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Nets host the Nuggets

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NBA: Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The day started off well, but things went as they usually do for the Nets by the end of it. Brooklyn got off to a great start against the Wizards and led by 15 points at halftime, but fell apart in the third quarter and suffered a crushing home loss on Monday night. As it turns out, that wasn’t even their worst loss of the day. More on that in a bit.

The opponent tonight will be the Denver Nuggets. After a rough couple of years, the Nuggets appear to be on the right track going forward. They snapped a three game losing streak on Monday with a win over the 76ers. This is the first half of a back-to-back. They’re in DC to play the Wizards on Thursday.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

Jeremy Lin is out. Yogi Ferrell is questionable with a sprained right ankle.

Nikola Jokic is dealing with a wrist injury and will more than likely miss the game. Gary Harris is out with a foot injury.

The game

I mentioned the Nets suffering a bigger loss on Monday, and that loss was thanks to the Rockets. Houston matched the Nets offer and retained Donatas Motiejunas’ rights. As it turns out, the Rockets want to short him $6 million and Montiejunas isn’t gonna show up to take his physical. Sounds good for the Nets? Nope. The Nets aren’t allowed to sign him for a year if he manages to become a free agent. This situation is tricky, and The Dream Shake will have more on that. Good luck to them.

The matchup at power forward should be worth watching. Trevor Booker has been the Nets' most consistent player one month and change into the season as he's provided a steady force on the glass and provides a little bit of scoring punch near the rim. Kenneth Faried is Denver's best rebounder on both sides of the ball and can help Booker off the boards. Faried is averaging his lowest minutes per game since he first entered thr league, so it'll be interesting to see how long he's on the floor tonight.

I tend to forget sometimes, but Danilo Gallinari has been in the league since 2008. Injuries have derailed him on multiple occasions, but he's been productive when he's been on the court. Gallo's been a little less involved than usual in the Denver offense, but he's done well with the opportunities he's had. He'll be a tough matchup for Sean Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick has been a revelation for the Nets and has been a steady secondary/tertiary scoring option when he hasn't been asked to play point guard. If he struggles a bit, look for Kenny Atkinson to bring in Rondae Hollis Jefferson early.

Player to watch: Jamal Murray

Murray is one of the youngest players in the league and has been doing a nice job for Mike Malone and the Nuggets. Although he's only shooting 39 percent from the field, Murray is averaging 10 points a night coming off the bench and has shown the potential of becoming a star player. He's been in a bit of a slump recently, but broke out of it with 22 points on 8-12 shooting Monday. Denver is a pretty intriguing team and as Murray develops, they could be challenging for a playoff spot pretty soon.

The Nets rookies have struggled a bit, but that was to be expected. Isaiah Whitehead got thrown into starting PG role unexpectedly and has been working to find his footing. Caris Levert has been working his way back into shape following surgery while he was in college and should be making his NBA debut any day now.

From the Vault

I was wondering how Nuggets fans viewed Allen Iverson’s time in Denver, and came across this article from Zach Mikash at Denver Stiffs. He wrote:

Beyond his contributions on the court, Iverson had a profound effect on the Denver franchise off of it. Not since the Nuggets acquired Alex English in 1980 had they traded for a a player with the talent or star power of Iverson. His fame was world renown thanks to a brilliant career in Philadelphia, including being named MVP of the 2000-2001 season where he led a 76ers team to the 2001 NBA Finals that had no business being there. He started seven all-star games prior to coming to Denver and would be selected to the all-star team in both of his seasons with the Nuggets. This type of notoriety helped bring the the team into the national and international spotlight.

With the ten year anniversary of the trade that sent him to Denver two weeks away, let’s take a trip back to AI’s debut in Denver.

More reading: Denver Stiffs