W2W4: Nuggets At Spurs
The Denver Nuggets head to San Antonio to take on a red hot Spurs squad.
The Denver Nuggets bounced back nicely with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Pepsi Center.
Despite a late surge led by Jabari Parker, the Nuggets were able to hang on to the win behind strong performances by Nikola Jokic and Wilson Chandler. Tonight’s game will be much tougher test though.
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The Spurs are a far cry from a young Bucks team who are still learning and growing. No, this squad has championship experience and is led by debate-ably the best coach in NBA history. The Spurs have had Denver’s number so far this season, but the Nuggets were close to eclipsing them the last time they faced off.
Tonight could be a different story if Jokic rides his momentum and they do not let the Spurs get the best of them.
Let’s take a look at what to watch for in tonight’s match-up.
Coach Popovich is the best in the business at devising strategies and finding what clicks for his team.
In other words, he is the best coach in the league right now. It will be interesting to see how Coach Malone counteracts Popovich’s adjustments when he makes them.
Obviously outsmarting Popovich is easier said than done, but the Nuggets have shown the capability to keep up with San Antonio. The Nuggets are a team than no one can overlook and I would be willing to bet that Pop knows that as well.
Will Malone double team Kawhi Leonard if he gets hot? Will he sub when Pop subs? Can Malone pull off the mental upset in the coaching battle? We will have to find out tonight.
This certainly is shaping up to be an intriguing match-up.
Both teams are incredibly deep
The Nuggets’ have one of the deepest benches in the league. It showcases many players who may be starters on plenty of other NBA teams such as Wilson Chandler, Darrell Arthur, and Jamal Murray.
However, San Antonio also has a ton of firepower.
Their bench features a future hall of famer in Manu Ginobli, Jonathon Simmons, Kyle Anderson, Dejounte Murray. In the battle of the Murray’s the last time these two teams faced off, Dejounte had a career night.
If Denver is smart, they will make adjustments this time around and contain him better. The Nuggets’ bench wins in the experience department, but San Antonio has the younger and more spry legs to keep pace.
San Antonio shows off their experience mainly in the starting rotation, so it will be interesting to see who wins the second unit battle.
Can we say anymore about Jokic than we have already? The man is on pace to become something we haven’t seen in NBA history.
People always talk about Kristaps Porzingis being fun to watch, which he is don’t get me wrong, but Jokic is one of the best young players out there right now. Coming off his first career triple-double where he posted 20 points, 11 assists, and 13 rebounds, it will be interesting to see what he caps it off with tonight.
Coming off a hip flexor strain, it looks as if the Joker has not missed a single beat.
He is already averaging 24 points per game in the new year. Without Jokic, the Denver Nuggets look like a lottery team. With him, they look like a squad destined for great things in the future.
If Jokic can get going again tonight, then the Denver Nuggets will have a legitimate chance at upsetting the San Antonio Spurs.