Denver Nuggets Return Home for Three Games


The Denver Nuggets return home for three games, following a five-game road trip that saw them go 2-3.

The Denver Nuggets started their five-game road trip off on the wrong foot, losing the first three games. Moreover, the Denver Nuggets failed to score more than 90 points in any of the first three games, portraying their shooting woes as of late. However, the Nuggets managed to get their act together, beating the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers in back-to-back games to close out their road trip. The Denver Nuggets won their last two games by a total of four points.

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Before the Denver Nuggets defeated the Raptors, they lost eight-straight games, with their last win coming on November 17th against the Pelicans. With the eight-game losing streak, the Denver Nuggets saw their record plummet, falling to a season-low seven games under .500 (6-13). With back-to-back wins, the Denver Nuggets sit at 8-13 and just two games out of eighth place in the Western Conference; however, in the meantime, the Nuggets are currently in 12th place in the West.

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The Denver Nuggets have an opportunity to continue their win streak, hosting the Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Houston Rockets. The Magic present the stiffest competition to the Denver Nuggets in their upcoming home stand, because the Magic are the only team (out of the three) that have a winning record. The Magic boast a stronger team than last season, headlined by Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, and Evan Fournier. Outside of Vucevic, the Denver Nuggets matchup well with the Magic and present mismatches at several positions.

Danilo Gallinari continues to showcase his value for the Denver Nuggets, nearly averaging a double-double throughout the season. Also, the Denver Nuggets have one of the brightest, young point guards in the league. However, Elfrid Payton is one of the better defensive point guards in the NBA, so Emmanuel Mudiay has a tough task on Tuesday (12/8). The biggest question mark for the Denver Nuggets is how to handle Nikola Vucevic; however, the Denver Nuggets’ big man rotation is slowly getting healthy, recently adding Joffrey Lauvergne to the mix. 

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With a win against the Magic, the Denver Nuggets have a chance to move up in the Western Conference rankings. After the Magic come to town, the Denver Nuggets host the Timberwolves and Rockets; teams that are ranked ahead of the Nuggets in the West. The Timberwolves currently sit in 10th place in the West, so with wins against the Magic and Timberwolves, the Nuggets move ahead of them in the rankings. Furthermore, with a win against the Rockets, the Nuggets will continue their assent in the West.

While the three game home stand presents its troubles, all three games are winnable for the Denver Nuggets, and with three wins, the Nuggets would improve their record to 11-13 and vault back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference. The Denver Nuggets possess four first round draft picks in the 2016 NBA Draft, so their finish on the season does not hinder their chances at landing a lottery pick. Look for the Denver Nuggets to fight for a playoff spot this season, but do not be surprised for another long season ahead.

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The Denver Nuggets possess a nice core of young players, but they remain a year or two out from true contention in the Western Conference. Emmanuel Mudiay, Danilo Gallinari, and Kenneth Faried must step up their play if the Nuggets want to compete for a playoff spot in the West. The Nuggets host the Magic on Tuesday (12/8) to start their three-game home stand.