The Pelicans franchise player has formally requested a trade, with either the Knicks or Lakers as his preferred destination, a move that sent shockwaves through the NBA and cost the former Kentucky Wildcat a cool $50,000.
But he’s also out with an injury, so the Nuggets don’t have anything to fear in regards to one of the top players in the league.
Who: Denver Nuggets (34-15) vs New Orleans Pelicans (23-28)
When: 6:00 PM MDT
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
How to watch: Altitude, NBA League Pass, Reddit
How to Listen: Altitude Radio 92.5 FM
Rival Blog: The Bird Writes
|PG||Will Barton||Frank Jackson||Nuggets|
|SG||Gary Harris||Jrue Holiday||Even|
|SF||Torrey Craig||Darius Miller||Even|
|PF||Paul Millsap||Solomon Hill||Nuggets|
|C||Nikola Jokic||Jahlil Okafor||Nuggets|
|BENCH||Monte Morris, Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Trey Lyles, Mason Plumlee||Kenrich Williams, Tim Frazier, Ian Clark, Cheick Diallo, Wes Johnson||Nuggets|
Injuries: Jamal Murray (out - ankle), Michael Porter Jr. (out - back), Isaiah Thomas (out - hip); Anthony Davis (out - hand), E’Twaun Moore (questionable - tanking), Elfrid Payton (out - ankle), Julius Randle (out - ankle), Nikola Mirotic (out - calf strain).
Three things to watch
Play strong. The Nuggets should be able to win this game fairly easily. The Pelicans did manage to beat the Rockets on the road in their last game, but the Rockets shot just 39.6 percent from the field that game. Denver is at a point in their season where they just can’t have that kind of performance. The Nuggets should be able to slice up the Pelicans defense with ease. Come out fast, come out strong, and put this thing to bed in the third quarter.
Beasley getting run. The Pelicans are going to be stretched thin due to injury, and their backups are going to be giving it everything they’ve got to compete with the Nuggets starters. Players like Ian Clark or Frank Jackson shouldn’t be able to guard Beasley on the perimeter or in transition. If Beasley can get his offense going, penetrating into the defense and knocking down jumpers, that should be a heavy enough punch to knock the Pelicans out.
Perimeter defense. New Orleans is going to need to score 120 points to have a chance at winning tonight. If Denver can keep a bunch of mediocre shooters from finding a rhythm and catching fire on their home court, that’ll go a long ways towards helping them string together a couple runs.
Nuggets 130 - Pelicans 101