 at 7:00 PM MST

Where: Pepsi Center in Denver, CO

How to watch: Altitude

Rival blog: Bullets Forever

Injury report: DEN: none. WAS: Markieff Morris (out), Jason Smith (out)

What to Watch

Can the Nuggets backcourt defend? This isn’t limited to just Murray and Harris either. We’ve seen Will Barton get a lot of minutes in the first two games, and Mudiay will get minutes as well. Wall is one of, if not the most, fastest players in the league, nearly impossible to defend in the halfcourt let alone in transition. Bradley Beal has developed his game and is beginning to be an improved playmaker, adding that element to his superb shooting ability.

The Nuggets guards will have to fight through screens from Marcin Gortat, one of the best in the business at stopping defenders in their path with his powerful frame. There’s not as much to worry about for the second unit - hopefully Will Barton will be able to make hay there.

Let the Manimal out of the cage. Kenneth Faried is showing why he deserves minutes in the rotation with his play of late, threatening to push Mason Plumlee down the rotation. His energy on offense ignites the second unit, giving them much needed fire and competitive spirit. He’s demonstrated he can play well with Nikola Jokic, and looks to be a positive piece alongside Paul Millsap. As the league continues to downsize, he becomes more and more effective as a center.

Hopefully the coaching staff will play players with talent and fit over players with large contracts.

Can Wilson Chandler get funky. Our resident vegan has not gotten off to a strong start to the season. He’s averaging seven points a game on 31.6 percent shooting, but his rebounding and assist numbers are fine. Chandler is a strong isolation player, and has the ability to stretch the floor. It seems to me to the issue is just a chemistry one - he’s trying to find his role next to Millsap and Jokic, an issue that plagues most of the lineup.

If Chandler can have a strong night, it’ll be impressive, because Otto Porter Jr. is not an easy matchup for him. If Chandler can win that, it could be the difference maker for the Nuggets.