clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Preview: Nuggets head to Detroit for early match against Pistons

New, comments

Super Bowl Sunday means Nuggets basketball

Denver Nuggets v Detroit Pistons Photo by D. Lippitt/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Before the old pigskin gets tossed around tonight there needs to be some basketball first, and this one is coming early.

The shorthanded Nuggets are in Detroit to face the Pistons in a Sunday morning match up. Denver is coming off of two ELITE wins over the Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks on what on Michael Malone called a “criminal” back to back. But with those two wins comes confidence and the Nuggets are looking to notch another one today.

They’ll have to do it without Michael Porter Jr. who rolled his ankle late in Friday’s game in Milwaukee. As a consolation prize, however, Gary Harris is back with the team and available to play.

The Pistons, meanwhile, are on the struggle bus as losers of five straight games - four of which came at home. Detroit of course is without the services of Blake Griffin who underwent season-ending knee surgery earlier this month, but still have some solid players in Derrick Rose and Andre Drummond.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (34-15) at Detroit Pistons (17-33)

When: 10:30 AM MST

Where: Little Caesars Arena,

How to watch/listen: Altitude TV and KKSE Altitude Radio 92.5FM

Rival Blog: Detroit Bad Boys

Projected Matchups

Position Nuggets Pistons
Position Nuggets Pistons
PG Will Barton III Derrick Rose
SG Gary Harris Svi Mykhailiuk
SF Torrey Craig Tony Snell
PF Jerami Grant Thon Maker
C Nikola Jokic Andre Drummond
Bench Monte Morris, Malik Beasley, PJ Dozier, Juancho Hernangomez, Jarred Vanderbilt Reggie Jackson, Langston Galloway, Markieff Morris, Christian Wood, Bruce Brown

Injury Report: Jamal Murray - out (ankle), Paul Millsap - out (thigh), Mason Plumlee - out (cuboid), Michael Porter Jr - out (ankle)

Three Things to Watch

- MPJ. Michael Porter Jr. left early in the fourth quarter on Friday night after rolling his ankle. Reports after the game indicated it wasn’t anything serious but it looks like the Nuggets are rightfully exercising caution with this one. MPJ has been a huge plus for the Nuggets this season. Not only is he leading the Nuggets in 3P%, but he is also been monstrous on the glass at times. Without MPJ, look for Juancho Hernangomez to get some more run - he was quite excellent on Friday as well.

+PJ. How as P.J. Dozier not been in the league until now? He can ball! His length has really bolstered the bench unit and has been a pest on defense. They key to longevity for him will be his shooting, but regardless he’s been great the past two games Any minutes he gets are positive for Denver.

Get the job done. The last two games were no doubt emotional and exhausting for the Nuggets, but throw in travel, lack of sleep and a much earlier than normal start and this game could be a bit of a trap. Denver has a reputation to play to the competition and has been bitten by that a few too many times this year. As a whole though the Nuggets are still 22-8 against teams below .500. Let’s just hope the momentum from Thursday and Friday carries over and they take care of business.