NBA Opening Night Preview: Detroit Pistons vs. Denver Nuggets


Mar 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Detroit Pistons small forward Josh Smith (6) defends Denver Nuggets small forward Kenneth Faried (35) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season is finally among us as we get to see our beloved Denver Nuggets in action. Last season was one to forget, dealing with multiple injuries to key players while finishing 11th place in the Western Conference. This season will be different in my opinion and may shock the so-called experts.

What: NBA Regular Season – Game 1: Detroit Pistons (0-0) vs. Denver Nuggets (0-0)
When: Wednesday, October 29th
Where: Pepsi Center (Denver, Colorado)
Time: 9:00 PM EST, 7:00 PM MST
TV: Altitude Sports

Denver will return four key players in which sat out all if not most of the 2013-14′ season. Danilo Gallinari (teams second leading scorer in 2012-13′), JaVale McGee, J.J. Hickson, and Nate Robinson will all return to action Wednesday night for Denver against the Detroit Pistons.

Brian Shaw labeled his point guard Ty Lawson with “All-Star ability” and rightfully so. The 5th-year man out of North Carolina put up career numbers last season in terms of points (17.6) and assists (8.8) while being the focal point of the offense with Gallo out. Denver’s success this season will depend heavily on the health of Lawson and the emergence of Kenneth Faried.

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Faried dazzled in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Denver’s team and fans hope Faried carries over that same level of play into the NBA season. After struggling for most of the first half under rookie head coach Brian Shaw, Faried came into his own averaging 18.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals after the All-Star break.

Personally, this Denver team is just as good as the one that won 57-games back in 2012-13′. New additions such as Arron Afflalo, Gary Harris, Jusuf Nurkic, and Alonzo Gee add a defensive presence to a ball-club that needs it in the worst way. Denver gave up 106.5 points per game last season — 3rd-worst in the NBA.

Denver will take on a pretty underrated team from the Eastern Conference tonight in the Detroit Pistons — don’t sleep on them either. They have some rising stars in Brandon Jennings and Andre Drummond, not to mention Greg Monroe. Former Colorado Buffaloes point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is also a member of the Pistons, drafted 38th overall in the second round this past NBA Draft.

Projected Starting Lineups:

Detroit Pistons:

PG: Brandon Jennings
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF:  Kyle Singler
PF: Josh Smith
C: Andre Drummond

Denver Nuggets:

PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Arron Afflalo
SF: Danilo Gallinari
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: Timofey Mozgov

Tip-off between the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets from the Pepsi Center is scheduled for 9:00 PM EST, 7:00 PM MST.