Nuggets will play a home game for the first time in two weeks. That’s usually a good thing when referring to the Mile High Crew but this season (much like the last) has been a disappointment when it comes to home games. The Nuggets are an awful 3-7 at home this season as they haven’t been able to run teams out of their home like the Nuggets of the past. The Denver Nuggets have lost twice to the Trailblazers this season but they look to make the series 1-2 in order to set themselves up for a tie.
What to Watch For
Keep an eye on Nikola Jokic as Mike Malone has been quoted saying he expects to play Jokic more as he’s been the Nuggets best player.
— Harrison Wind (@NBAWind) December 15, 2016
The Nuggets abandoned the idea of starting both of their young centers so this could mean that Jusuf Nurkic who has started all 25 games for the Nuggets this season might be delegated to a bench role tonight.
Emmanuel Mudiay started his career off the night he faced off against Damian Lillard last season in which he dominated Lillard in the 4th quarter (IMHO). Mudiay vs Lillard is always a fun matchup and if Jamal Murray sees an increas in minutes, so will the C.J. McCollum vs Murray battle.
Gary Harris‘ return. According to Malone he will ease Harris back into his starting role, meaning he will come off of the bench tonight. Keep a close watch on his feet and movements to see if he is fully healed. Foot injuries are hard to guage.
Keys to the Game
- The Nuggets must out-rebound the Blazers on both ends of the court in order to make this game interesting.
- Come out with a purpose: the Nuggets cannot find themselves down big early on.
- Contain everyone not named Damien or CJ. Let the two guards get their own but make them work for it. Shut the rest of the team down and they have a solid chance at winning.
- Play through the post: the Blazers don’t have anyone on their roster that should be able to guard Nikola Jokic in the high post.