On the first of a three game road trip, the Nuggets make their first stop in Atlanta, Georgia to face Paul Millsap and the Hawks for our second matchup this season.
In our last meeting on December 23rd, the Nuggets lost a heartbreaker to the Hawks, 109-108 in the final 1:43 of the game. In that game, Denver found themselves shooting 47.4% from the field, 32% from downtown, and 74.3% from the free-throw line.
On December 23rd, Atlanta shot 43% from the field, 32% from three-point land, and 81.8% from the charity stripe. In that game, we had 15 turnovers versus Atlanta’s 8.
Along with having identical percentages at the free throw line, both teams had 42 points in the paint. Denver would benefit from getting into the paint early and often and not having turnovers.
In that meeting, Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with his 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists in 33 minutes. Right behind Gallo was Wilson Chandler with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists in his 27 minutes. The Hawks (and all scorers) were led by Dennis Schroder with 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists and Millsap, who had 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists in his 38 minutes.
While we will not have Gallo (he said on Saturday that he expected to be out for about 10 days), we will have Chandler, who put up 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists on Monday night against the Mavs. Will Barton is also coming off of a great game on Monday night. Barton had 31 points (one point shy of his career high), 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Tonight, we may be seeing the return of Emmanuel Mudiay, who’s been having issues with his back, and Kenneth Faried, who was not with the team on Monday night due to personal reasons.
Atlanta is currently sitting in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with a season record of 30-22, just 6 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, who hold the first seed in the East. The Nuggets are visiting as the eighth seed in the Western conference with a record of 23-28 (just one game ahead of Portland).
The Hawks have beaten the Nuggets in each of our games IN Atlanta in the last four seasons.
Nuggets Stats: Hawks Stats:
FG%: 46.1 FG%: 45.5
RPG: 46.6 RPG: 43.9
APG: 24.4 APG: 24
Last 10: 6-4 Last 10: 6-4
Keys to the game, courtesy of Sean English:
- Execute down the stretch. Denver blew a 9 point lead last matchup late in the 4th quarter, all 9 points coming off of free throws.
- Atlanta is in the bottom three in personal fouls committed per game, committing only 17.9 fouls. Be aggressive and get to the line.
- Last time these two met, the Nuggets out rebounded Atlanta by 11. In order to win, the Nuggets must replicate this performance.
*It has been a rough couple of days for the fans from the ATL. Make sure it stays that way. 🙂
Emmanuel Mudiay (back) questionable
Kenneth Faried (personal) questionable
Danilo Gallinari (groin) out
Tiago Splitter (hamstring) questionable
Thabo Sefolosha (groin) questionable
***Don’t forget that tipoff begins at 5:30 PM MST***