Phoenix Suns At Denver Nuggets Game Preview: Back on Track?

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

After facing a disappointing loss at home to the veteran San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, will the Suns be able to re-establish their winning ways against another tough Western Conference opponent on the road tonight?

What: Phoenix Suns At Denver Nuggets

Where: Pepsi Center in Denver, CO

When: 7:00 p.m. (AZ)

Watch: FSAZ (Locally) , NBA League Pass

The Phoenix Suns (14-10) are coming off a loss to the San Antonio Spurs which broke a five game winning streak.  Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets (14-10) who share the same record as the Suns, also lost their last game, and also against a tough Western Conference foe, the Oklahoma City Thunder.


Both the Suns and the Nuggets are teams competing for the playoffs, and are very similar in their overall level of talent.  Neither team has a true superstar player, but both have a nice assortment of very good players and borderline all-stars.  The Suns seemingly have a slight advantage being that they already beat the Nuggets once this season; a 114-103 victory on November 8th.  However, the Suns will need to be sharp on offense and control the pace throughout the game to get a win tonight in Denver; something they failed to accomplish at home against the Spurs.

Stats:

Suns:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Eric Bledsoe 18 34.5 6.7 13.8 48.4 1.2 3.7 33.3 4.7 5.9 79.2 0.4 3.9 4.3 6.4 3.6 1.7 0.3 2.3 19.2
Goran Dragic 21 35.2 6.5 13.4 48.6 1.3 3.6 37.3 4.7 6.0 78.4 0.7 2.2 2.9 6.0 2.6 1.1 0.3 2.5 19.0
Markieff Morris 23 25.8 4.7 9.5 49.5 0.3 0.8 33.3 2.9 3.7 78.6 1.9 4.2 6.0 1.7 1.8 0.9 0.3 2.3 12.5
Gerald Green 24 26.4 4.3 10.2 42.6 2.2 6.1 36.3 1.4 1.8 79.1 0.5 2.3 2.8 1.4 1.7 0.5 0.5 2.8 12.3
Channing Frye 24 27.3 4.3 8.9 48.4 2.0 4.6 43.6 0.8 0.9 81.8 0.8 4.3 5.2 0.9 1.1 0.9 0.8 3.3 11.3
Marcus Morris 24 22.8 3.9 8.3 47.0 1.3 3.1 41.9 1.6 2.1 76.0 1.1 3.6 4.7 0.9 1.3 1.0 0.3 2.0 10.6
Miles Plumlee 24 28.2 4.3 8.5 50.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 2.2 48.1 2.7 6.0 8.6 0.6 1.4 0.7 2.0 2.7 9.7
P.J. Tucker 24 31.4 3.3 7.7 42.4 1.2 2.5 47.5 1.4 2.0 70.8 2.0 3.5 5.5 1.7 1.4 1.4 0.2 2.5 9.1
Archie Goodwin 23 10.9 1.5 3.5 42.5 0.1 1.0 9.1 0.3 0.7 53.3 0.3 1.5 1.8 0.3 0.9 0.4 0.3 0.7 3.4
Ish Smith 13 12.0 1.2 3.7 31.3 0.1 0.7 11.1 0.2 0.2 100.0 0.1 1.1 1.2 2.0 0.9 0.8 0.2 0.8 2.6
Dionte Christmas 13 7.2 0.8 2.1 37.0 0.3 1.0 30.8 0.2 0.3 75.0 0.3 1.0 1.3 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.7 2.1
Alex Len 4 7.8 0.8 1.8 42.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.5 50.0 1.3 0.5 1.8 0.3 0.8 0.5 0.5 2.0 1.8
Viacheslav Kravtsov 10 3.0 0.2 0.4 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.4 50.0 0.4 0.2 0.6 0.0 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.6 0.6


Nuggets:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Ty Lawson 22 34.3 5.9 13.5 43.8 1.2 3.2 37.1 5.0 6.6 75.9 0.7 2.9 3.6 8.0 2.7 1.3 0.2 1.4 18.0
Wilson Chandler 18 29.1 4.4 10.1 43.6 1.6 4.6 34.1 1.3 1.8 69.7 0.9 3.6 4.5 1.8 0.9 0.9 0.7 2.7 11.6
J.J. Hickson 24 24.9 4.6 9.3 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 3.7 56.2 3.0 5.5 8.4 1.1 1.5 0.6 0.8 2.3 11.3
Nate Robinson 24 20.6 4.0 9.7 40.9 1.3 3.4 37.8 1.8 2.1 84.3 0.4 1.7 2.1 2.6 1.2 0.8 0.1 2.1 11.0
Kenneth Faried 24 24.4 4.3 8.0 53.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.6 2.8 57.6 3.3 5.2 8.5 0.8 1.1 0.7 0.8 1.8 10.1
Randy Foye 24 24.9 3.0 8.2 37.2 1.7 4.9 35.0 1.5 1.9 82.2 0.1 2.1 2.2 2.1 1.2 0.8 0.5 2.5 9.3
Jordan Hamilton 22 18.3 3.2 7.4 42.9 1.5 4.0 38.6 0.7 0.9 84.2 0.6 3.5 4.1 1.0 0.9 0.9 0.2 0.9 8.6
Timofey Mozgov 24 18.8 3.0 5.7 52.6 0.0 0.1 0.0 2.3 3.3 71.8 2.0 4.0 6.0 0.4 1.6 0.3 1.3 2.6 8.3
JaVale McGee 5 15.8 3.4 7.6 44.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2 100.0 2.0 1.4 3.4 0.4 1.6 0.2 1.4 3.2 7.0
Andre Miller 24 19.7 2.4 5.2 45.6 0.4 0.7 56.3 1.1 1.5 73.0 0.6 2.0 2.6 3.5 1.2 0.5 0.2 1.0 6.3
Darrell Arthur 24 17.8 2.5 5.5 45.5 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.5 0.6 85.7 0.8 2.1 2.9 0.9 0.6 0.4 0.6 2.3 5.5
Anthony Randolph 8 13.5 1.5 3.9 38.7 0.3 1.0 25.0 1.5 1.9 80.0 0.8 2.8 3.5 0.6 1.3 0.8 0.6 1.9 4.8
Evan Fournier 21 12.2 1.5 4.1 37.2 0.5 1.5 35.5 0.5 0.8 58.8 0.3 1.1 1.4 0.8 0.7 0.1 0.1 1.7 4.0
Quincy Miller 4 2.3 0.5 1.3 40.0 0.3 0.3 100.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.3 0.3 1.3


Leaders:


Team:
Suns
Nuggets
PPG
Bledsoe (19.2)
Lawson (18.0)
RPG
Plumlee (8.6)
Faried (8.5)
APG
Bledsoe (6.4)
Lawson (8.0)
BPG
Plumlee (2.0)
McGee (1.4)
SPG
Bledsoe (1.7)
Lawson (1.3)

Team Stats:

Team
Suns
Nuggets
Record
14-10 (2nd in Division)
14-10 (3rd in Division)
PTS/G
102.5 (10th)
101.8 (12th)
OPP PTS/G
100.6 (18th)
100.0 (14th)
OFF RTG
108.0 (6th)
106.7 (11th)
DEF RTG
106.1 (18th)
104.8 (15th)

Probable Starting Line-Ups:

Suns:

G - Eric Bledsoe

G - Goran Dragic

F - P.J. Tucker

F - Channing Frye

C - Miles Plumlee



Nuggets:

G - Ty Lawson (Nate Robinson)

G - Randy Foye

F - Wilson Chandler

F - Kenneth Faried

C - J.J. Hickson

Injuries/Suspensions:

Suns:

None besides Emeka Okafor

Nuggets:

Ty Lawson - Questionable; stomach flu

Javale McGee - Out; fractured tibia

Jordan Hamilton - One game suspension


Keys to the Game:

Tonight's game will be a true test for the Suns.  This Nuggets team, though also different in many ways, is a very even match-up for Phoenix.

  • Free for three! The Nuggets have the best three-point defense in the league right now, limiting their opponents to only 32.4% from beyond the arc.  The Suns will need to move well without the ball and make the right passes to make them pay from deep.
  • Who's Next? The last time the Suns won, they had help from Markieff Morris who did it all, scoring 28 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.  They are going to need someone else besides the Slash Bros. to step up again tonight and provide the additional star-caliber performance to help carry the team to victory.
  • Paint Patrol! The Suns gave up far too many points in the paint against the Spurs in their loss on Wednesday, and they'll need to protect the basket better and force Denver to take more jump shots if they they are going to get the win tonight...And yes, this includes getting rebounds!

Bonus!

To hear a podcast featuring the Nuggets GM Tim Connelly, visit the link below!

http://www.coloradosportsguys.com/2013/12/csg-153-denver-nuggets-general-manager.html

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