Sunday, January 27, 2008

Nuggets vs. Mavericks: Game 43 Preview

(Boulder-CO) Today’s match-up with the Dallas Mavericks should be a good measuring stick as to how the Nuggets stack up with the elite teams in the Western Conference. Denver handed Dallas a loss in their first match-up, but since then the Mavericks have streaked out to a 29-13 record and a second place position behind the Hornets in their division. And the game is at 4:30 MST, so what else could you want? It’s the perfect way to spend the Sunday before Super Bowl Sunday.

Plus, I think ‘Melo is going to play today even though The Denver Post is trying to smoke screen us. He loves big games like this and if he is probable tomorrow, he'll probably play today.

I’m not going to bore you with a long and overly analytical preview today because both teams have star-studded rosters with very capable players. For Dallas, everyone knows it’s Josh Howard, Jason Terry, and Dirk Nowitzki. For the Nuggets, it's AI, ‘Melo, and The Captain. But, of all the different ways to look at this game I think there is one major and decisive component: Turnovers.

The Mavericks are the fifth best in the league at taking care of the ball and only turn it over an average of 12.3 times per game. The Nuggets are one of the worst at turning it over themselves (25th in the league at 15.3 tpg), but are also one of the best teams in the league at forcing them with the NBA’s 2nd best forced TO average of 16.3 a night. In tonight’s game, if the Nuggets are going to win, I would bet it’s by making Dallas turn it over far more than their average (which will drive the “Little General” crazy). How much they turn it over will also be critical, but I really do think that if the Nuggets force a lot of Maverick turnovers then Dallas will buckle and give the Nuggets their third straight win.
Carmelo can not go. He tested out the ankle before the game and did not like what he felt.

Go Nuggets!

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