Preview: Nuggets vs. Suns

By Evan Hayes
Nov. 16, 2016

The 3-7 Denver Nuggets will play the 3-8 Phoenix Suns tonight in Denver with both teams looking to improve their records and the Nuggets trying to deliver their first home win of this season.

As it stands right now the Nuggets are having some troubles with the lineups and figuring out how to use all of their players effectively, especially Emmanuel Mudiay. For tonight it would be assumed that Mudiay will be in and going for big minutes guarding the Suns primary offensive threat Eric Bledsoe. This is a good and bad thing as Mudiay has been a decent defender so far this season, while also being a turnover machine which Bledsoe may take advantage of himself. 

If the Nuggets want to win this game they are going to need to attack the Suns at shooting guard and power forward which are the Suns weaker defending positions. The problem is Gary Harris and Will Barton are inactive for this game and it is uncertain how the team will want to use Jamal Murray. This will probably lead to Jameer Nelson at point and Mudiay at the shooting guard spot, while Danilo Gallinari will man the small forward position. It is going to be a sight to watch the Gallinari and TJ Warren matchup as they are both sharp shooting scorers with almost no defense to their names. 

With the guard spots probably not going to produce many points and Warren and Gallinari in a shoot off most of the night the big men will have a battle all to their own. Both teams are highly effective rebounders with the Nuggets being first in the league and the Suns in the top 5, Nikola Jokic and Kenneth Faried are going to need big night if the Nuggets want a chance to win. The two power forwards are going to see an array of players guarding them none of them true power forwards giving them a phenomenal matchup for either rebounding or scoring. 

The best matchup of the night will come at the center position with Jusuf Nurkic and Tyson Chandler or Alex Len, it is a battle of Nurkic's scoring and the Suns defensive rim protectors. This along with the forward matchups could decide the game or at least give a slight indicator to how the game will go for either team. It is no question that both teams have talent, but neither team has really found a way to use all the talent they have effectively. Hopefully tonight the Nuggets can find a way to get into the winners column and give the Denver fans the first home win of the season.