After having a day off, the Denver Nuggets are returning to defend their home court against the Phoenix Suns in an attempt to win their twelfth straight home game. They’ve been on a roll as of late, winning 13 of their last 16, and 8 in their last 10. The Nuggets have maintained top seeding in the Western conference for a good bit now.
The Phoenix Suns on the other hand have been dealing with a breadth of injury issues with Chris Paul, Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, and Cameron Johnson among others all missing significant time. They have only won 2 of their last 10 games, and have slid down the standings slowly but surely.
The last time these two teams tipped off against each other was the Christmas Day classic in which the Nuggets won in overtime. Nikola Jokic tore up the Suns defense and led the Nuggets to one of the monumental moments of the season.
Who: Denver Nuggets (27-13, 17-3 home) vs Phoenix Suns (21-21, 7-14 away)
When: 8:00 p.m. MST
Where: Ball Arena
How to watch/listen: AltitudeTV where available. ESPN. Show up in Denver. 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio
Rival Blog: Bright Side of the Sun
Expected Starting Lineups:
PHX: PG Duane Washington, SG Torrey Craig, SF Mikal Bridges, PF Dario Saric, C Bismack Biyombo
DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF Michael Porter Jr., PF Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Jokic
Injuries: Collin Gillespie (leg), Jeff Green (hand/finger), Peyton Watson (groin), Devin Booker (groin), Chris Paul (hip), DeAndre Ayton (ankle), Landry Shamet (hip), Cameron Payne (foot), Cameron Johnson (meniscus)
Three Things to Watch
It can sometimes be hard for teams to get up for games if the opponents are riddled with injuries as the Suns are at the moment. The Nuggets have been good about getting up for games as of late and it will be necessary for them to not underestimate the Suns team. Every player in the NBA is capable of playing at a high level, and could take advantage if the Nuggets are caught on their heels.
The Nuggets have found ways to improve on defense lately, and they have continued to climb the defensive rating ladder. With the lack of offensive firepower that the Suns are going to be bringing it would be a prime opportunity to continue the streak of good defense the team has found themselves on recently.
Michael Porter Jr. Gets Into Rhythm
Michael Porter Jr. has not been bad the last few games, but it has been a while since he’s had an explosive performance. The Nuggets at their best have a in rhythm MPJ and tonight could be a night for him to try more things to get going. Once he sees a few shots drop he’s sure to keep them coming.