Nuggets (46-22, 16-19 road) vs. Thunder (50-17, 30-4 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 112.9 (1st), Nuggets– 110.2 (3rd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.9 (8th), Nuggets – 105.2 (12th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.8 (8th), Nuggets – 95.0 (2nd)
View from the enemy: Roundball Mining Company
The Thunder are 1-2 against the Nuggets this season. The two losses coming in Denver, the one win coming in OKC. And just like the previous win, the Nuggets are coming in having played a grueler the night before. Which is obviously an advantage for the Thunder, but only something that sort of dilutes any achievement here.
Nevertheless, this Nuggets team is riding a 12-game streak and quickly mutating into this season’s token Scary Playoff Team. Splitting the four-game regular season set looks a lot better than a 1-3 run, with one of the losses coming at home. Both games in Denver were painfully close and could’ve swung OKC’s way on a play or two. The game in OKC was dominated by the Thunder. But lose tonight and that changes the viewpoint pretty dramatically.
The Nuggets are near unstoppable at home. But they aren’t in the Rockies anymore. The Thunder have a sparkling home record in their own right at 30-4, while the Nuggets have been average on the road.
Denver coming in: The Nuggets beat the Bulls in overtime last night.
Three Big Things
1. Get back. The Nuggets ripped OKC up in transition in the last meeting, running virtually at every opportunity in the first three quarters. The Thunder have to get back to the paint and build out. Live ball turnovers will result in two points the other way so ball security is key as well, but overall, it’s just about running back to your own rim and then building a shell from there.
2. KD. He cooked in the fourth against the Mavericks, kind of getting his offensive mojo back. More please.
3. Who’s the guy? The Nuggets have topped OKC the last two meetings because they got big games from Corey Brewer in one and Wilson Chandler in the other. If Denver is beating OKC, it’s going to have to a big game from someone else. Is it Danilo Gallinari? Is it Ty Lawson? Chandler or Brewer again? Kosta Koufous?
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Get Back.