The Denver Nuggets face off against the New Orleans Pelicans in game two of their current six game road trip.
Where: Smoothie King Center-New Orleans, Louisiana
When: 6 p.m. MST
Watch/Listen: Altitude Sports and Entertainment-Altitude Radio KKSE 950 AM
After another crushing road loss on Monday night to the Dallas Mavericks, the Nuggets bring their 3-8 road record into New Orleans to face Demarcus Cousins and the Pelicans. The Nuggets 3-8 road record in a complete 180 from their home record, which is third best in the league at 10-2. Denver is still first in the Northwest Division with a record of 13-10 and are fourth in the Western Conference. The Pelicans come in at eighth in the West with a record of 12-12.
The last time these two teams squared off was just a couple weeks ago in the Nuggets 146-114 thrashing over the Pelicans. That was the game in which Jamal Murray scored a career high 31 points, and the Nuggets made 18 three-pointers while shooting over 60 percent from the field. A lot has changed since that game though, the Nuggets are now without arguably their two best players in Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic, and Pelicans star Anthony Davis is “doubtful” to play with a left adductor strain. Without having either Millsap or Jokic, stoping Pelicans big man Demarcus Cousins is certainly going to be a challenge.
Cousins currently leads the Pelicans in points per game with an average of 25.3 and also leads the team in rebounds with a clip of 12.3. Boogie also contributes 5.2 assists per game, but the Pelicans are led in that category by veteran point guard Rajon Rondo at 7.3 per game. The Nuggets will face another tough point guard on Wednesday and will have to find a way to handle Jrue Holiday who is currently averaging 16.3 points per game and is shooting over 46 percent from the field. Another guy to watch for the Pelicans is E’Twaun Moore who is currently averaging 12.5 points per game, and also shoots an impressive 45.1 percent from behind the arc.
The Nuggets are looking to stop a three game losing streak and to get this six game road trip back on track. Nikola Jokic is with the team and is attempting to come back during this road trip from an ankle sprain, but will still be held out against the Pelicans on Wednesday night. That leaves Mason Plumlee and Kenneth Faried as the beneficiaries of those minutes and are both guys the Nuggets will need to step up.
Will Barton had another big game for the Nuggets against the Mavericks and scored an efficient 23 points, hauled in eight rebounds, and also dished out six assists. Barton is now the Nuggets leading scorer at 15.8 points per game and is second on the team with a 43 percent field goal percentage from behind the three-point line. Barton has been coming off the bench, but with the recent injuries and struggles of Wilson Chandler, Barton has been seeing a lot more minutes. It’ll be interesting to see how coach Malone handles his lineups on Wednesday night in another tough road matchup against a tough Western Conference opponent.
Stay tuned to Dig In Denver for the postgame coverage.