Thursday, March 21, 9:00 PM (EST) at Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
26-41 (4th Atlantic, 9th East)
47-22 (2nd Northwest, 5th West)
TV: Comcast SportsNet Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM | Live Stats
THE ENEMY: T. LAWSON | A. IGUODALA | D. GALLINARI | K. FARIED | K. KOUFOS
Something In The Air
The Nuggets boast what is perhaps the league's greatest home-court advantage. As a result of Denver's high altitude, visiting players often find themselves succumbing to the oxygen-thin air inside Pepsi Center. In fact, many speculate that, over the years, the Nuggets have intentionally constructed rosters featuring an abundance of high-motor athletes (Andre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried, Corey Brewer, Ty Laweson, etc.) who can better take advantage of their opponents' oxygen-deprived fatigue. It seemingly has paid dividends this season, as the Nuggets are tied with the Miami Heat for the league's top home record (30-3).
Mile-high A Minute
Denver leads the league in fastbreak points per game (19.8), creating easy offense off of steals and rebounds (they rank second in the league in both categories). Led by ballhandlers Andre Miller, Ty Lawson, and Andre Iguodala, the Nuggets' fastbreak offense also features top-notch finishers Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee.
The Overlooked Streakers
A 30-3 home record isn't the only thing the Nuggets and Heat have in common. Like Miami, Denver is currently in the midst of a double-digit win streak. Denver has won 13 straight, with eight of those wins coming against playoff teams (including two against the second-place Thunder). Currently the fifth seed in the West, the Nuggets, Clippers (fourth seed), and Grizzlies (third seed) all sit 5.5 games behind the first-place Spurs.
Sharing Is Caring
The Nuggets rank third in the league in assists per game (24.4) and are the only team in the NBA to feature three players averaging at least 5.0 assists per game – Ty Lawson (6.9), Andre Miller (5.9), and Andre Iguodala (5.0). Over Denver's current 13-game win streak, Lawson is averaging 6.1, Miller 6.5, and Iguodala 6.