The Denver Nuggets are back at home again after a successful two game road trip. Now they face the Brooklyn Nets who played last night in Phoenix. Brooklyn is a team in transition. They are made up of players acquired from trades after their super team of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden failed spectacularly. They have several nice wings who would make great role players on championship contenders like Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson and Cam Thomas, but lack the star power to be a true threat in the east. Oft injured Ben Simmons is once again injured but there’s enough talent on the Nets to make them a competitive team on any given night. While the Nets aren’t a championship contender, they certainly will be around come the end of April, even if it is as a play-in team.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (16-9) vs Brooklyn Nets (13-10)

When: 7PM MST

Where: The Can. Denver, CO.

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy….unless it’s the romanticized 18th century type. Altitude TV where available (Altitude TV is available on DirecTV, DirecTV Stream & Fubo TV). NBA League pass for those not in the Nuggets market. Altitude Radio 92.5FM. Claim to be a member of the City of Denver’s snow removal team and promise to plow the side streets in exchange for courtside seats.

Rival Blog: Nets Daily

The Matchup

Position Nuggets Nets Advantage
PG Jamal Murray Spencer Dinwiddie Nuggets
SG Christian Braun Cam Thomas Nets
SF Michael Porter Jr. Cameron Johnson Nuggets
PF Aaron Gordon Mikal Bridges Even
C Nikola Jokic Nic Claxton Nuggets
Bench Reggie Jackson, Julian Strawther, Peyton Watson, Zeke Nnaji, Justin Holiday Dorian Finney-Smith, Royce O’Neale, Trendon Watford, Dayron Sharpe Even


Injury report*: Aaron Gordon – probable (heel), Jamal Murray – probable (ankles), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – out (concussion), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee), Braxton Key – out (G-League), Colin Gillespie – out (G-League), Jay Huff – out (G-League); Dennis Smith Jr. – doubtful (back), Lonnie Waker IV – out (hamstring), Ben Simmons – out (back). *The Nets official injury report was not submitted at time of writing.

The Three Things

The thing to watch for: Christian Braun (or whoever) vs Cam Thomas

Mar 19, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas (24) shoots the ball as Denver Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) defends during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas is a walking bucket and his game continues to grow as he gets more and more opportunities on the starless Brooklyn roster. Normally this wouldn’t be a huge concern for Denver because they could sic one of the best defenders in the league on him in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. With KCP out tonight it’ll likely fall on the shoulders of Christian Braun to contain Thomas. Braun makes his living on the defensive end just like KCP so it’s not all bad for the Nuggets. I’m also curious to see if Michael Malone actually goes with Braun in the starting lineup tonight or if he’ll opt to not shake up the bench unit as much as possible and instead insert Justin Holiday with the starters. Whoever it is, they will have their hands full tonight with Thomas.

The thing to remember: Brooklyn is on one of the hardest B2Bs there is

Brooklyn arrived in the high altitude of Denver in the wee hours of the morning and were met with a classic cold, gray, trying to snow Denver day. The only thing that could make this back to back more difficult for them would be if Arizona wasn’t currently on mountain time so the Nets didn’t lose the hour crossing from the pacific to mountain time zones. Still, these are the types of games where a team gets run out of Ball Arena. If the Nuggets approach tonight with a no nonsense attitude then they should find a victory when the game is done.

The thing to bet: Aaron Gordon over 13.5 point and 4.5 rebounds SGP (+115)

You can bet AG points + rebounds as a straight up -110 bet at an over/under of 20.5, or you can make a single game parlay of over 13.5 points and over 4.5 rebounds and get better odds. I’ll opt for the latter. Mikal Bridges weighs 209lbs, Cameron Johnson weighs 210 lbs…Gordon weighs 235 lbs. Either a tired Bridges or a tired Johnson is going to get a fresh 235 lbs of AG muscle and trust me my friends he is going to want to bully them. I like AG to get position down low often tonight which means easy buckets and offensive rebounds.

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