Game On: Denver @ Pelicans

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Published: November 17, 2015

The 5-5 Denver Nuggets are in New Orleans tonight to take on the… ugh, 1-9 Pelicans. The injuries have been bad, but things are starting to seem worse. While the West doesn’t seem as mighty as it once did, the Pelicans have dug themselves a considerable hole. Frankly, any team with Anthony Davis should expect something better than a 10% winning percentage.

So, what’s the good news? I’ve covered 100% of the Pelicans’ wins so far this season. In fact, I’m on a streak of one. I’m not saying I deserve credit, but I’m also not saying I don’t deserve credit.

Advanced statistics aside, I actually think we have a pretty good shot in this one. I’m not saying I expect a win, because that part of me is dead until we get healthy. But, I do like our odds at home with a bit of rest. We’ll see.

Injury Report

This part of the post is always the most consistent. Evans, Cole, Pondexter and Perkins are out. The good news is that, given my understanding of time, they are closer to coming back than they were last week. So we got that going for us.

What to Watch For

  • Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton – I don’t have a real clear reason, but I’ve just got a feeling that one of these guys lights us up. They’ve both shot the 3 well this season and our defense… you know.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay – He’s been going through some growing pains, but I’m excited to get the chance to watch him. He has been a turnover machine this year, though. The Pelicans don’t need to be aggressive. They just need to be solid on defense. Let him make the rookie mistakes and take advantage of them.
  • 3 Pointers – Opponents are shooting 37% from 3 against the Nuggets this year. That ranks them at 27th in 3 point defense. The Pels take a lot of 3’s and have hit them at a decent rate (35.5% – 12th best). This could be the thing that turns the game in one team’s favor.
  • Nuggets’ offense – It’s not great. They are currently 27th in offensive rating. Of course, the Pelicans are 30th in defensive rating. If the Nuggets destroy us on offense, I will start to worry. The Pelicans defense has had spurts of looking somewhere between average and very good. With this many injuries it may be impossible to sustain “very good” for 4 quarters, but we should be able to play well enough to keep the Nuggets in check… right?
  • Anthony Davis – He’s put up some nice numbers in his last couple of games against the Nuggets. Also, he’s AD. Just watch him, okay?
  • Kenneth Faried and Jrue Holiday – It’s not clear if either of these guys will play. I assume Jrue will, since it is the first night of a back to back at home. Faried is questionable.

That’s all I’ve got for this one. The sad truth is I feel like we should win this game, but I won’t allow my heart to believe. Not after what we’ve been through with the Pelicans this year. Will hope find a way to stay alive tonight?

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