Following an uninspiring loss in Phoenix (A place where we tend to struggle), the Nuggets are home and well rested for the Lebron and Co… Round 2.
The first meeting was a shootout and the first sign of life for Denver, although they would leave Miami with a discouraging 0-3 record. It would seem the Nuggets are finally coming into the swing of things with four wins and the resurgence of Kenneth Faried in the past week. His performance was gutsy enough to garner player of the week for the Western Conference and to inspire the Nuggets, even as their other key players struggle to find their rhythm (Ty Lawson, I’m looking at you).
The first game in Miami was a heartbreaker, but the definition of a good loss. The Nuggets held on with the Heat for the entire game, only to be sunk by a Ray Allen four point play in the waning seconds of the game. Lebron and Wade were held by the Nuggets to an admirable 34 points combined. However, Chris Bosh channeled his inner Big Baby Davis and Spencer Hawes to add his name to bigs that have torched the Nuggets this season. He scored 40 points, absolutely embarrassing any defender that picked him up. If the Nuggets are to win this game, they’ll need to play solid defense. They won’t be able to hold all of the big three to mediocre numbers, but they’ll need to at least keep it respectable. In addition to this, three point threats Ray Allen (.500), Rashard Lewis (.489), Shane Battier (.378) and Lebron (.520 on the year) should scare the Nuggets with their history of defending the three (Which is not defending at all).
The Nuggets do have some things on their side though. The Nuggets are no longer winless, and have had a few days off since their loss to Phoenix. They will play one of the few early games in the friendly confines of the Pepsi Center against a Miami team on the second night of a back to back. Although Miami just got outgunned and outclassed by the Clippers in LA, so expect them to counter with a serious effort tonight. Key players Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari will need to step into their regular season form to provide serious scoring power and pace, and for goodness sake, please make your free throws!
The Nuggets do seem to play to the level of their opposition, so there isn’t any reason to doubt that they can pull off a win. Plus, if there’s any team that I dislike on a level near the Lakers, it’s the Heat for starting this “Big 3″ trend. A win tonight would be oh so sweet, and a big boost to a young Nuggets team still finding itself in the early season. Go Nuggets, Beat the Heat!