Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns: What to Watch for

Nov 16, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) during the second half at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 120-104. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets head out on the road for a quick one-game road trip. Can they stay perfect this season against the Phoenix Suns?

Last game was a familiar story to Nuggets fans. The Denver Nuggets dropped a double digit lead with four minutes left to play. The Nuggets have now lost five games this season by three points or less. It can’t get much closer than that.

Hopefully the next game against the Phoenix Suns can be a pick-me-up for the young squad. What they can’t do is look past the Suns, they have to focus on getting the win.

This will be the second game for the Nuggets against the Suns. In the first game, the Nuggets won handily 120-104 at the Pepsi Center.

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Now the Nuggets take their game to Talking Stick Resort Arena and look to improve to 7-10 on the season.

Here are a couple things to watch for in Sunday’s match-up.

How do you judge the Nuggets season so far? Do you think that this team is young and will eventually win these close games? Or do you think there is another underlying problem? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

Nov 20, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) reacts after hitting a three point basket during the second half against the Utah Jazz at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 105-91. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Murray

Murray started off the season slow, as most everyone knows. The rookie out of the University of Kentucky has dropped 20+ points in his past three games.

He has really gotten into a groove with the offense. He looks especially comfortable from the three-point line where he is nearly shooting 50 percent.

He is not only scoring from outside. Murray has shown some good moves driving to the basket.

Last time Murray faced the Suns, he put up nine points on the night. If Murray continues what he has been doing, he should score well over that amount.

Next game expect Murray to get his shots in the offense. Don’t be surprised if Murray eventually drops 30 points on a team.

Nov 25, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight (11) celebrates a second quarter three pointer against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Knight and Devin Booker

Knight and Booker, who are ironically also from the University of Kentucky, are pure scorers as well. In fact, Knight scored 32 points and Booker scored 24 points in their last meeting with the Nuggets.

Gary Harris, one of the Nuggets’ best defenders, is still out with injury. It’s up to Jamal Murray, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Jameer Nelson to lock these guys down. But with their track records, it may be easier said than done.

The Nuggets tend to get lost on defense and opponents will find wide open shots on the arc. It’s frustrating, but it is not impossible for the Nuggets to rectify.

The defense has looked better as the season has gone on, but the young guys often get caught on the pick and roll.

It would be a good gauge of the Nuggets’ progress to see how they defend the likes of Knight and Booker this time around. If they can limit the two guards offense, their chances of winning are likely.

Eric Bledsoe, also a player out of the University of Kentucky, is another guy who can score. So shutting down Knight and Booker are not the end-all of the Suns’ offense.

If the Nuggets can put pressure on the shooters and get a hand in their face, they should not score as much as the first game.

Defense is always something the Nuggets are working on. Next game we will see if the Nuggets work is starting to pay off.

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