Denver Nuggets vs Chicago Bulls Preview


The Denver Nuggets travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls tonight (12/2), and the Nuggets look to end their seven-game losing streak.

The Denver Nuggets enter their matchup against the Chicago Bulls with a 6-12 record and are losers of seven-straight games. After the Denver Nuggets’ win against the Pelicans on November 17th, they sat one game above .500; however, now, the Nuggets find themselves six games under .500 and in 13th place in the Western Conference. Moreover, as of late, the Denver Nuggets struggle to shoot the ball with efficiency, scoring no more than 81 points in their last three games.

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The Denver Nuggets and Emmanuel Mudiay hoped the team could make a playoff push, but due to their recent losing streak, they might shift their focus to the NBA Draft next season. Although the Denver Nuggets have played less than 20 games, the Western Conference remains stacked, and there are, potentially, 10 teams (not including the Nuggets) that could make the playoffs. The Denver Nuggets are in the midst of a five-game road trip, and they lost their first two games of the trip. 

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Over the first two games of the current road trip, the Denver Nuggets averaged 77.5 points per game due to their poor shooting, and they enter the matchup against the Bulls with their offense stumbling and their record plummeting. On the other hand, the Chicago Bulls sit in third place of the Eastern Conference with an impressive 10-5 record. The Denver Nuggets have their work cut out for them against a strong defensive Chicago Bulls team. With two teams fighting for different purposes this season, the Bulls come into the game as the heavy favorite.

The Denver Nuggets need someone to step up offensively, because the Nuggets stand no chance to win a game by scoring 81 point or fewer. Moreover, the Chicago Bulls have two stars on their squad that present matchup problems to the Nuggets. Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler present one of the best backcourts in the NBA; although, Rose got off to a slow start this season due to a facial fracture. Despite Rose’s injury, Butler continues to put together solid performances on a nightly basis. 

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As of late, the Chicago Bulls bring Joakim Noah off the bench, proving they have a deep rotation, and with the Denver Nuggets’ thin frontcourt, this might not bode well for the Nuggets’ chances. Also, Emmanuel Mudiay continues to struggle from the floor, owning one of the worst shooting percentages in the NBA. While Mudiay looks like a future superstar, his struggles leave some scratching their heads, but with a young point guard, growing pains are inevitable. In addition to Mudiay’s struggles, Danilo Gallinari‘s offensive woes continue over the past seven games.

While Gallinari nearly averages a double-double over his last seven games, he possesses a shooting percentage of .286 during that stretch, averaging 14.9 points in the process. Moreover, if the Denver Nuggets want a chance to walk away with the win, Mudiay and Gallinari need to vastly improve on their shooting percentage. It is no coincidence that Denver Nuggets’ scoring coincides with Mudiay and Gallinari’s offensive woes. The Denver Nuggets leave too many empty possessions with their poor shooting performances.

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The Denver Nuggets have their hands full entering tonight’s matchup (12/2) against the Bulls. Both the Bulls’ backcourt and frontcourt presents problems to a struggling Denver Nuggets squad. Jimmy Butler is one of the best defenders in the NBA, so Gary Harris needs to step up tonight. Also, the Denver Nuggets must have a strong showing from their thin frontcourt. All in all, the Chicago Bulls possess a stronger team than the Nuggets, so it will take a near-flawless performance from the Nuggets to knock off the Bulls and end their losing streak. Tipoff is at 6pm (MST).