Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans Preview


The Denver Nuggets travel to New Orleans to take on Anthony Davis and the Pelicans in their second of three-straight road games.

The Denver Nuggets began their three game road trip on November 14th with a tilt against the Phoenix Suns. The Nuggets entered the matchup with their record sitting above .500 (5-4) for the first time since the second game of the season. Coming off of a three game home stand, the Nuggets embarked on their three game road trip; however, they could not continue their winning ways in Phoenix.

-= Related: Kenneth Faried: Back Spasms Cause Early Exit =-

The Denver Nuggets suffered their second-worst loss of the season to the Phoenix Suns. The Suns created a 60-28 lead at halftime, by far the Nuggets’ worst deficit at any point this season. Also, Kenneth Faried exited the game at halftime due to back spasms, and he did not return for the second half of play, primarily for precautionary reasons. With Sunday and Monday to rest, Faried will play against the Pelicans after completing his morning workout. 

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Against the Suns, Will Barton led the Denver Nuggets in all three major statistical categories: 19 points, four assists, and 12 rebounds. On the other hand, Emmanuel Mudiay struggled from the floor, shooting 33 percent (6-18 FG) and only added one assist. Moreover, the Nuggets were without two of their big men (three after halftime), with Jusuf Nurkic and Joffrey Lauvergne sidelined. In addition to the injuries to Nurkic and Lauvergne, Wilson Chandler underwent season-ending hip surgery.

The Denver Nuggets head into their road matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans with a 5-5 record, but they look to jump back over .500 with a win on Tuesday (11/17). Although the Pelicans have superstar Anthony Davis on their roster, the teams sits at a gaudy 1-9, losing their last three games. The Pelicans started their season off 0-6 and look to be a ways away from contention. However, they have a good roster and had a tough schedule to open their season.

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  • Anthony Davis comes off of an impressive 36 point, 11 rebound double-double, and he looks to carry some of that momentum into the Pelicans’ home matchup against the Denver Nuggets. The Pelicans rely on a committee at point guard, switching between Ish Smith and Jrue Holiday. Holiday is still recovering from offseason leg surgery, and the Pelicans continue to ease him into gameplay. Also, the Pelicans are without Tyreke Evans after he underwent arthroscopic surgery in late October.

    After back-to-back 25 point-plus games, Danilo Gallinari laid a dud against the Suns, posting just eight points (2-12 FG), four rebounds, and two assists. The Denver Nuggets rely heavily on Gallinari’s shooting prowess, and he needs to regain his stroke if the Nuggets want to find success. In addition to Gallinari’s shooting, Emmanuel Mudiay needs to step up against the Pelicans. He presents a matchup problem for Smith and a recovering Holiday at the point guard position.

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    With Mudiay’s size and reach, he needs to take advantage of a weakened point guard corps the Pelicans throw out. With Lauvergne ruled out for Tuesday’s matchup, JJ Hickson and Kenneth Faried must work together to stop Anthony Davis. Hickson figures to continue to see added minutes with Lauvergne out of action again. Look for a tough matchup on the road for the Denver Nuggets, but it is definitely a winnable game. The Nuggets look to improve their record to 6-5 heading into their third-straight road game.