Nuggets at Wolves
7:00 pm CST
The Nuggets come in at 14-20 and with injury problems of their own, as Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee, and Randy Foye are all out for tonight's tilt at Target Center. Their primary starting lineup remains intact, however, and they were able to defeat the Wolves in Denver prior to the new year mostly by dominating the offensive glass, something they have been very good at all year.
Much like Utah, their strength is rebounding, as they are in the top 7 in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. This could be a problem for the Wolves as it was in Denver, as they struggle to keep teams off the offensive glass. We have talked about this regularly, but there really is no solution with the current personnel. The Wolves are going to struggle on the defensive glass.
The Nuggets also have the ability to exploit another Wolves' weakness: transition defense. They play at the 5th fastest pace in the league, and look for quick offense behind their point guard Ty Lawson, who leads them in scoring while also averaging over 10 assists per game. He's going to be a tough match up for the Wolves tonight. As will Kenneth Faried, who absolutely punished the Wolves last time out, going for 26 points and 25(!) rebounds.
For the Wolves, illness has reduced their depth even more, as Chase Budinger is once again out, Robbie Hummel is questionable, and Flip Saunders will not be coaching the team tonight due to some sort of flu.
Sam Mitchell will take over for tonight's game, and it will be interesting to see what if any lineup changes are made, as Flip was quoted in today's Star-Tribune as being unhappy with the effort and suggesting lineup changes were likely. Frankly, I don't know what they would be, though apparently he thinks Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgiu Dieng are getting tired from overuse, and various unnamed others are simply not playing hard enough. It wouldn't be a shock to see Mo Williams in for Zach LaVine I suppose. They don't really have a lot of other options for changing things with the lack of bodies.
Here's a link to our friends at Denver Stiffs. Be excellent.
No no and no.
Enjoy the game, chat here, go Wolves.