Game 28: 2013-14 NBA Season

New Orleans Pelicans (2014 - Pres)

14-13 (7-7 road)
Series 1-0 Nugs
12-14 (7-5 home)
December 27th, 2013
New Orleans Arena – New Orleans, LA
6:00 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Ty Lawson PG Jrue Holiday
Randy Foye SG Eric Gordon
Wilson Chandler SF Al-Farouq Aminu
Kenneth Faried PF Ryan Anderson
J.J. Hickson C Anthony Davis
You’re Here! Blogs The Bird Writes
Danilo Gallinari (knee) is out, JaVale McGee(leg fracture) is out Injuries Jason Smith and Eric Gordon are day-to-day
On December 7th, the nuggets were 6th in the league in scoring (104 ppg), since then, they are averaging 90.6 ppg, and their FG and 3-point averages during that span are league-worst. Stat The Pelicans have won their last two home contests against the Nuggets.

Your Denver Nuggets come off of a three-night break to kick off a back-to-back set, starting tonight with the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena. The break was badly needed, according to some of the Nuggets players to Yahoo! Sports.

“We haven’t had a good month,” said guard Andre Miller. “We need better practices. We need to get better when we come back…”

That sentiment has been echoed amongst many recent interviews with coaches and players alike, and is indicative of the roller coaster season the Nuggets have taken us faithful on thus far. From recently-mentioned-as-an-All-Star-candidate Ty Lawson to seldom-used-reserve Evan Fournier, the Nuggets are a picture of inconsistency through their first 27 games.

If anything can cure what ails a team struggling to find its own personality, it’s running into another team having issues of the same sort. The Pelicans are a talented squad who recently saw the return of Super Soph Anthony Davis from a broken hand, and feature Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon as players who can light it up if given the opportunity. Both teams have lost four of their last five, with the Nuggets sole win of that set coming against these same Pelicans in Denver on December 15th. That loss set off a four-game road skid for the Pelicans that they narrowly halted with a win against Sacramento to wrap up their trip. Needless to say, both teams are itching to get back to the positive side of the column, and I expect to see spirited play from both squads tonight.

On the upside for the Nuggets, Kenneth Faried is expected back from an ankle sprain tonight (although he’s a game time decision, according to Brian Shaw), and the Nuggets gave the Warriors a good contest at the end of the last loss before falling down at the finish line. All of the players are saying the right things about improving their focus and dedication, and we’ve already seen a seven game winning streak from the same group of players this season.

On the downside, The Nuggets have lost their last four in a row, including a worrying 1-3 mark in their last 4 home games. There have been questions about effort, efficiency and engagement across the board the past week-plus. The Nugs have lost in their last two trips to the Big Easy, and folks there still grumble about an NBA record 58-point playoff loss to Denver in ’09.

As mentioned, this is the start of a back-to-back for the Nuggets, and the Pelicans will be playing tomorrow night as well. Both teams will want to come out of tonight on a positive note travelling to road games tomorrow. Can the “Good Guys” get back on track tonight? Who will break out of slumps this evening? What say you, Nuggets Nation?