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Preview: Denver Nuggets look to take down Indiana Pacers

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Denver Nuggets v Houston Rockets Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets have won eight of their last 10, and they’ll be looking to get a win on this road trip against the Indiana Pacers. Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers are looking to keep their brief two-game home stand perfect with a second win. After a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on New Year’s Eve, it’s going to be interesting to see how they come out.

The Pacers have won seven of their last 10 games, and their three losses have been to the Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans and a one-point loss to the Miami Heat. After a lot of injuries to start the season, the Pacers have gotten healthy, and they’re starting to surge up in a tight Eastern Conference.

Denver is in the middle of their five-game road trip, and, after the struggles they had out East last month, they’ll be looking to make this one more successful to keep them in the Western Conference rankings.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (23-10, 8-6 away) @ Indiana Pacers (22-12, 15-3 home)

When: 5:00 p.m. MST

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy..unless its the romanticized 18th-century type. AltitudeTV where available. League Pass for non-Denver market viewers. Show up in Indiana. 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio

Rival Blog: Indy Cornrows

Expected Starting Lineups:

IND: PG Malcolm Brogdon, SG Jeremy Lamb, SF T.J. Warren, PF Domantas Sabonis, C Myles Turner

DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Gary Harris, SF Will Barton, PF Paul Millsap, C Nikola Jokic

Injuries: Gary Harris (leg) Game-Time Decision, Malcolm Brogdon (back spasms) Game-Time Decision, Edmond Sumner (knee) Game-Time Decision, Victor Oladipo (knee) Out

Three Things to Watch

Slowing Down T.J. Warren

Outside of James Harden tearing the Nuggets apart two nights ago, their major issue has been defending big wings that can score. In two games against the Nuggets this season, Brandon Ingram is averaging 28 points per game this season against the Nuggets. Just so you know, Warren can do that tonight. He’s averaging over 17 points per game along with over 50 percent shooting from the floor. If Gary ends up missing the game with his leg injury, that could make life even more difficult on Denver.

Post Play

The Nuggets are one of the few teams in the NBA that has the pieces to defend the bigs that the Pacers are trotting out. Sabonis has been one of the best centers in the NBA this year between his efficient scoring, 17.5 points on 50.8 percent shooting. He’s also averaging over 13 rebounds per game. Next to Sabonis, you have Turner, who has improved his offense along with his great defensive play. Jokic will be matching up with Turner in the post, and he has to use his size to move Turner. Meanwhile, Millsap needs to get himself going from outside.

Jamal Murray’s Scoring

Murray started the year out strong, but his scoring and efficiency has fallen off over the past month. The Pacers get scoring from all over the place, and their guards, with the breakout of Aaron Holiday over the last 10 games, the guards are becoming a major piece of that. Jokic is playing well, but Murray needs to pick up his play to match him. His scoring makes life easier on the rest of the offense.