MIAMI- Three in a row-that’s how many games that the Nuggets have lost since last Sunday’s home loss against New Orleans.
Denver is on it’s third of five road games and facing Miami, who is in a similar position as Denver as they use these last few games to try and secure a playoff spot in the East as they remain tied up with the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers.
In our first meeting against Miami, we took the 106-98 loss at home in the Pepsi Center. Denver was led by four players; Danilo Gallinari, Jameer Nelson, Nikola Jokic, and Wilson Chandler–all of which had 17 points. Chandler and Jokic both had 17 off of the bench.
In the December 1st meeting, the Nuggets shot 41.8% from the field, 31.8% from beyond the arc, 62.5% from the from the free throw line. Denver had 68 rebounds, 28 assists, 3 steals, and 7 blocks within the 48 minutes of regulation.
The Miami Heat were led by Hassan Whiteside who put up 25 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and had a single assist in his 32 minutes. The second leading scorer for Miami was Wayne Ellington off of the bench with 22 points, 2 boards, and 2 dimes.
Miami shot 44.1% from the field, 37.5% from downtown, and 57.7% from the free throw line. The Heat had 57 rebounds, 26 assists, 14 steals, and 7 blocks. Miami only had 6 turnovers versus Denver’s 19.
On Friday night against Charlotte, Jameer Nelson left in the third quarter due to a right calf sprain. With Jameer out tonight, Jamal Murray will be getting the start at the PG position. According to Nick Kosmider of the Denver Post, Emmanuel Mudiay will see extensive minutes tonight. Coach Malone also said that Malik Beasley, who was recalled from the D-League, could also see some minutes tonight.
After the loss to the Hornets, Coach Michael Malone was quoted in his post game interview saying, “I think we have some guys on this team who are starting to feel a little sorry for themselves.”
Following Portland’s win last night over the Phoenix Suns, Denver now sits 2.5 games back of the eighth seed with seven games remaining in the regular season. On Friday, Portland also announced that Jusuf Nurkic is out for the next two weeks with a non-displaced fibular fracture in his right leg.
Though chances are very slim, if Denver wants to sneak back into the eighth seed, they’ll have to win all of their last seven games and Portland will have to lost at least four of their next six.
FG%: 46.8 FG%: 45.4
RPG: 46.3 RPG: 43.7
APG: 25.2 APG: 21.1
Last 10: 5-5 Last 10: 5-5
Keys to the Game:
Protect the ball: In our last game against Miami, Denver had 19 turnovers against Miami’s 6. Keep control of the ball.
Free throws: In our first meeting with the Heat, Denver only shot 15/24 from the free throw line for 62.5%. Take advantage of getting to the line and make them.
Power of the Towers: Whether it be Nikola Jokic or Mason Plumlee, they need to keep Hassan Whiteside from getting inside.
Will Barton (foot) out
Jameer Nelson (calf) out
Darrell Arthur (knee) out
Mason Plumlee (abdominal) questionable