clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Preview: Nuggets look to extend winning streak against Pelicans

New, comments
NBA: Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets, fresh off a miracle win over the Grizzlies on Monday, travel down to the Crescent City to take on the Pelicans sans Anthony Davis.

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.

The Basics

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

Lineups

Projected Matchups

POS DEN NOP EDGE
POS DEN NOP EDGE
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.

Prediction

Nuggets 130 - Pelicans 101