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Preview: Nuggets attempt to extend winning streak against the Pacers

Denver Nuggets v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets (7-3) are back tonight and are trying to continue their winning streak to four games against the Indiana Pacers (5-5). After winning two games against the San Antonio Spurs and one against the Oklahoma City Thunder, they head out east to face their first Eastern Conference opponent of the season.

With the Nuggets recent play, they should win against the Pacers — a team that has a better record than expected this early on, but a underwhelming roster nonetheless. The Nuggets have a history of playing down to their opponents though, and the Pacers have enough talented players to take advantage of the Nuggets coming out flat. They’ll need to come to play or they might get caught on their heels.

For the Pacers, Bennedict Mathurin, Tyrese Haliburton, and Buddy Hield all lead the charge. Myles Turner has also been good this season. They have enough talent to compete with some teams, but they are seen as one of the bottom teams in the league — a competitor for Victor Wembanyama if you will. They have dangerous players though.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (7-3, 3-3 away) @ Indiana Pacers (5-5, 3-2 home)

When: 5:00 p.m. MST

Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse

How to watch/listen: 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 Tyrese Haliburton, SG Buddy Hield, SF Andrew Nembhard, PF Jalen Smith, C Myles Turner

DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF Michael Porter Jr., PF Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Jokic

Injuries: Collin Gillespie (leg), Ish Smith (calf), Zeke Nnaji (ankle), Aaron Nesmith (ankle), Daniel Theis (knee), Chris Duarte (ankle)

Three Things to Watch

Getting Out in Transition

The Nuggets have been an excellent team in transition so far this season, being 3rd in the league with 18.1 fast break points per game. One of the only two teams above the Nuggets? The Indiana Pacers. They are second in the league with 18.7 fast break points per game. The Nuggets have been averaging a lot of turnovers this season, and will need to take care of the ball and keep up in transition themselves

Jamal Murray’s Continued Ascension

Jamal Murray has been getting more and more comfortable as the games have gone on this season. He started slow, but his play has been coming along. In the last four games, he has averaged 19.3 points per game on 47.8/42.1/71.4 shooting splits. He is posed to have another great game against the Pacers, and will be key to victory for the Nuggets.

The Bench Production

Bones Hyland has been key to the Nuggets’ bench — if he’s on, the bench is on, if he’s off, the bench is off. The bench has been rough in a decent amount of games so far this season. They’ll need better production from their second unit if they are to stay the course. Michael Porter Jr. staggering has helped things, but will not be the sole solution. They’ll need to see production from other players.