Coming off of a quality win against Indiana, the Denver Nuggets should look to come out firing against a beaten up Washington team. Banking wins now is important to their season.
The Denver Nuggets emerged victorious against the Wizards last time they played.
It’s nothing spectacular. The Wizards are 10-24, and not a good team. It is worth noting however, that the Nuggets held the number four offense in the league, (adjusted ORTG, per Basketball Reference) to 104 points in their last contest.
It was a weird game, with Jokic only putting up eight points (and 20 rebounds), and Jerami Grant leading the team in scoring. Michael Porter Jr received a DNP-CD that game as well, while Juancho put up three points in 12 minutes. This game, everyone can expect different results.
I mean, drastically different results.
The Wizards are hurt:
This list is arguably a list of the top 5 players for the Wizards.
In fact, this list combined for 123 minutes in the last game against Denver, which is over half of the 240 minutes that are assigned each game. Four of these names are important frontcourt pieces. In the absence of Rui Hachimura, Davis Bertans, Thomas Bryant, and Mo Wagner names at the Power Forward and Center position for Washington look like this: Jonathan Williams, Ian Mahinmi, Anzejs Pasecniks, and Admiral Schofield.
With a depleted roster, the Nuggets should look to completely roll over Washington. Jokic already recorded 20 rebounds against their weak front court. Now, with even less options to try and stop him, Jokic should have a monster game. Pasecniks specifically recorded five fouls in 18 minutes against Portland. An aggressive Jokic could drain their options even more.
Jamal Murray only scored 16 against the Wizards last game. With Beal out, and his length unable to assist Isaiah Thomas. Jamal Murray could look to get back into a rhythm. He performed well in the game against Indiana and his offense is going to be needed down the stretch. A good scoring night against a fragile defense could be just what the doctor ordered for Jamal.
Michael Porter Jr:
I’d expect Michael Malone to allow Michael Porter Jr to play extended minutes in this game. The Wizards starting lineup allowed a combined 27 points in their most recent loss against the Trailblazers. Their starters did not hit a single three point shot. Noting this, defense should be less of a concern. Coach Malone should allow Porter the opportunity to continue his offensive success. It’s a perfect opportunity and I expect solid numbers from Porter, as Washington’s wings lack the size and defensive prowess to bother a pure stroke from a 6’10” wing like Michael Porter Jr.
This should be a roll over game from Denver. To prevent this being a trap game, the Nuggets do still need to be aggressive. Complacency would be their poison. The Nuggets should use this game to gain momentum for the rest of this road trip.