The Denver Nuggets have won two in a row on their road trip and are looking to make it a full blown streak with their game against the Indiana Pacers tonight. However, the Pacers will present a unique challenge. Beyond the fact that they are a very good team in general, Indiana also recently made a major acquisition when they acquired star forward Pascal Siakam from the Toronto Raptors. Tonight will be just Siakam’s third game of the season with Indiana. Denver catches a break because like in their last contest, the Pacers other star, Tyrese Haliburton, will not play but you still get a scenario where the Nuggets are walking into a game with not much historical data on their opponent. If Denver wants to keep the good vibes rolling they’ll need a top notch effort.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (30-14) at Indiana Pacers (24-19)

When: 5PM MST

Where: All the largest buildings in the world being owned by people charging you interest really makes you think…arena. Indianapolis, IN.

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 and Fubo TV). NBA League pass for those not in the Nuggets market. Altitude Radio 92.5 FM. Show up with some maple syrup, a hockey stick and dino-feet slippers and tell security you’re here from the Raptors, bringing the last of Pascal’s crap.

Rival blog: Indy Cornrows

The Matchup

Position Nuggets Pacers Advantage
PG Jamal Murray T.J. McConnell Nuggets
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Buddy Hield Even
SF Michael Porter Jr. Aaron Nesmith Nuggets
PF Aaron Gordon Pascal Siakam Pacers
C Nikola Jokic Myles Turner Nuggets
Bench Reggie Jackson, Justin Holiday, Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, DeAndre Jordan Obi Toppin, Andrew Nembhard, Benedict Mathurin, Jalen Smith, Ben Sheppard Even


Injury report: Michael Porter Jr. – probable (illness), Aaron Gordon – probable (shoulder), Julian Strawther – out (knee), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee), Colin Gillespie – out (G-League), Braxton Key – out (G-League); Andrew Nembhard – questionable (back),  Isaiah Jackson – questionable (concussion), Tyrese Haliburton – out (hamstring), Kendall Brown – out (G-League), Oscar Tshiebwe – out (G-League), Isaiah Wong – out (G-League)

The Three Things

The thing to watch for: Aaron Gordon vs Pascal Siakam

Jan 19, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Indiana Pacers power forward Pascal Siakam (43) warms up prior to a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

With Haliburton out look for Siakam to take on a bigger offensive load. Last game against the Phoenix Suns Haliburton was out as well and the Pacers used a team approach with no one scoring over twenty points. It didn’t bear fruit. After rallying in the fourth quarter the Pacers went flat in crunch time and ended up losing by seven. If Siakam is looking to score the Nuggets have the right guy to put on him. I won’t be surprised if Michael Malone matches Aaron Gordon to Pascal’s minutes and forces the Pacers to find offense somewhere else. The game should pretty much come down to this matchup so long as the Nuggets don’t let a random Pacer like Aaron Nesmith or someone like that go off on them.

The thing to remember: the Nuggets are tired but not too tired

One of the reasons someone like a Nesmith might end up going off on the Nuggets tonight is Denver is likely starting to get tired. This is the fourth game on their east coast road trip and, with the Wizards excepted, it’s been a gauntlet of talented teams. On the other hand, it’s been a very nice trip in terms of geographical distance to cover with this jump from Washington D.C. to Indianapolis the largest one the Nuggets make, and Denver also did not have to go the White House as they were unable to make the schedules work with the President. Nonetheless being on the road so long takes a toll. I won’t be surprised to see the Nuggets get sluggish tonight and it will take extra focus for them to get the victory.

The thing to bet: Kentavious Caldwell Pope over 1.5 threes (+130)

KCP is in a bit of slump which means we are getting good plus money on him hitting two threes in a game. Tonight he’s likely to be defended by Buddy Hield so that certainly works in his favor. Even in the Washington game when they refused to double Nikola Jokic KCP still got five three point attempts. His shot is just fine and it will start falling again so while there is plus money on him knocking down a pair of three pointers I’m going to take my chances.