Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nuggets vs. Pistons Preseason Preview

(Boulder-CO) The 2-0 Nuggets will face the 1-2 Pistons tonight at the Palace in Auburn Hills. The big stories tonight will be if J.R. Smith plays or if the feud between he and George Karl continues, Von Wafer’s play both offensively and defensively, and how many assists Allen Iverson finishes with.

The J.R. situation intrigues me in so many ways. First, you would think that after the kind of off-season that J.R. had he would want to just focus on basketball and nothing else, but somehow he has found a way to lock horns with Karl again. Only this time, the Nuggets have far more mature options as far as who they can play at the reserve shooting guard position and because of so J.R. could easily find himself sitting at the end of the bench if he is not careful.

Related to this is the pleasantly surprising play of Von Wafer. Von scored 17 in the Nuggets first outing and followed that up with a ten-point showing against the Trailblazers. While neither game was statistically monstrous, Von showed that he can help this team quite nicely in a reserve role and if his defense can continue to improve he will almost certainly lock himself into the good graces of Karl and the coaching staff. A tremendous opportunity is in front of Wafer and I hope he can seize it.

Another bright spot for the Nuggets has been the unselfish play of Allen Iverson. His first showing was a seven assist, eleven point outing and in his second showing he went for 17 points, four rebounds, and four assists. AI is getting the Nuggets started early in the shot clock and his penetration is leading to a lot of buckets both on the dish and the drive. I’m loving the way Iverson is meshing with ’Melo, Camby, and Linas Kleiza because he isn’t trying to individually force things, but instead is allowing his teammates to get involved and they are rising to the occasion. Major kudos are due to AI so far in this preseason.

As far as a prediction on tonight’s game, I’m thinking that the Nuggets probably have not forgotten about Rasheed Wallace’s 60-foot heave that forced overtime the last time the Nuggets were in Motown. And while I think the game will be close, (which the Nuggets need at this point to work on their fourth quarter execution), I’m calling a victory by three over the Pistons.

Be sure to check out these fantastic Pistons sites for an in-depth look at tonight’s opposition.

Detroit Bad Boys
Go Nuggets!

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