The Denver Nuggets take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday in Orlando, Fla., in the second game for both teams in the NBA restart.
Based on what we saw in their first game against Miami, the Nuggets have a lot of work to do. They did play without three starters but should have been able to put up a better fight in their return to action. Jamal Murray is somebody they just couldn’t effectively replace, and it showed largely in the box score.
It forced Monte Morris into the starting lineup and PJ Dozier into backup duties. They struggled with Monte out, and the team clearly looked rusty. They should be better as they get healthy.
Oklahoma City, on the other hand, looked absolutely perfect against the Jazz. They dominated on both ends of the floor and controlled most of the game. They even got Andre Roberson back in the lineup, healthy, for the first time in more than 900 days.
A trip to the NBA Finals for Oklahoma City is highly unlikely, but they are certainly a threat in the Western Conference. Given a 0.2% chance by ESPN’s BPI rankings of making the playoffs, they have already clinched their spot and will be looking to stay hot.
Denver Trying to Recover
They probably want to go hide under a rock after how they performed back on the national stage against Miami. While Nikola Jokic looked great, no other player on the team was able to carry their own load except for Jerami Grant. This is to be expected when 3/5 of their starting lineup was out, but they still have plenty of talent out there.
They will need a lot more from Michael Porter Jr. on the offensive end, and Troy Daniels will need to knock down threes like we know he can. Mason Plumlee and Bol Bol made some fantastic passes, but big men need to do a lot more than that. They blew far too many defensive assignments in the second half.
Perhaps Miami just had their number, and they’ll bounce back. But OKC is as dangerous as any team in the league, so they best be prepared.
Thunder Looking to Roll On
After the performance we saw from them against Utah, it is clear that the Thunder are no joke. They weren’t at any point this year, and they looked just as good as they did in the first part of the year. All three of their talented guards were locked in, and Danilo Gallinari was scoring the ball effectively.
The team will be helped the long term by the return of Andre Roberson to the lineup. He was the heart and soul of their defense for three years, two during the KD-Russ era, and his presence in the lineup was sorely missed. He logged five minutes last game.
We’ll see how the Thunder do against Denver in a potential first-round playoff preview.
Thunder Stay Hot, Get to 2-0
Make sure you bet on the Thunder! They are no slouch, and they’ll continue to show us why you just cannot doubt them.
FREE PLAY: Oklahoma City will take the win.
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