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Nets and Nuggets play the TNT late game

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Philadelphia 76ers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Still under construction. The Brooklyn Nets managed to put together a nice game in Utah against the Jazz on Tuesday night, but couldn't bring it all the way home and lost a close one. Of the Nets six losses, four have come on the last possession.

We'll see if they can take some of the positives from Tuesday and carry it to their other games.

The opponent tonight will be the Denver Nuggets. Denver is coming off of their best season in a decade and are looking to take the next step in championship contention. They played the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night and lost a close one. After this, they'll be off until Sunday evening.

Where to follow the game

TNT game tonight! WFAN 101.9 FM is handling the radio side. This one's a late night special so the party will get started after 10 PM.

Injuries

No Caris Levert (thumb) or Wilson Chandler (suspension). Kyrie Irving is questionable with a right shoulder impingment. Iman Shumpert was signed Wednesday. Will he be active for Denver?

Jerami Grant is day to day with a left index finger injury. Malik Beasley is questionable as well.

The game

I feel like I should know this, but I honestly can't remember the last time the Nets played a regular season game on TNT.

So, if Kyrie is hurt, who will the Nets turn to for offense? All signs point to Spencer Dinwiddie filling the void. He's started to look like himself in the past few games and it couldn't have come at a better time for Kenny Atkinson's squad.

I'm not really sure what to make of Jamal Murray. Sure he's super young and a franchise cornerstone going forward, but can he be that go to perimeter scorer Michael Malone can count on late in tight games? He had some good showings in last year's playoffs, and his growth could determine whether the Nuggets can get to the NBA Finals.

Problem is that the Nuggets like the Nets are playing poor defense, particularly when faced with a scoring dynamo. In the last two games, vs. the Hawks and Pelicans, the Nuggets have given 247 points, both losses. In the Atlanta game, Trae Young scorched them for 42 points.

We've got somebody new in town. On Wednesday, the Nets signed Iman Shumpert to help fill the void left by Levert's injury. Shumpert can't replace Levert's offense, but the hope is he can help prop up Brooklyn's mediocre defense.

Player to watch: Nikola Jokic

Life is different when you move into the superstar district. Since 2017, Nikola Jokic has grown into one of the best players in the NBA and arguably the best big man going. With the expectations facing the Nuggets this year, more is expected of Jokic. And in looking at the numbeers, Jokic definitely appears to have taken a bit of a step back. His shooting percentages are down across the board, he's not grabbing as many rebounds, and the assists are down as well. If yo've spent any time on social media this fall, you've likely come across a few fat jokes aimed at Jokic. Over at Denver Stiffs, Zach Mikash challenges the early narrative forming around Jokic and writes:

The idea that somehow Nikola’s endurance or fitness is affecting his ability maintain his play in the NBA is absurd. It’s also not affecting his ability to dominate the NBA. Maybe that’s why Joker gets under the skin of some people. He is so cerebral, his game is based so much on seeing things happen one step before every one else, on being able to have pinpoint accuracy, on being so technically sound that he doesn’t need to look like a Dwight Howard or LeBron James to have a superstar impact and frankly if he did it wouldn’t improve his game much, only the perception of it.

We'll see how his year goes from here.

Good luck to Jarrett Allen. Allen has always had trouble with the top big men in the league, and with his recent foul troubles, tonight could be a short and ugly one. DeAndre Jordan plays big minutes on this team, so look for him to be out there a lot when Jokic is on the court.

From the Vault

I miss Melo, man.

More reading: Denver Stiffs