NBA Daily Preview, January 13: Friday Thoughts
If you had told me that the Denver Nuggets would score 140 points in a game this season, I would have been skeptical. I would also have been skeptical if you told me that this outburst would come across the ocean in a London game. However, I wouldn’t have been quite as surprised if you told me that the Pacers would be the unfortunate team giving up these 140 points. Indiana has struggled a lot this season, and even at their best this team isn’t exactly a defensive force.
If nothing else, this game is a testament to Denver’s young talent. In my last post I called them a “not very good team,” which I still stand by. However, it’s really encouraging to see their young talent explode on a such a big stage, and this team is primed to win many more games in the next few years.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle for Denver this year is to avoid a bad trade. They have enough assets to potentially land someone like Paul Millsap (if Atlanta ever trades him, which isn’t at all guaranteed), but is finishing eighth in the West really worth hemorrhaging future assets? There’s a case to be made that the Nuggets have more young players than they know how to use, but a trade for an expiring, aging free agent might not be in this franchise’s best interests.
If they can handle this new challenge, though — which isn’t a terrible problem to have—this team’s future is bright.
I went 1–2 last night, falling to 5–4 for the week so far. ESPN has two pretty interesting games tonight, both of which should be fun:
Boston at Atlanta: Atlanta
The Al Horford reunion game presents an odd matchup between a Hawks team that backed away from rebuilding at the last moment and a Celtics squad that is struggling to reach the top of the East. While Boston is the better team, I like the Hawks here because they’re at home and some of the Celtics’ key players are out. This game is close enough to go either way, though.
Plus, I’m a pretty big fan of these uniforms:
Detroit at Utah: Utah
If there’s anything worse than playing Golden State in Oakland, it might be traveling to Utah the next day. While the Jazz can’t compare to the Warriors from a talent standpoint, this is still a well-coached, deep team that should be more than capable of beating the Pistons. Utah wins.