The Denver Nuggets are riding high as they return to Ball Arena after a road victory to open the season. The Spurs join them after their own opening day win.Embed from Getty Images
The Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs both opened their seasons with victories. Now San Antonio comes to Ball Arena to face a Nuggets squad close to full health. Outside of the missing Jamal Murray, this Nuggets squad showed why all the concern over a sub-par preseason that saw them win only one game was a mirage. This Nuggets squad is new and improved with a 110-98 victory over the Suns.
After watching Michael Porter Jr. take a step forward and have a career-high 5 assists, and Will Barton drop 20 points with 4 treys and 5 assists of his own. I have a new appreciation for Malone and Co not blowing up this roster with a big trade. And Aaron Gordon proved his worth with 12 points and great defense that culminated in a huge block late in the 4th quarter that helped Denver keep its lead before pulling away.Embed from Getty Images
The Spurs are coming off a thumping of Orlando 123-97 where they put forth a collective effort. They had 7 players reach double digits. With their leading scorers actually off the bench with Devin Vassel dropping 19, and Lonnie Walker IV with 17. While San Antonio usually had a singular player to highlight such as Duncan Robinson, Kawhi Leonard, etc. This squad boasts an ability to score from anywhere, with anyone.
The Denver Nuggets will need the defensive effort they showed after halftime for the full 48 minutes. I don’t see this Spurs squad going cold for 3-4 minutes at a time the way the Suns did in game 1. This Spurs roster is just too deep. But this Nuggets roster is not as shallow as it showed in game 1 either. So this should be an absolute epic early matchup yet again.Embed from Getty Images
If MPJ, Will, and Monte can all have 5+ assists, this offense can more than keep up with the Spurs.
Win the TO Battle
When this Nuggets squad takes care of the ball on offense and causes havoc on the defensive end, they are almost unstoppable.
Monte Morris: while he had an adequate game one (9 pts/3 asts/4 reb) he will need to take another step to ensure this Nuggets offense stays on schedule.
Jeff Green: His 13 points led the bench in game 1, his veteran leadership and scoring will be key to this bench reaching its potential.
Bones Hyland: Can the youngster find the court?