Photo: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Nuggets will look to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race as they take on one of the NBA’s best teams, the San Antonio Spurs.
Where: Pepsi Center – Denver, CO
When: 8:30 p.m. MST
Watch/Listen: TNT – Altitude Sports Radio AM 950
The Nuggets seemed primed to steal a victory in San Antonio just a couple weeks ago. After a crushing defeat to the East leading Celtics the night before, the Nuggets went into San Antonio on the second night of a back-to-back with the odds stacked against them. The team fought hard for 48 minutes and had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds on Will Barton three-point attempt. The shot would rim out though and the Nuggets would drop a heartbreaker to the Spurs 106-104. The Nuggets haven’t beat San Antonio since 2016 and have won just one of their last 15 matchups against the Spurs, which is something they’ll be look to change Tuesday night.
The Spurs come into Pepsi Center with a record of 35-23 and are in third place in the Western Conference. The good news for the Nuggets is that the Spurs are a phenomenal home team, but are fairly mediocre on the road. With a home record of 22-6, the Spurs are just 13-17 on the road. The Nuggets will look to take advantage of the Spurs average road record and will get a little help as the injury bug just recently struck one of the Spurs best players.
LaMarcus Aldridge will be held out of this back-to-back at Utah and Denver headed into the All-Star break to receive treatment on his sore right knee. There isn't an injury or anything, just pre-planned maintenance. He's gone back to San Antonio to… https://t.co/mtKMF1XG0s
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) February 12, 2018
With Aldridge being out, the Spurs will lose arguably their best player and will lose a guy who has shredded the Nuggets in previous matchups this season. Aldridge is averaging 22.5 points per game against the Nuggets this season and scored 30 points in the two teams last matchup. With Aldridge out, the Spurs have a fairly balanced attack on offense where anyone on the court is able to score the basketball.
The Nuggets will look to build off a big ten point victory against the Suns last Saturday night. With the team being in a brutal stretch of the schedule, it won’t get any easier when the Spurs come to town Tuesday night. With the recent struggles the Nuggets have had against the Spurs, Tuesday night might be just the right time for the Nuggets to get a win as the Spurs will be without their two best players in Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, and will also be on the second night of a back-to-back. After losing to the red hot Jazz just last night, the Nuggets are the Spurs last game before the NBA All-Star break. The Nuggets have a prime chance to take advantage of a team that may potentially struggle at altitude and might be coasting into the All-Star break.
Mason Plumlee could potentially take part in shootaround for the Nuggets, but will more than likely still be held out till after the All-Star break as he recovers from a calf strain.
Mason Plumlee (calf strain) is getting some work in after practice pic.twitter.com/XVbf99qdPv
— Brandon Ewing (@B_Skip17) February 12, 2018
Another storyline to watch will be the Pepsi Center debut for new Nuggets point guard Devin Harris. Harris is coming off his first game as a Nugget in which he scored nine points, had two steals, and had a team high +17.
Stay tuned to Dig In Denver to see if the Nuggets were able to take down one of the Western Conference’s elite teams.