The Denver Nuggets will take part in their first-ever group play game in the In-Season Tournament on Friday night when they host the undefeated Dallas Mavericks. Fortunately for the Nuggets, it sounds like they’ll have all of their key players for the historic matchup.
According to The Denver Gazette’s Vinny Benedetto, Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Christian Braun are all probably for the meeting with the Mavs.
Jokic, who had been dealing with some lower back pain, has picked up right where he left off in the playoffs last spring. Through the first five games of the new season, the big man has averaged 26.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game while knocking down 60.4% of his attempts from the field and 35.0% from long range.
His co-star, Murray, has been wildly efficient so far. He’s poured in 18.8 points per game while converting on 45.6% of his attempts overall and 46.2% from beyond the arc.
Denver Nuggets will debut new alternate court against Mavericks
When Jokic, Murray, and Braun take the floor on Friday, Denver’s court will be looking a bit different. As part of the In-Season Tournament festivities, the Nuggets will debut their alternate floor design against the Mavericks.
The wood at Ball Arena will be painted blue with a gold strip down the middle from baseline to baseline. On top of that, Denver’s alternate 5,280 logo will eclipse a painting of the NBA Cup at center court.
The Nuggets aren’t the only team that will have a strange-looking court for the new competition. All 30 NBA franchises were given the gift of paint by the league, in an effort to clearly define In-Season Tournament games to the viewer.
“The courts, which will be used for Group Play and the Quarterfinals, showcase a bold and distinctive design scheme league-wide, making it instantly clear to fans when a game carries NBA In-Season Tournament implications,” the NBA said in a statement. “The unified look represents the first time that the league has implemented an alternate court for all 30 teams and the first time that any NBA team has played on a fully painted court with no woodgrain details.”