Tonight your Denver nuggets look to establish themselves as the 8th best team in competitive Western Conference. The Denver Nuggets (14-20) on the season and the Sacramento Kings (14-19) will do battle tonight in the Mile High City. Welcome to the Thunder dome…
DeMarcus Cousins and company will look to knock the Nuggets off of their game, and capitalize on a fatigued Denver squad. Especially after the exhausting duel against the Golden State Warriors last night. Sacramento will try and see if they can extend a current 4-0 streak against this Nuggets squad, that lingers from last season. Denver will look to turn things around after being 0-4 on the second night of back to back games.
Nikola Jokic will have his hands full tonight, and he’s about to get a crash-course test on what its like to play a comparable new aged All-Star Center… DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is currently in second place in scoring in the NBA, trailing only behind a human/machine hybrid that averages triple double on the season (Russell Westbrook). Basically, Cousins is a 6’11” 270 pound center who is currently averaging a dominant double-double this season (29 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game). He also has a big bag of tricks, that will give Denver’s’ big men a hard time on both ends of the floor.
Not only is Cousins gifted physically, but he’s also incredibly smart. Look for him to try to pull Jokic out of the paint and attack Nikola Jokic’s vulnerability: lateral movement.
If Jusuf Nurkic gets the green light to get in the game -as I suspect he will from last night’s performance- Cousins is sure to have his hands full. He’ll likely take aim at getting ‘The Bosnian Beast’ into foul trouble early with his large array of fancy footwork. Or at the very least, make Nurkic pay by hitting outside shots that Cousins is more than capable of hitting.
Any angle you look at it Cousins is a match-up nightmare that Coach Malone, and Nuggets coaching staff will hopefully have created on hell-of-a game-plan to contain. Luckily, the advantage goes to the Nuggets in virtually every other position. That deep roster is going to agave to show endurance and be the better prepared more balanced team tonight at the Pepsi Center to walk away with a win.
Demarcus is much like Jusuf Nurkic, in that they both play with a ton of passion and heart. If Denver can look to turn his strength into his weakness, they may be able to keep him off his game. By attacking him repeatedly, and hopefully getting him to commit fouls early in the game -and escape the nerve of the big man- the Nuggets may fair an even bigger advantage.
Malone may look to the vet’s tonight to lead the crew past the tyrant and his loyal subjects. Darrel Arthur may be the key to contain Cousins. With his ability to guard outside of the paint, paired with his strength, length and size may be just the right combination to slow the double-headed threat enough to pull out what the Nuggets need the most.