The Denver Nuggets are set to play their first game of a back to back against the second seed in the Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies. They are currently 6 games ahead of the Grizzlies, and a victory tonight would make it extremely unlikely for the Nuggets to fall in the standings.
Securing the first seed would be a huge advantage for the Nuggets due to it guaranteeing them home court advantage in any series until the NBA finals. They play far better at home than on the road, and while they still have shown the ability to get big road wins, playing at home is what would be best for the Nuggets’ title chances.
With both Aaron Gordon and Zeke Nnaji out again due to injuries, a lofty matchup once again falls on Vlatko Cancar. After facing up against Evan Mobley, he has to defend All-Star Jaren Jackson Jr. tonight. He didn’t do a great job against Mobley (no one on the Nuggets did), but he’ll have a chance to redeem himself tonight.
Jamal Murray also struggled a bit to finish his shots on Thursday night against the Cavaliers, and shot only 6-19 from the field. However, he created good looks for himself and seemed to not skip a beat when it came to creating shots for others either. He finished with 9 assists, and got to the rim a good amount even if it didn’t always end in a bucket.
He’ll have a solid chance to get going against the Grizzlies, and the Nuggets will probably need any production that he could give them. It’s to be expected that he will struggle a bit with finishing and shooting, because he did miss almost three weeks of action. However, he’s always bounced back quick from things and has done very well in the new year.
Michael Porter Jr. also had one of his best games of the season on Thursday, so look for him to carry over his production on both ends against the Grizzlies. He’s quietly put together his best all-around season as a pro this season, and has vastly improved some of the areas of his game that were lacking in October and November.
Who, What, Where, Etc.
Who: Denver Nuggets (42-18, 15-14 away) at Memphis Grizzlies (35-23, 24-5 home)
When: 6:00 PM MST
How to Watch: League Pass, Altitude Sports
Injuries: DEN – Aaron Gordon (rib contusion) OUT, Zeke Nnaji (shoulder sprain) OUT
MEM – Steven Adams (knee) OUT