The Denver Nuggets have gotten back to their winning ways. After a rough road trip that was the end of a stretch where the Nuggets lost five of six they’ve now won two in a row and can make it three tonight against the lowly New York Knicks. The one win in those previously mentioned six games was in fact against this same Knicks team where the Nuggets delivered a 129-92 beat down and New York fired head coach David Fizdale the very next day.
Perhaps the coach being fired gave the team a small boost because after losing ten straight New York is now also coming off of back to back wins. Marcus Morris and Julius Randle have led the way with rookie R.J. Barrett chipping in as well. The Knicks roster is rounded out with a lot of young talent and veteran power forwards and they just haven’t made it gel this season. Despite winning two in a row, they have just six wins on the season. The Nuggets should take care of business tonight and get their third straight win.
Who: New York Knicks (6-20) at Denver Nuggets (16-8)
When: 6:00 PM MST
Where: The Can. Denver, CO.
How to watch/listen: Altitude TV and KKSE Altitude Radio 92.5 FM
Rival blog: Posting and Toasting
|PG||Jamal Murray||Corey Joseph||Nuggets|
|SG||Gary Harris||Buddy Hield||Even|
|SF||Will Barton III||Harrison Barnes||Even|
|PF||Paul Millsap||Nemanja Bjelica||Nuggets|
|C||Nikola Jokic||Richaun Holmes||Nuggets|
|Bench||Monte Morris, Michael Porter Jr., Malik Beasley, Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee||Yogi Ferrell, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin James||Nuggets|
Injured players: Paul Millsap - questionable (quad), Jamal Murray - questionable (trunk), Wayne Ellington - out (achilles), Allonzo Trier - out (concussion), Reggie Bullock - out (back).
Key matchup: Nikola Jokic vs Mitchell Robinson
The Knicks are starting Taj Gibson at center but Robinson gets the bulk of the minutes more often than not. An athletic rim protector, Robinson can give the Nuggets trouble across the board with his ability to dissuade shots from in close. On the other hand, this is December 15th, the day in which Nikola Jokic rises from the ashes of slow season starts and takes his full form as an unstoppable Serbian force. Robinson will have his hands full with a Jokic who looks like he’s back to being aggressive.
Main thing to watch for: Jamal Murray’s health
Murray went down late in the game last night and did not return. He’s been battling a trunk contusion and it wasn’t immediately clear if he re-aggravated that injury or if this is something unrelated. It did appear to be in the lower body area. If Murray can’t go expect Monte Morris to get the start. The Nuggets also have P.J. Dozier available after calling him up from the G-League earlier this week. Dozier was dominating the G-League so don’t be surprised if the Nuggets play it safe with Murray and elect to give Dozier some burn as the backup point guard tonight.
Opening thought: Chance to get back on track
After an abysmal run last week the Nuggets have a great chance to make it three in a row tonight on the way to an undefeated five game home stand before a big game at the Los Angeles Lakers next weekend. While last week wasn’t pretty the Nuggets have looked like they’ve started to figure some things out offensively these past two games. Another big performance against the Knicks could help solidify this offense even more. A loss however would really dampen what has otherwise been a strong week for the team. Need to get the W tonight.