After a win on Wednesday night at home over the Cavs and then a quick trip out East to face the Pacers, the Nuggets will now be hosting the Pelicans for their second matchup this season, and the first of three meetings in the next 12 days.
The Nuggets are currently leading the season series 1-0 and look to advance that to 2-0 this evening.
On October 26th, our first meeting with the Pelicans and season opener, the Nuggets took the 107-102 win. Former Denver Nugget Jusuf Nurkic led Denver with 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists. The second leading Nugget was Will Barton, who was then a starter, with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler combined for 27 points. Gallo had 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in his 38 minutes while Chandler had 12 points and 7 rebounds. Nikola Jokic had 5 points, 7 boards, and 2 dimes in his 21 minutes as a starter.
The Nuggets shot 44.6% from the shield, 33.3% from beyond the arc, 75.8% from the charity stripe, and had 50 points in the paint. Denver also had 69 rebounds, 18 assists, 7 steals, and 4 blocks to accompany their 25 turnovers.
NOLA shot 41.3% from the field, 15.8% from downtown, 88.5% from the free throw line, and 50 paint points. The Pelicans also had 42 rebounds, 31 assists, 16 steals, and 5 blocks. New Orleans only had 11 turnovers in our first meeting.
With having 25 turnovers versus New Orleans 11, Denver needs to be careful with the ball if they want to secure a home win. Defense needs to be strong for 48 minutes and not falter if the Nuggets find themselves with a big lead.
The Nuggets currently have 10 games left this season, three of them being against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Nuggets need to be sure to secure the win tonight in order to keep their cushion on the eighth seed–Denver is just one game ahead of Portland.
Nuggets Stats: Pelicans Stats:
PPG: 111.7 PPG: 103.6
FG%: 46.9 FG%: 44.7
RPG: 46.3 RPG: 44.1
APG: 25.2 APG: 22.5
Last 10: 7-3 Last 10: 6-4
Keys to the game, Courtesy of Sean English:
- Stay aggressive. Against Indiana, the Nuggets attempted 43 free throws to the Pacers’ 11.
- Mason Plumlee: While there is a chance DeMarcus Cousins will not play, he and Anthony Davis present a great threat. It will be important for Plumlee to limit either one of them (whether he comes off the bench or starts alongside Jokic).
- Take advantage of the opportunity. The Nuggets hold a one game lead over the Trail Blazers for the final playoff spot out West. With only three home games remaining, the Nuggets need to take care of business.
No injured players
DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) questionable
Quincy Pondexter (knee) out
Omer Asik (illness) out