The Denver Nuggets look to establish a winning record for the first time this season as they take on the New York Knicks at the Garden on Monday night
When: Monday, October 30 at 5:30 PM MST
Where: Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
TV/Radio: Altitude TV/KKSE 950AM
The Denver Nuggets improved their record to 3-3 with back to back wins in Atlanta and Brooklyn this weekend. On Monday night, the Nuggs will head over to Manhattan for a game with the New York Knickerbockers and a chance to improve to a winning record for a first time this season.
The Knicks (2-3) are coming off of a huge win against the defending conference champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis led the way with 34 and 32 points respectively. The offensive play from those two, as well as the inspired defensive effort from rookie Frank Ntilikina, has helped the Knicks get off to a fairly competitive start in the post-Carmelo Anthony era.
Denver will have their work cut of for them in containing the Zinger. As many expected would be the case, the 7’3″ and highly skilled Latvian has stepped up following Melo’s departure.
Porzingis has 138 PTS & 43 REB thru 5 games. Only other NY Knick since 83-84 to do at least that in the 1st 5 games? Patrick Ewing in 90-91.
— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) October 30, 2017
Luckily for Denver, they’re coming off of the most complete performance of their short season. The Nuggets were able to hit 11 of their 20 three pointers and they turned the ball over just 6 times—a season low by a wide margin. They finished with 124 points and finally saw some contributions from their guards and veteran wing Wilson Chandler.
Chandler finished with 18 points on 7-11 from the field and 2-3 from deep. It was by far his best offensive performance of the season, something Denver needed badly. Adding Paul Millsap obviously helps, but losing Danilo Gallinari appears to have hurt far more than some expected.
After an offseason full of post-practice remarks from coach Michael Malone that stressed the importance of getting Chandler going offensively, he finally had a break out game. Keep your eyes on a potential concerted effort from Malone to get Chandler some early looks in this game.
Additionally, the young guards had their best performances of the season. Jamal Murray finished with 26 points and shot 56 percent from the field. Murray has struggled with his jump shot to open the year. And he’s also failed to penetrate defenses with any consistency thus far. But he was on his game Sunday night.
The spacing in this offense has been less than ideal to start the season, but some of that is explained by all the missed shots. Opposing defenses haven’t had to respect the Nuggets from deep yet, and the floor is shrinking. Improved jump shooting from Murray and Chandler would have an enormous impact on this offense.
Emmanuel Mudiay had his best game of the season as well, scoring 15 points in 19 minutes off the bench, although he did turn it over twice in that span.
The young guns will face a tough matchup in MSG tonight. It’s early in the season, and the bar I’m about to describe sits particularly low, but Ntilikina already looks like New York’s best defensive point guard in quite some time. Keep your eyes on this matchup. Another strong game from Murray will be key in a potential a third straight victory for the Nuggets.