Week Ahead: Denver Nuggets can finish January strong

Ten-win month within reach as Charlotte, Toronto visit Pepsi Center
by Aaron Lopez

The Denver Nuggets are off to a perfect start to the second half of the season. Two more home games to wrap up January will offer the opportunity to keep it that way.

Coming off back-to-back wins over the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings, the Nuggets have just two games on the schedule this week: Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats and Friday versus the Toronto Raptors at Pepsi Center.

Denver (22-21) can give coach Brian Shaw his first 10-win month by protecting its home court. The Nuggets are 8-5 in January and can reach double figures in the month for the sixth straight year.

Here’s a quick look at each opponent:

Charlotte Bobcats Logo


Despite their 19-27 record, the Bobcats are eighth in the Eastern Conference playoff race as they pursue their second postseason appearance in the past 10 seasons. Charlotte has struggled against Western Conference teams, going 4-11 overall and 1-7 on road. Center Al Jefferson has lived up to his billing since signing as a free agent last summer, averaging 18.9 points and 10.5 rebounds.

Toronto Raptors Logo


The Raptors (22-21) are among the surprise teams in the NBA, leading the Atlantic Division for the majority of the season. Led by the backcourt of DeMar DeRozen (21.8 ppg) and Kyle Lowry (7.5 apg), Toronto is 15-9 since training Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 9. Second-year swingman Terrance Ross exploded for 51 points in a loss to the L.A. Clippers last week.