Coming off a 21-point blowout to the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets prepare to host the Denver Nuggets at Barclays Center.
- Brooklyn Nets (3-3)
- Denver Nuggets (2-3)
- NBA, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, 6 p.m. ET, YES Network
- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
It’s been an interesting week for the Brooklyn Nets, who beat a top team in the East Wednesday, to fall to the lowly Knicks on Friday.
Denver sits at 2-3, coming off a 105-100 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.
Point center Nikola Jokic runs the show for the Nuggets, averaging: 14.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. The newcomer and All-Star Paul Millsap serve as secondary, having posted 15.6 points and 6.8 rebounds to start the year.
The Nuggets offense and defense have been rusty, as is expected when incorporating a major ball handler in Millsap. A couple things the Nets should look for as they prepare to walk away with a home win.
The Nuggets currently rank sixth in the league in rebounds per game, while the Nets sit in the bottom half of the league at 16th. This is not news to Nets fans, who have watched their team get bullied in the post in each of their first five games.
While Millsap and Jokic will make you pay by leaving them open outside of the post, down low is where their game thrives. As it stands today, the Nuggets are one of the worst three-pointing shooting teams in the league.
Head coach Mike Malone told The Denver Post that shots outside the post are just not falling for his team.
“When we do generate a wide-open shot, we’re not making those and we’re not finishing at the rim the way we need to be.”
Ranked 22nd of 30 teams, they’re shooting a lowly 32.8 percent per game. In a worst-case scenario, Brooklyn can afford to leave them open on the wing. Hammering Jokic, Millsap, and even Mason Plumlee down low will keep the Nets offense all the sharper.
Picking Up the Pace
The Brooklyn Nets have proved many things through the first week of the season. One of those being just how fast this offense can move, and score when you’re caught sleeping at the wheel.
They currently sit 2nd in the league at 107.6 possessions per 48 minutes (per Hollinger’s NBA stats). The Denver Nuggets have not seen such luck, sitting at 25th in the league, and nearly ten points below the Nets at 98.1 possessions per 48 minutes.
As Nuggets’ head coach Malone told The Denver Post, it’s one of their biggest weaknesses entering their game against Brooklyn.
“When we get caught standing around ball-watching, we’re easy to guard.
The same goes for this Nets’ offense, which has been scoring at a very high rate. On average, Brooklyn has been putting up 115.3 points per night, 3rd in the league.
Keeping up that high-intensity ball movement will keep the Nuggets off their toes, and the ball falling in the basket.
Coming off a hard loss, expect these Nets to respond tonight against the Nuggets.
They’re a better team then they displayed Friday, and they will be out to prove it.
Opening tip is at 6:00 p.m. ET.