Denver is coming off of two straight losses on the road. It’s not as important to analyze the final scores of these efforts, but they have been close and we have been able to see the early progress some of these players have made.
Wins and losses aren't as closely scrutinized in the preseason but this is a matchup the Nuggets would like to conquer in order to gain some confidence towards the regular season. You would like to see guys like Monte, PJ, and Bones have a good night on both ends because they will see significant playing time with Murray’s absence.
For now, it is unsure what starters we will see on the floor. Jokic and Porter seem to be in regular-season form already, but it would be a welcome sight to see Will Barton get some action and catch a couple of quick buckets offensively. Although Aaron Gordon hasn't shot the ball efficiently so far, he has looked strong and aggressive so look for him to put it all together tonight.
Who: Denver Nuggets vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Where: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
When: 7:00pm MT
How to Watch: NBA League Pass/ Altitude TV (If you’re lucky enough to get Altitude)
Three Things to Watch
Can Bol Bol stack multiple good possessions? This is the age-old mystery we still do not have a definitive answer to yet. When you watch Bol, you see one or two great plays that get you out of your seat but then they are followed by head-scratching efforts a play later. He is the shot blocker Denver has needed for so long but if he cant stay on the floor, Denver will continue to be susceptible inside. In this game, watch Bol and see if he can maintain an inside presence. Can he hold position in the post on both ends? Is he getting pushed off the spot inside? Don’t pay too much attention to the eye candy of the jump shots and dunks, his real progression will, in part, be seen by how he maintains a good position.
Will Bones find his stroke from deep? In my opinion, Bones has been incredibly impressive so far. No, he’s not dropping 30 every night but his shiftiness and crafty movements have been on display already. The one thing I am waiting to see is his jump shot to connect more consistently. In two straight games, we’ve seen him pull up from 3+ feet beyond the arc with 2:00 or less in the 4th quarter. He has missed both, but I believe he can make those and if he can, the Nuggets will add a very dangerous threat to their team in crunch time.
The consistency from Monte Morris. Monte will be the starting point guard moving forward for the Nuggets so it is important to see him gain regular-season form before it gets underway. He shot 0-5 in the first game but followed it up by shooting 4-7 the next game. One of the reasons why Morris is beloved in the mile-high is because he has been a consistent, steady force for much of his career. This year, he will acquire the most responsibility he has ever shouldered, so if he can stack two straight good games here against Minnesota, it should help him enter the gates with confidence on day 1 when it counts.