Finally, the Denver Nuggets The pre-season game will end tonight, which means the regular season is just around the corner. Denver is 2-2 through four preseason games and looks like a team ready to start the regular season.
Prior to that, the Nuggets will have one final set against the defending champion, Golden State Warriors. There’s no telling how much Nuggets players will play, but I would expect it to be minimal especially with the injury history Denver has had in that building.
From: Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors
When: 8:00 pm GMT
where: Chase Center
How to watch/listen: ESPN2, Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM
Competition blog: The golden state of the mind
Expected starting lineups:
Warriors – Steph Curry, Clay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevin Looney
nuggets – Eshe Smith, Kentavius Caldwell Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Zeke Nnagy
Three things to see
How many beginners play?
Although this is the last time for beginners to connect before the regular season begins, I honestly won’t be playing any of the novices tonight against the Warriors. It doesn’t seem worth it and with the Nuggets’ injury history at Chase Center I wouldn’t risk it.
On the flip side, Nuggets beginners can use at least one more game before the regular season starts and if the Warriors have played their starts, this is a great opportunity to see where they are. We’ve seen glimpses of greatness, but we’ve also seen some growing pains between the Nuggets starting at 5 and these are definitely things you’d like to see in tune before they face Utah on Wednesday night.
If the rookies play, I won’t expect it to be the whole match and I’ll just give them the first half. Once you see them establish that rhythm and start to have success, it’s time to take them out and let the bench unit take over.
Hyland’s bones (left ankle sprain), Jamal Murray (left hamstring tightness), and Nikola Jokic (right wrist sprain) are all listed as questionable, so I imagine Nuggets would be very careful with these three.
When the Nuggets acquired Kentavious Caldwell-Pope this summer from Washington Wizards I felt Smith was the afterthought of the deal. He has been anything but that in pre-season and feels like a player ready to get some playing time to start the season.
The calm and controlling nature with which Smith plays was a welcome sight in the second Nuggets unit, and it also allows Hyland to play off the ball and do what he does best, which is score. If anything, Smith gives the bench unit Nuggets another ball handler who can score the ball and defend at a fairly high level. I expect Smith to get a fair amount of running tonight and hope he can build on his already strong start.
It was never a question whether Brown could immediately help the Nuggets at the defensive end of the ground, but his attack was the biggest question mark during the summer league and season opener. Brown is starting to find rhythm in scoring and you can tell that his confidence is growing because of that.
This may be the last real look we’ll see for Brown for quite some time as he will be hard-pressed to break the spin at least early in the season. As the season goes on, injuries always happen and that may be when we see Brown getting his time to shine. A strong pre-season final could be a huge deal for Brown’s confidence, so he’s ready when his regular season number is called.