After a very tough loss to Portland on Tuesday night, the Nuggets haven’t given up hope yet as they face the Charlotte Hornets tonight. With just eight games left on the season, Denver is still hoping for a chance to make the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference.
Denver’s captain, Danilo Gallinari, still has hope for this team making the playoffs and that showed when Gallinari posted this to his Facebook account on Tuesday following the loss to Portland:
Never give up…🏀🏀🏀
we still believe and we will fight until the end
Now that things are looking rough for Denver, they’ll face the Charlotte Hornets, who they took a ten point, 112-102 loss to the Hornets back on March 4th here in Denver.
Tonight two Italian National Teammates, Gallinari and Marco Belinelli, and two brothers, Mason Plumlee and Miles Plumlee, will be going head to head as the Nuggets try to rise from their ninth place position within the Western Conference.
In our last meeting, Nikola Jokic had 31 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists in his 33 minutes. Gallinari, who also had 33 minutes, added 22 points and 5 rebounds. Mason Plumlee had 5 points and 6 rebounds in his 15 minutes.
The Hornets were led by Kemba Walker, who put up 27 points, 4 boards, and 4 assists in his 38 minutes. Nicolas Batum was the second leading scorer for Charlotte and had 321 points, 2 rebounds, and 8 assists. Marshall Plumlee did not play on March 4th.
On March 4th, the Nuggets who 45% from the field, 30% from beyond the arc, and 84% from the free throw line. Denver also had 50 rebounds, 21 assists, 5 steals, 3 blocks, and 50 points in the paint on top of their 13 turnovers.
Charlotte shot 45.6% from the field, 59.3% on 16/27 from downtown, and 82.4% from the charity stripe. Like Denver, the Hornets had 50 rebounds. They also had 25 assists, 8 steals, 6 blocks, and 34 points in the paint. Charlotte only had 6 turnovers.
Denver is currently a game and a half behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the eighth seed and need to secure a win tonight if they want to close the gap. Charlotte is three games behind the eighth seed Indiana Pacers in the Eastern conference and are also looking for a win tonight.
Denver, 17-18 on the road, has the advantage over Charlotte, who is 16-22 at home.
FG%: 46.7 FG%: 44.2
RPG: 46.3 RPG: 44
APG: 25.1 APG: 23.3
Last 10: 6-4 Last 10: 5-5
Keys to the Game:
- Protect the ball: In the last game against Charlotte, Denver had 13 turnovers against Charlotte’s 6. Charlotte also had 8 steals.
- Gary Harris: As Denver’s best perimeter defender, Gary needs to keep Charlotte, particularly Kemba Walker, from getting hot beyond the arc. Also, in our last meeting, Gary was scoreless–Denver needs a big game from their starting SG to secure a win.
- Play smart: When Denver gets worn down, they start to settle for shots, typically giving their opponent the lead in the process. Don’t settle for shots on the outside when they aren’t there.
Darrell Arthur (knee) questionable
Mason Plumlee (abdominal) questionable
Will Barton (ankle) questionable