After a few days off, the NBA felt it was only right to give the Denver Nuggets yet another back to back scenario. This time they’ll be in the friendly confines of Ball Arena but they welcome the only team to beat them in the last ten games: the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder continue to be one of the top teams in the West this season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is putting together an MVP worthy campaign, Chet Holmgren is in a two player battle for Rookie of the Year and at least one guy named Williams is guaranteed to go off on any given night. The Thunder are well on their way to making the leap from play-in team to perennial playoff contender and the possibilities are limitless beyond that.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (23-10) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (20-9)

When: 7:00 PM 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. Dress up like Lauren Boebert and claim you were told by Ted Cruz that Colorado’s 4th Congressional district was recently gerrymandered to be entirely within the confines Ball Arena.

Rival Blog: Daily Thunder

The Matchup

Position Nuggets Thunder Advantage
PG Jamal Murray Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Thunder
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Josh Giddey Even
SF Peyton Watson Luguentz Dort Even
PF Michael Porter Jr. Jalen Williams Even
C Nikola Jokic Chet Holmgren Nuggets
Bench Reggie Jackson, Julian Strawther, Christian Braun, Justin Holiday, DeAndre Jordan Jaylin Williams, Kenrich Williams, Isaiah Joe, Aaron Wiggins, Cason Wallace Even


Injury Report*: Aaron Gordon – out (face/hand), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee); Jaylin Williams – questionable (hip), Ousmane Dieng – out (G-League), Keyontae Johnson – out (G-League). *The Denver Nuggets injury report was not submitted at the time of writing.

The Three Things

The thing to watch for: Jalen Williams vs Peyton Watson

Oct 3, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) controls the ball under pressure from Denver Nuggets forward Peyton Watson (8) in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The last time these two teams faced Williams put up twenty-four points and that was with the Nuggets having Aaron Gordon. With AG out the defensive assignment likely goes to Watson (with Michael Porter Jr. helping as well). The nice thing about the Thunder is outside of Chet Holmgren they don’t really have much length to speak of so the Nuggets will be able to switch defenders on demand. Still, if Kentavious Caldwell-Pope does what he normally does and gives Shai all he can handle, that will free up Peyton to lock up the Thunder’s second biggest scoring threat which will help the Nuggets tremendously.

The thing to remember: Denver blew it last time around

As I said in the opening paragraph, the Nuggets have lost just once in the past ten games and it was to this Thunder team. If you’ll remember though, they had no business losing that game but let the Thunder hang around and steal it at the end. I’m guessing that game is still fresh in Denver’s mind. Yes, the Nuggets are coming off a game last night but thanks to making that game an absolute laugher, none of their starters had to play in the fourth quarter save for Watson and even the regular bench rotation players got some added rest. I think it’s an all business approach by the Nuggets tonight and I won’t be surprised to see them jump on OKC early.

The thing to bet: SGA under 32.5 points (-115)

Going to bet the under on Shai points every time he’s facing KCP until he can prove otherwise. The most he’s scored this season against Denver is 25 points. It should be pointed out that he had a lot more success last year going against KCP so maybe he’s due but again, it’s a prove it thing for me.