The Denver Nuggets started the post All-Star portion of this season with a win against the Sacramento Kings behind Will Barton and Nikola Jokic both having strong performances. They will look to continue to build upon their success through Sacramento yet again later tonight. This time they will have home court advantage, and will look to catch Dallas for the 5th seed after they lost to the Jazz.
After that Dallas loss, the Nuggets are tied in the loss column with the Mavericks and with a Nuggets win they will be tied for the 5th seed. If they can continue to surge they have a good possibility of taking the 5th seed outright and if the Jazz struggle they might even be able to reach the 4th seed.
Who: Denver Nuggets (34-25) vs Sacramento Kings (22-39)
When: 7:00 PM MST
Where: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
How to Watch/Listen: NBA League Pass, Altitude TV (If you’re lucky enough), or 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio
Three Things To Watch
The Nuggets have kind of struggled on defense, especially on the perimeter. This is a bad thing, especially against the Kings. Domantas Sabonis lit the Nuggets up last game; as well as having problems containing De’Aaron Fox in the past. The Nuggets could use more defensive effort from everyone; especially Jeff Green among others. He has been horrendous defensively lately, and the Nuggets’ guards as a whole just haven’t been up to snuff defensively this season.
A Thrilling Will Barton Performance
Against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday Will Barton stepped up to the plate in a massive way. He scored 31 points on 11 of 17 shooting and 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. He also pitched in 5 rebounds and 3 assists. If he can continue to be consistent after the All-Star break, then that will be a massive development for the Nuggets. If not, the Nuggets will need to rely on another player to be that second guy for them.
Nikola Jokic Statement Performance
While Nikola Jokic is currently the front runner MVP on NBA.com, and many fans also have him as such; he needs to have a statement game and stretch of games soon to be able to really cement himself as such. I’d watch for him to make one against the Kings.