Now, with all that being put out on the table, the one aspect of Utah's current winning streak that has to come to an end if the Nuggets are to knock off the Jazz has to do with three-point shooting. In the last nine games, Utah has made 41.7 percent of its long range attempts which is a full 5% higher than the cumulative average for the entire team up to this point in the season. And while Kyle Korver has certainly had something to do with Utah's recent high percentage from beyond the arch, even he is only shooting an even 40% (a team-high) from downtown leading me to believe that this recent rash of heat from downtown is due to cool off. The only thing that scares me about this is the Nuggets have not been the best team when it comes to perimeter defense. And in all actuality... Denver is one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to opposing teams' long distance connection rate with the sixth worst clip of 37%, which is only a tenth of a percent behind the worst team in the league.
In addition, whether or not Marcus Camby and Eduardo Najera play will also be huge, but if there is anything the first 47 games should have taught the Nuggets it is that regardless of who suits up the players that do have to bring it.
Other aspects of tonight's game to keep an eye on are the defensive efficiency of Anthony Carter on Deron Williams and Kenyon Martin on Carlos Boozer, and vice versa with Ronnie Brewer on Allen Iverson and Kirilenko on 'Melo. It is probably not too far of a stretch to proclaim that the team whose All-Stars out perform the others will most likely win.
It would also bring me great pleasure for the entire Nuggets Nation to head over to My Utah Jazz for some spirited trash talking which I'm sure there is going to be plenty of here, and over at their blog.
This is a big game any way you want to look at it. C'mon Nuggets, get that W!