The Denver Nuggets will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in their final preseason game. The regular season tips off next Wednesday.
Time: 7 p.m. MST
TV/Radio: Altitude Sports (TV) KKSE 950AM (Radio)
The Denver Nuggets will host the Oklahoma City Thunder in their final game of the preseason. The Nuggets will look to rebound with their fourth win of the preseason following a 22 point drubbing in San Antonio. The defense took a step backwards as Denver allowed the Spurs to shoot 57 percent from the field and knock down 16 three pointers.
Head coach Michael Malone called out his team after the game, stating his disappointment in the effort level late in the game. Effort will be something Malone is looking for tonight. That can be easily inferred from this excerpt of Harrison Wind’s piece:
“Giving up 39 points in one quarter, turning the ball over five times for 12 points. I thought guys that were out there just kind of quit and rolled over, which is great for me because every time you play, it’s an opportunity for me as a head coach to see if I can trust you on the court. And guys that were in the game in the fourth quarter obviously left a very bad taste in my mouth.”
This game will be the final test of the preaseason for Emmanuel Mudiay as he is trying to earn solid minutes at the point guard position. Mudiay was a -23 and only scored four points on Sunday. Jamal Murray didn’t play in the game (rest) and Jameer Nelson handled the starting point guard duties. But Nelson only managed two points in 22 minutes of action.
Murray is likely to get the nod as the starter tonight, according to Chris Dempsey.
Jamal Murray is likely to start tonight at PG vs. OKC, #Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.
— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) October 10, 2017
The back up power forward battle is another to keep an eye on tonight. Kenneth Faried posted a -19 and scored nine points in 15 minutes of action against the Spurs. Trey Lyles played sixteen minutes but failed to hit a field goal. Neither has been able to pull away from the other thus far.
Coach Michael Malone has talked about how he wants the back-up power forward to have a good relationship with center Mason Plumlee. In that area, one player seems to have an edge thus far:
“When you put players on the floor it’s not just about putting eight players (together). How do they fit with the other guys around them? When you talk about bigs, you talk about the way they complement each other. I think right now it’s easy to see, Mason and Trey have great chemistry.”
This will be our first look at the Thunder’s new and improved roster that now features Paul George and familiar face Carmelo Anthony. The Thunder’s last game came on Sunday, when they held off a late push by Melbourne United and barely escaped with a one point victory.
This will also be the Thunder’s last preseason game before they start the regular season on October 19th against the New York Knicks. Fitting, right?
Having a set rotation will be one of the biggest challenges moving forward for Coach Malone. It’s something he hopes to have more clarity on by the end of the evening. Stay tuned to Dig In Denver for postgame coverage on the Nuggets/Thunder preseason finale.