The Denver Nuggets have had a couple days to recover from the tumble against the Orlando Magic. Since then, the dust has settled from the trade deadline and the hope is that Thomas Bryant is available for tonight’s game to make his debut.
They were already without Bones Hyland and Davon Reed against the Orlando Magic, but they’ll have to continue to try and find a bench identity without Bones. The bench struggled last game with trying to generate much offense, and they got punked on the defensive end of things.
They may have to look to the buyout market for their true backup PG, because Bruce Brown can play the position. However, when he’s the lead ball handler it’s rarely gone very well for the Nuggets. It often results in a lot of turnovers and just passing the rock around until someone jacks up a three pointer.
If Thomas Bryant is able to join the lineup tonight though, then he might be able to give the bench some offensive leverage. He’s a talented roll man, and can score in a litany of ways. He won’t help the bench on defense, but if the backup front court is him and Vlatko, then they will have some advantage creation on the bench.
The Charlotte Hornets are a bad team and this can be a good spot for the Nuggets to go into the All-Star break on a good note. They could rattle off some solid wins against the Hornets, Heat, and Mavericks before the break. If they could win 2 of the next 3, they’d be a contender by Phil Jackson’s rule of 40 wins before 20 losses.
They’re the only team in the Western Conference that could reach that mark this season, and despite some weird vibes lately — they’re still the best team in the conference. The Suns and Mavericks could pose as threats in the postseason, but as of now the Nuggets are still the first seed.
Where, When, How
Who: Denver Nuggets (38-18, 12-14 away) @ Charlotte Hornets (15-42, 7-17 home)
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
How to Watch: NBA League Pass, Altitude Sports, go to the game
Injuries: Thomas Bryant (not with team) QUESTIONABLE, Collin Gillespie (leg fracture) OUT, Zeke Nnaji (shoulder sprain) OUT, Aaron Gordon (left rib contusion) QUESTIONABLE, Jamal Murray (right knee inflammation) QUESTIONABLE
Reggie Jackson (not with team) OUT, Kelly Oubre (left hand) OUT, Cody Martin (knee) QUESTIONABLE, Svi Mykhailiuk (not with team) QUESTIONABLE