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Preview: Denver takes a walk to San Antonio to start road trip

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The Nuggets look to avoid a three-game losing streak in a matchup against Gregg Popovich and his veteran squad.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets head out for a three-game road streak, with their first stop down in the Alamo to play against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Nuggets have lost two straight, dropping their game against the Jazz following a big win over the Thunder, and then collapsing in one of their worst games of the season against the Pelicans.

With games against the Lakers and Thunder coming up next, getting a win against the Spurs tonight would go a long ways towards helping the Nuggets maintain their current seeding in the playoff race.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (42-20) at San Antonio Spurs (35-29)

When: 6:30 PM MST

Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

How to watch/listen: Altitude TV, AltitudeNOW.com, the AltitudeNOW app and Altitude Radio 92.5 FM

Rival blog: Pounding the Rock

Projected Matchups

POS DEN SAS EDGE
POS DEN SAS EDGE
PG Jamal Murray Derrick White Nuggets
SG Gary Harris Bryn Forbes Nuggets
SF Will Barton DeMar DeRozan Spurs
PF Paul Millsap LaMarcus Aldridge Spurs
C Nikola Jokic Jakob Poeltl Nuggets
BENCH Monte Morris, Isaiah Thomas, Malik Beasley, Torrey Craig, Juancho Hernangomez, Mason Plumlee, Jarred Vanderbilt Rudy Gay, Davis Bertans, Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli Spurs

Three things to watch

What does Isaiah Thomas do? The former Lakers, Cavs, Celtics, Suns, Kings (you get the point) guard has been up and mostly down since returning to the court. While he has shown some ability to operate the pick and roll, he was terrible against the Pelicans, putting up fourteen shots in sixteen minutes. If he’s just going to be the world’s shortest gunner while he’s on the court, Nuggets fans already have seen Earl Boykins on their roster, and they moved on from him a long time ago. Thomas has the talent to be on the court for the Nuggets in the regular season, but he needs to be more of a playmaker and not just a shot taker. If he’s trying to earn a big contract by scoring a ton of points, he needs to be out of the rotation.

Bertans watch. Oh God, another matchup against Bertans. The Spurs found another Euro that can shoot 50-percent from deep against the Nuggets, and he has the ability to swing the game for the Spurs. The Nuggets are going to have to be nearly perfect against the Spurs bench lineup, otherwise they’re gonna get killed in the second quarter and at the end of the third.

Derrick White breakout season. White has emerged as a reliable rotation piece for the Spurs this season, showing the quickness, size, and all-around game that made him an attractive NBA prospect. The Nuggets starting guards need to make sure to limit him in transition, and force him to score from the perimeter. His ability to get to the rim makes him hard to guard, and the Nuggets can’t risk getting Jokic in foul trouble to try to prevent easy baskets.

Check out

Read this from Adam Mares on the Nuggets opening day roster finally being ready to go.