Saturday, February 23, 2008

Nuggets vs. Bucks: Game 55 Preview

(Boulder-CO) Tonight’s game is a test of defensive resolve. The Bucks are one of the league’s lowest scoring teams and if the Nuggets are to win I think they will have to keep Milwaukee under a hundred points.

Denver can accomplish this by showing Milwaukee why they are tops in the league in three defensive categories. The Nuggets are currently leading the league in forced turnovers, steals, and blocks. They would also do themselves a huge favor by sharing the ball. The Nuggets had an extremely low 17 assists on 48 made baskets last night against the Bulls. Denver is at its best when the ball gets spread around, so here’s to hoping for some distribution. So far in wins, the Nuggets average 25 assists. In losses that number dips dramatically to 20.

The Nuggets also have to know where Michael Redd and Mo Williams are at all times. Mo is shooting a torrid 39% from beyond the arch and Redd is not far behind him at 37%. Another player the Nuggets will need to be aware of is Charlie Villanueva. In his second game back from a sore ankle, Charlie score 18 points against the Detroit Pistons.

Aside from that trio of Milwaukee players, the Nuggets need to concentrate on playing defense as a team. It’s been too long since Denver played a solid game defensively and as of late I feel they have been too reliant on their offense to get the job done. A combination of the two every night would be deadly, but I’d gladly settle for a 82-75 victory with the Nuggets not scoring as much as they are accustomed to while shutting the Bucks down defensively.

The bottom line is this is a game Denver needs to, and should, win. Remember, Denver needs to win 20 out of their last 30 games to realistically put themselves in a position to make the playoffs and they're 1-1 so far in this first stretch of ten games. Two out of three does the trick, Denver. Avoid falling behind the curve by bagging the Bucks tonight and catch the jet back to the Mile High to prepare for Detroit on Monday.

Go Nuggets!

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