The Washington Wizards hit the road on Tuesday night, traveling to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Nuggets.
The Wizards have actually been playing better basketball of late and look like a somewhat competent basketball team despite several new additions. Scott Brooks’ team has a 10-man rotation, with scorers at just about every position. Defense has been an issue for Washington, and we’ll see if it is ever able to clean it up. Because with the effectiveness that they can run an offense, they are capable of running teams out of the gym. It is too bad they allow 120 points per game.
Denver, on the other hand, has surprisingly struggled to score, ranking inside of the bottom five NBA teams in that area. The Nuggets allow the fewest points in the league, thanks to Mike Malone’s attention to detail on the defensive end. They are 12-3 and a tough out each night for a reason. It seems that they are finally starting to figure out their bench rotation, which has surprisingly not included last year’s breakout scorer, Malik Beasley, or playoff starter Torrey Craig. At 12-3, though, we have no choice but to trust what they’re doing.
Denver is set as a 9.5-point favorite for this game. The over/under is set at 227.
Trying To Get Back To Winning
Washington had won three of four before falling to the Kings in its last game, but the Wizards battled hard and lost by only seven. Their two road wins this season have come at Oklahoma City (their only time under 100 points) and Minnesota, a 21-point shellacking last week. Bradley Beal has continued to lead the way, averaging 30 points, five rebounds and seven assists per game this year, looking like LeBron James with those numbers. Thomas Bryant is averaging 15 and nine, while Isaiah Thomas is posting 13 and five assists per game, still trying to get his footing. Moritz Wagner is averaging 12 and six off the bench.
Davis Bertans and CJ Miles have been burying a combined 4.5 threes per game off the bench this year, Bertans making 3.2 per contest while shooting 44 percent from deep. When you add in Jordan McRae, it is scoring galore.
Finding Ways To Win
It does not matter how many points Nikola Jokic scores, or how many tough shots Jamal Murray makes, they always find a way to get it done, and Jokic turns into Kobe Bryant in the closing seconds of games, anyway. Monte Morris has fallen off a bit from last year, but Jerami Grant has been a welcome addition to their bench after a few productive years in Oklahoma City. Paul Millsap has finally been able to stay healthy for the first time in his three seasons in Denver, playing in the first 15 games. Michael Porter Jr. has snuck into the rotation and is finding ways to contribute.
This is a team that was one game away from the Western Conference finals a season ago and hopes to navigate the revamped Western Conference to get at least as far this season.
Nuggets Pick Up Win
Another day, another Denver win. Jokic’s triple-double will lift Denver to victory!
Free Play: DEN -9.5
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