The Denver Nuggets head to San Antonio to challenge the Spurs on Sunday. This will be Denver’s fourth preseason game.
In their fourth game of the preseason, the Denver Nuggets will travel to San Antonio to challenge the Spurs. The Nuggets will bring a 3-0 record and a healthy roster to Texas, while the Spurs are expected to sit Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps) and Tony Parker (quadriceps). The game will be aired on league pass and tips off at 2:00pm MT.
In Denver’s last matchup, they brought a shorthanded roster to the Staples center. Despite giving Starters Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, Paul Millsap and Wilson Chandler the night off, the Nuggets lit up the Lakers 122-104. Los Angeles only hit five of their 25 three point attempts, while Denver poured in 14 threes on 34 tries.
Coach Mike Malone told the media on Saturday that the Nuggets were bringing 18 healthy bodies to San Antonio. He also explained that their top priorities for the game will be limiting turnovers and points in the paint:
“I think we’re averaging 19, 20 turnovers per game right now. We were at 15 a game last year and that was a point of emphasis going into training camp: valuing the ball. The second priority would be defending our paint, we’re giving up over 50 points a night in our paint … that’s ridiculous.”
There are position battles still underway during this preseason and Malone will use these final games to determine how the depth chart will shake out.
Emmanuel Mudiay has received substantial playing time so far but has yet to seize the role of starting point guard. He has the tools to be a solid defender and a great passer, both things that Malone wants to see, but he needs to work on his turnovers. He’ll get another chance here.
Jamal Murray on the other hand has already shown his value as a scorer. But Murray has yet to show us that he’s a traditional point guard. He might do well for himself by operating as more of a quarterback, if you will, than a skills player on Sunday.
Trey Lyles and Kenneth Faried are still duking it out for the back up forward position. Malone says that decision will have a lot to do with their respective chemistry with center Mason Plumlee—who has had an excellent preseason thus far.
The Spurs are coming off of their first win and second game of the preseason on Friday. The Spurs tallied 28 assists and hit 15 of their 32 three pointers in a 113-93 victory over the Kings. San Antonio will sit Leonard and Parker, but Manu Ginobili should be in action after missing the game against Sacramento.