Tonight’s game between the Denver Nuggets and the Detroit Pistons will feature the season debut of shooting guard Gary Harris. Since partially tearing his groin in Denver’s first preseason game, Garris has been out of the line up and will be on the floor for the first time in four and a half weeks. This is exciting news for a Nuggets team who have had their two guard position – among the deepest in the league – be decimated by injuries. It will be good to see Gary back on the court.

Three things I’m looking for

Garris on the court…Duh

Although he’s expected to come of the bench, and for limited minutes, Just having Harris back on the court will be a sight for sore eyes. It’s my belief that the Nuggets really missed him more than is immediately evident. Not that Will Barton has done a poor job as a starter, he hasn’t. In fact, he’s been very, very good in that role. However, with Garris back, Barton’s production can supplement a bench unit that has, at times, struggled to score – most noticeably in the latter half of first quarters. Additionally, I think the synergy between Gary Harris and Emmanuel Mudiay is that much stronger than between Mudiay and Barton, which could bring about a renaissance of Mudiay’s form to what we saw at the end of last season.

Andre Drummond vs Balkan Buddy Ball

The Big Penguin is a load, especially as the roll man in the pick and roll. Last season, though, Nikola Jokic got the better of Drummond, most especially in their match up in Denver. With Jusuf Nurkic starting at the center position and Jokic manning the four for every game so far this season, I am curious to see if Michael Malone will have them cross match on the defensive end given Jokic’s previous success against Andre.

Fourth quarter execution

In what is quickly becoming a theme of this young season, the Nuggets used a strong third and early fourth quarter to build a solid lead against the Minnesota Timberwolves last game, only to see it shrink up like a shrinky dink in a hot oven. While there has been much debate about the line ups Malone has used in late game situations, to me, it's much more about how those players on the floor are executing, or, more often, are failing to execute. Much like their fourth quarter leads, the Nuggets performance has shriveled under late game pressure. If the Nuggets are fortunate enough to hold a fourth quarter lead, I hope to see some improvement in this area.