Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns Preview


The Denver Nuggets return home to face the Phoenix Suns after a three game road trip that saw the team go 1-2 and fall back to .500.

The Denver Nuggets began their three game road trip with a matchup against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns got off to a hot start, carrying a massive lead into halftime. The Nuggets lost Kenneth Faried for the second half of the game due to back spasms. Moreover, the Denver Nuggets were without Jusuf Nurkic and Joffrey Lauvergne; thus, Faried’s injury hurt the team’s frontcourt even more than before.

-= Related: Denver Nuggets Fall to San Antonio Spurs 109-98 =-

The Denver Nuggets struggled to get anything going offensively, and their best performer, Will Barton, came off the bench to contribute a double-double, 19 points and 12 rebounds. Additionally, Barton led the team in assists, showing how poorly the Nuggets performed in the game. The Denver Nuggets lost the game to the Suns by a score of 105-81, their second-worst defeat on the season. However, the Nuggets have a chance to get revenge on a team that they just recently saw. 

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The Phoenix Suns enter their matchup against the Denver Nuggets with a 6-5 record, good enough for sixth place in the Western Conference. The Nuggets are just a half-game behind the Suns, but they are currently tied for eighth in the West with the Memphis Grizzlies. With a win, the Denver Nuggets will jump ahead of the Suns in the conference standing, and depending on if the Los Angeles Clippers win, the Nuggets have a chance to move as high as sixth place with the win.

In the Denver Nuggets’ last matchup against the Suns, Eric Bledsoe went off for 30 points, leading both teams in scoring. Also, he added four assists and seven rebounds in just under 30 minutes of work. If the Nuggets want to keep the game close, they need to limit Bledsoe’s production on Friday. The Phoenix Suns saw 11 different players score, showing their depth on the team. The Denver Nuggets enter the matchup banged up. Wilson Chandler is out for the season, and both Nurkic and Lauvergne continue to slowly make their way back to the court.

Recently, Emmanuel Mudiay has struggled from the floor, posting terrible shooting percentages over the past couple games. Also, Danilo Gallinari comes off of a poor shooting night against the San Antonio Spurs. The Denver Nuggets need both of these players to find their stroke if they plan on contending with the Suns on Friday. However, this time around, Kenneth Faried figures to be a key part of the lineup, and he likely plays around 30 minutes against the Suns. 

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  • The back spasms that limited Faried in the first matchup between these two teams looks to be behind the Denver Nuggets’ star forward, so he hopes to make an impact in their second matchup of the season. In addition to Faried, Gary Harris is improving his game as the season goes on, and he looks like he can become a future star if he continues to develop. While Will Barton led the Denver Nuggets in points, rebounds, and assists the first go-round, expect other players to contribute more than Barton. However, Barton figures to be one of the first players off the bench.

    The Denver Nuggets come off of a disappointing loss to the San Antonio Spurs, so they hope to re-enter the win column on Friday with a good showing against the Phoenix Suns. With down games shooting for both Mudiay and Gallinari, expect the duo to right the ship Friday and be big contributors. The Nuggets show flashes of brilliance; however, they have shown their weaknesses, also, early on. We are unsure what to expect from the young team heading into Friday, but they are certainly capable of coming away with the win.

    Next: Denver Nuggets Return Home for Four-Straight

    Tipoff between the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns is at 7pm (MST), so hopefully, with the Nuggets returning home, they gain a boost from their hometown crowd and earn the win. After the Suns, the Nuggets face very stiff competition, hosting the Warriors, Clippers, and Spurs in their next three home games before heading on the road. The Nuggets need to start their home stand off with a win to carry some momentum into their tougher matchups later in the week. Look for the Denver Nuggets to bring high energy into their first (of four) game back in Denver.