The Nets have been impressive this season, even with Jeremy Lin’s injury. Even LeBron James has admitted the Nets’ first round pick that the Cavaliers have may not even be that good. However, it was a tough outing for them against the New York Knicks, losing 107-86.
D’Angelo Russell only managed 18 minutes in his first game back from a knee injury, and scored 15 points off 60% shooting in that time, but as a team the Nets struggled as a team offensively, managing only 40.5% shooting from the field.
The Nuggets have had their own struggles this season. Although they’ve been strong defensively, they find themselves in the bottom ten of the league in points scored, and haven’t been clicking like last season, when they boasted the number three offense in the league.
They were able to win their last game against the Hawks 105-100 off a balanced team performance, but could really use a win to start to build momentum on the season.
Keys to the game
Quick response – The Nets have been a top five offense in the league, and need to spark some of that magic again after struggling to convert against the Knicks. They need more production from the starting forwards. DeMarre Carroll and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who only managed a combine 3-13 in the last game.
Russell’s health – D’Angelo played restricted minutes in his first game back to the starting lineup. Now he’s the sole leader of this team, they need him to play normal minutes again as soon as possible. If they can get 25 minutes out of him, it would go a long way to getting the Nets a win.
Murray Magic – It’s been a tough start for Jamal Murray, who is yet to build off his rookie season. Although he managed 33% shooting from deep in his first season, he’s converted a pitiful 9.5% of his shots from deep so far. It’s important for him to start performing strongly if Denver has any playoff ambitions this year.
Matchup to watch
Emmanuel Mudiay vs D’Angelo Russell – Mudiay has been the more impressive of the Denver point guards so far, which led to him playing eight more minutes than Jamal Murray, even though he didn’t start. Look for him to be the architect of the team against this revived D’Angelo Russell, who should perform despite his injuries.
Denver Nuggets Projected Lineup
PG -Jamal Murray | SG – Gary Harris | SF – Wilson Chandler | PF – Paul Millsap | C – Nikola Jokic |
Brooklyn Nets Projected Lineup
PG – D’Angelo Russell | SG – Caris LeVert | SF – DeMarre Carroll |PF – Rondae Hollis Jefferson | C – Timofey Mozgov |
D’Angelo Russell continues to shine. Not even an injury can slow him down, scoring 15 points in 18 minutes in the Knicks loss. Now he has a game back he should be even more aggressive in this game.
Denver is a 4.5-point favorite in this game, but the Nets will be desperate to bounce back, so putting money on the Nets wouldn’t be a bad idea. Jefferson and Carroll, will not be consistently combining for 23% shooting from the field. Improved performances from the rest of the Brooklyn lineup should lead to a win,
The Nuggets are yet to show that they’re capable of beating solid teams consistently, while the Nets will not want a repeat performance of their last game, so they’ll take this one by a close margin.
You can watch the game on the Yes network or on NBA League Pass. Coverage starts at 6pm ET.
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