Denver Nuggets games this week:
Monday, 10/28: Nuggets @ Sacramento Kings (0-3)
The Kings have struggled to open the season, losing all three of their games, including two by 25 points. Sacramento is currently clocking in at 29th in Offensive Rating and 27th in Defensive Rating and have looked about as bad as a team can look. With Marvin Bagley out for the foreseeable future due to injury, the Kings are relying on Nemanja Bjelica and Dewayne Dedmon as the starting bigs, which hasn’t worked yet.
Tuesday, 10/29: Nuggets vs Dallas Mavericks (2-0)
On the other side of the spectrum, the Mavericks have come out of the gate strong. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis have combined to average 53.0 points per game in their first two games and have operated at strong efficiency. Doncic in particular looks like a new player and the exact player type that the Nuggets tend to struggle against. This is Denver’s first back-to-back of the year and could be affected by the inclement weather in the Mile High City this week.
Thursday, 10/31: Nuggets @ New Orleans Pelicans (0-3)
This was supposed to be Denver’s first look at Zion Williamson, but the Pelicans star may be out until close to Christmas after having surgery on a torn meniscus in his knee. Without him, the Pelicans have been competent but unable to grab a win yet. Brandon Ingram has jumped out to a hot start while operating as the Pelicans’ starting power forward, and Paul Millsap will have his hands full with a long, athletic scoring forward.
Saturday, 11/2: Nuggets @ Orlando Magic (1-1)
The Magic are once again off to a shaky start offensively, but they may have the best defense in the NBA. D.J. Augustin and Evan Fournier aren’t strong defenders, but the combination of Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac at the forward spots is absolutely deadly for opposing teams. The Nuggets match up well with the Magic, but a road game to Florida will always be a challenge.
Injury Report: Nothing new
The Nuggets will continue to monitor Bol Bol’s progress returning from a foot injury, but the rest of the team remains relatively healthy. Jamal Murray appeared to hurt his right hand/arm in last Wednesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, but he has not appeared on an official injury report. Every day the Nuggets stay healthy is a blessing, so let’s appreciate it while it stays that way.
Nuggets bet of the week: Nuggets (-6) over Kings
The Kings are 0-3 against the spread thus far, putting up very little fight in their three games thus far. The Nuggets match up very well with the Kings’ bigs, and any potential mismatch with Harrison Barnes at small forward is one Denver can live with. On the other end, the Nuggets should crack 120 points with a competent three-point shooting night.
Nuggets DFS play of the week: Jerami Grant versus Dallas on 10/29
The Mavericks are playing very small this year with Kristaps Porzingis at center. Maxi Kleber is in the rotation and will likely start next to him against the Nuggets, but the Mavericks aren’t playing another big man in their rotation right now. Grant should play a significant number of minutes in this one, and I expect him to put up a high point total with potential for high rebounds and blocks while protecting the rim.
Spotlight on: Gary Harris
The sixth year shooting guard has struggled offensively coming out of the gate. A higher turnover total than normal, shooting only 2 of 7 from three-point range, and zero assists in two games have affected Denver’s offense negatively. Harris is such a major part of Denver’s plans this season, and the Nuggets need him to return to his efficiency levels from previous seasons if the offense is to grow.
How he handles his matchups defensively this week (Buddy Hield, Luka Doncic, Jrue Holiday, Evan Fournier) will also likely determine Denver’s success level. This is a big week for Harris after he did an excellent job against CJ McCollum and Devin Booker in Week 1. Harris could certainly start campaigning on an All-Defense nomination if he continues to harass opposing wings at such a high level.
Stiffs tidbit: Check out the Denver Stiffs Instagram!
Stiffs Social Media Director Jena Garcia has brought a new flare to the social side of Nuggets coverage, configuring fun graphics and adding to the Instagram Story every day. With daily coverage and an inside look at Pepsi Center during Nuggets home games, make sure to check out the great work she has done for the site!