The Denver Nuggets (39-18) are looking to avenge their previous loss to the Detroit Pistons (19-40). Considering Detroit’s two leading scorers from that game, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, are now on other teams, that task should be easier than it was the first time around. Denver’s also at home for this one rather than being on the road.
Meanwhile, the Pistons are in the midst of a six-game losing streak, which includes losses to the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets. Detroit is now missing six of their top seven per game scorers from last season. Head coach Dwane Casey is still not fully leaning into the youth movement, but that could change as the season progresses.
While Denver is scrapping for the top seeds in the Western Conference, the Pistons are in the cellar of the Eastern Conference. This is the perfect example of a game that will be overlooked on the schedule, but it matters a ton for Denver in this playoff race. They can’t overlook Detroit and let this one slip.
Who: Denver Nuggets (39-18, 22-7 home) vs Detroit Pistons (19-40, 8-20 away)
When: 7:00 p.m. MST
Where: Pepsi Center
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 Denver. 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio
Rival Blog: Detroit Bad Boys
Expected Starting Lineups:
DET: PG Derrick Rose, SG Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, SF Tony Snell, PF Sekou Doumbouya, C Thon Maker
DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Gary Harris, SF Will Barton, PF Paul Millsap, C Nikola Jokic
Injuries: Blake Griffin (Knee), Luke Kennard (Knees)
Three Things to Watch
Can they contain Christian Wood?
This seems like it should be one of the easier things for Denver to deal with, but Wood has been an underrated player for the Pistons this season. He’s averaging 21.4 points and 10.9 rebounds per 36 minutes. He’s also a decent floor spacer with a 38.1 3-point percentage on 2.1 attempts per game. If Wood is able to get rolling early, his athleticism can cause Jokic some issues.
Gary Harris Needs to Show Some Life
Gary Harris is never going to be a 20 points a night scorer. That’s just not what his game is based on. However, Denver needs him to show some life at some point. Tonight, at home, against a team with multiple backup guards that are terrible defenders, he needs to show up. Jamal Murray can score against most teams, but Harris is the piece that helps unlock this team’s offense when he’s hitting shots.
Who Will Be The Other Guy?
You expect your stars to show up every single night, and, for Denver, that usually holds true. However, every night, you like to have one of your other guys show up and carry a larger portion of the load. For Denver, we’ve seen that be Jerami Grant, Michael Porter Jr., Monte Morris and others. It will be interesting to see who that other guy is as the game rolls on.