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Nets, hoping to extend winning streak, hit Denver’s mean streets

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NBA: Denver Nuggets at Brooklyn Nets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Two wins in a row! Who knew winning basketball games could be so much fun? Most of us, probably. But we’re so deprived that a two-game winning streak feels like a legitimate boon. Whatever. It’s fun. Hopefully the Nets can stretch it to three, but this Denver squad is far from a pushover. There are going to have to be some good games from multiple players to come out of Denver with another road win. Let’s get into it.

Where To Follow The Game

YES and WFAN have this one at 9 p.m ET.

Injuries

Treveon Graham (hamstring) is still out. But DeMarre Carroll might be back! He’s “probable,” and once he’s at full strength, the Nets are finally going to look like a full, real team (minus only Graham). The one we were expecting to see. Exciting!

Will Barton (hip), Isaiah Thomas (hip), Jarred Vanderbilt (foot), and Michael Porter (back) are all out for this one for Denver. Paul Millsap (ankle) has been day to day.

The Game

The Nuggets have one of the best records in the league at 9-2, after losing to Memphis on Wednesday, and have put together cohesive team performances to win at such a hot clip. They’re deep, even with all of their current injuries, and their core of Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, and Jamal Murray are one of the better young trios in the game. Filled out with pieces like Paul Millsap, Trey Lyles, and Will Barton, head coach Mike Malone’s team has no shortage of weapons.

To come out of Denver with a win, the Nets are going to have to keep playing solid team defense and smart team offense. The Nets turned the ball over just 10 times against Phoenix while forcing 20 from the Suns. Solid margin. D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert have the ball in their hands quite often and have both been taking care of it wonderfully, surrendering just six turnovers combined in their last two. DLo in fact has only one turnover in the last two games.

Mistakes are going to cost the Nets, especially against some of the better teams in the league. There’s no room for error out west, most of the time, anyway.

Nikola Jokic is one of the most unique big men in the game, with an athletic ability and touch that’s just not expected from a guy who’s seven feet tall and 250 pounds. He’s averaging 7.4 assists per game, to go along with 15.8 points and 9.7 rebounds. He changes the chemistry of the Nuggets’ offense, allowing them to run through him at center. Jarrett Allen is mobile, and long, and might be one of the better big men in the league at taking on Jokic’s unique talents. Some bully ball on the boards from Ed Davis wouldn’t hurt either.

Also, it will be a bit of a homecoming for Spencer Dinwiddie who spent three years at the University of Colorado in nearby Boulder.

Player To Watch

On Monday, Jamal Murray simultaneously put up 48 points and pissed Kyrie Irving off so much that he threw a basketball into the stands. He’s dangerous. He does have weaknesses though, as he’s not a great three-point shooter and leaves plenty to be desired on defense. Will he put up another 40+ point game? Probably not, but he’s still worth watching out for.

From The Vault

Enjoy.

For a different perspective, head on over to Denver Stiffs, our sister site on SB Nation.