The Denver Nuggets are back on national TV as they welcome Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder to town.
Where: Pepsi Center-Denver, CO
When: 8:30 p.m. MST
Watch/Listen: TNT-KWOF 92.5 FM
After losing two games to start the week by a total of three points, the Denver Nuggets are looking to right the ship against another tough opponent in the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder come in with a record of 30-21 and sit at fifth place in the Western Conference. The Thunder have found their stride as of late of have a record of 8-2 in their last ten games. After some early season struggles, the Thunder have find their identity with former MVP Russell Westbrook leading the charge.
Westbrook currently leads the Thunder in points per game (25.5), rebounds per game (9.4), and assists per game (10.1). Westbrook’s explosiveness will be something the Nuggets will have to keep in check, but it’s something that could also benefit them as well. Averaging 4.5 turnovers per game, Westbrook can sometimes become careless with the basketball and could potentially give the Nuggets some great fast break opportunities. Paul George is another name the Nuggets will have to look out for as George is averaging 21.3 points per game and is shooting 42 percent from behind the three-point line. George is also a phenomenal defender and currently leads the NBA in steals at 2.2 per game.
After two crushing defeats, the Nuggets are looking for their first victory in two games. The Nuggets current record of 26-25 puts them just a half game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth seed in the West. A victory on Thursday night would not only be big for the Nuggets in the standings, but would reward them for the effort they put in the last two games. Losing by a combined total of three points to two of the NBA’s top teams can be defeating, but it gives us a sign that this team is ready to compete with some of the best teams in the league.
Gary Harris still leads the Nuggets in points per game at 17.3 and in steals per game at 1.9. Harris has played great defensively in the last few games for the Nuggets and could potentially be tasked with guarding Westbrook on Thursday night. Westbrook is averaging 25.5 points per game against the Nuggets this season and went for 38 points in the two teams last matchup. Slowing down Westbrook when he’s on the court will be hard and the Nuggets will have to take advantage when he’s getting rest on the bench.
Tonight’s game will be televised nationally on TNT and will be a late start time at 8:30 MST. With it being a primetime game, the Nuggets will debut their “city” jerseys for the first time. These are the fourth installment in the Nuggets new jerseys for the season and will now be in the rotation of four different jerseys the Nuggets can wear for the rest of the season.
Mile High City Night pic.twitter.com/E14cM1fgBT
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) February 1, 2018
Stay tuned to Dig In Denver for postgame coverage.