After a disappointing loss to the Orlando Magic, the Denver Nuggets welcome in the most disappointing team in the league, the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons have already set the NBA record for longest losing streak in league history and have a grand total of three wins to their name. While they are a young team in the midst of a rebuild, no one expected them to be this bad. Injuries have certainly played their part and some of it you can chalk up to bad luck but anyway you slice it, this is a bad team that the Nuggets should beat. Nikola Jokic and company need to take care of business tonight.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (25-12) vs Detroit Pistons (3-32)

When: 6PM 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 950AM. Dress like a voodoo priest and claim to be the newest member of the Pistons staff here to dispel the evil losing spirits.

Rival blog: Detroit Bad Boys

The Matchup

Position Nuggets Pistons Advantage
PG Jamal Murray Jaden Ivey Nuggets
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Cade Cunningham Even
SF Michael Porter Jr. Bojan Bogdanovic Even
PF Aaron Gordon Isaiah Livers Nuggets
C Nikola Jokic Jalen Duren Nuggets
Bench Reggie Jackson, Justin Holiday, Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, Zeke Nnaji Kevin Knox II, James Wiseman, Killian Hayes, Alec Burks, Ausar Thompson Even


Injury Report: Julian Strawther – out (knee), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee), Hunter Tyson – out (G-League), Jalen Pickett – out (G-League); Alec Burks – probable (hamstring), Monte Morris – out (quad), Isaiah Stewart – out (toe), Malcolm Cazalon – out (G-League), Jared Rhoden – out (G-League), Stanley Umude – out (G-League)

The Three Things

The thing to watch for: Jamal Murray

Jan 5, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) tosses the ball in the fourth quarter against the Orlando Magic at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The game on Friday was not Jamal’s best. Some might even argue it’s one of his worst. It very much looks like he was pressing in the game instead of just letting things flow. The All NBA team is probably on Jamal’s mind as he needs that to get a super max extension in the offseason and if he’s going to make an All NBA team he’s got to make up for the lost time from his injuries. It was noticeable to even his teammates as well. After the game Michael Porter Jr. spoke on how the team can improve with better flow in the offense and while he didn’t specifically call out Jamal, he did mention himself, Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as guys not getting enough shots.

The thing to remember: these guys get paid too

Yes, Detroit is the worst team in the NBA, yes, they have only won three games all season and yes, the Nuggets are favored by sixteen and a half points. That doesn’t mean this game will be easy. One would hope that fresh off of blowing an eighteen point lead on Friday the Nuggets are all business today. Still, I won’t be laying any money on this spread because banking on a team getting blown out in the NBA, no matter how abysmal they may be, is a losing proposition. The Nuggets need to get out on the Pistons early today and not look back. Letting a bad team hang around to the fourth quarter is the recipe for a disaster loss.

The thing to bet: Nikola Jokic over 9.5 assists (+115)

I’m sure Nikola heard Mike’s postgame comments on Friday as well and while they weren’t directed at anyone in particular I am guessing Joker makes it a point to get everyone involved tonight. Plus money as well and at worst Joker getting double digit assists is a coin flip so I’m in on Jokic assists tonight.