Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Game 7: Nuggets @ Bobcats
(Boulder-CO) Tonight, the Nuggets match-up with a team very similar to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Charlotte Bobcats. Both teams are similar in the fact that both teams struggle to put points on the board, yet both have players individually very capable of putting up big numbers in the boxscore. Jason Richardson averaged 26.5 ppg in two games against the Nuggets last season and his teammate Gerald Wallace, while only playing in one game against Denver, burnt the Mile High crew for 40!
For starters, Charlotte comes into tonight's game 2-4 overall with wins over Miami and New Orleans and with a lean nightly scoring average of 88.5 ppg. Denver on the other hand is averaging the league's fourth best nightly effort on offense at 102.2 ppg meaning that tonight's game may very well boil down to how Denver plays defense.
So, if the league's third worst offensive club didn't already have enough problems, the Bobcats are also one of the league's worst rebounding clubs too. This is an area that should be exploited tonight by the Nuggets. Denver comes into tonight's game as the NBA's third highest rebounding team whereas the Bobcat's are the second worst at clearing the boards. The flip side to this statistical anomaly is how Denver allows their opposition the most offensive rebounds league wide. And with Kenyon Martin's status for tonight's game up in the air, this is going to be a critical area of the game for Denver to control. A real easy way to allow a team that has trouble scoring the rock to score more points than usual is to give them second and third chance opportunities on the offensive end.
The next area that has the beloved Nuggets in a perceived advantage is the free-throw line. Did you know that the Nuggets are shooting more free-throws than any other team in the NBA? Yup, it's true, and they are making more than any other team too with an average of 26.8 ppg game coming by way of the charity stripe. The Bobcat's are thin outside their starting five so the Nuggets would be wise to try and get Charlotte's big men in foul trouble early by attacking the rim while looking to draw fouls.
How long can the blissful pairing of Chauncey Billups and the Denver Nuggets last? At least another game because without a catastrophic breakdown Denver should be able to beat the 'Cats and get back on the right side of .500.