The Denver Nuggets are closing in on playing basketball games that actually count, but before they do they’ll play a couple more meaningless ones, the next of which comes against the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio will be without their superstar Kawhi Leonard, who is missing the entire pre-seaon due to tendinopathy in his right quadriceps. Leonard’s injury has Spurs faithful on pins and needles, but no doubt Gregg Popovich will make sure his team is up to the task this afternoon, even if it is just a preseason game.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (3-0) at San Antonio Spurs (1-1)

When: 2:00 PM MDT

Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio TX

How to watch/listen: Old school is your best bet, Altitude Radio AM 950, otherwise there might be a feed to an arena camera somewhere out there in the seedy dark places of the internet.

Position Nuggets Spurs Advantage
PG Jamal Murray Dejounte Murray Nuggets
SG Gary Harris Danny Green Nuggets
SF Wilson Chandler Rudy Gay Even
PF Paul Millsap LaMarcus Aldridge Nuggets
C Nikola Jokic Pau Gasol Nuggets
Bench Emmanuel Mudiay, Jameer Nelson, Will Barton, Juancho Hernangomez, Trey Lyles, Kenneth Faried, Mason Plumlee Manu Ginobli, Joffrey Lauvergne, Davis Bertans, Patty Mills,
Derrick White, Brandon Paul, Bryn Forbes, Kyle Anderson
Even, why not?

Injured players: Wilson Chandler – questionable (hip), Tony Parker – out (quad), Kawhi Leonard – out (quad)

Key matchup: Nuggets D versus Spurs O

The Nuggets new approach to defense has been all the rave in the preseason, and while the results have been good so far, the hapless Los Angeles Lakers aren’t exactly a good measuring stick. The Golden State Warriors certainly are, but one game does not make a trend. The Spurs present another great challenge to test the Nuggets commitment to defense. A well coached team like San Antonio isn’t going to be thrown off their game by being physical and hedging hard on screens alone. If the Nuggets are going to stop a methodical, efficient and team first approach like the Spurs’ they’ll have to do it with effort AND good execution.

Key thing to watch for: Rotation, rotation, rotation

Coach Michael Malone stated that he isn’t ready just yet to name a starting point guard or a backup power forward, though he did note he has an idea of which was he’s going to go. However, back on media day coach noted how he wanted to use the last two games to tune up for the regular season. While it might not be set in stone, the players who get the minutes tonight at the two rotation spots in question should be the odds on favorites to win the job barring injury.

Opening thought: Is it regular season yet?

We’re going to be writing analysis and gleaning details off of the words of Koz and what we can find out on the twitter feeds…we’re at peak pre-season here people. Look, I love the dulcet tones of Jason Kosmicki as much as the next person but, man, I’m ready for the games that count to start.