2K Game Preview: Current Nuggets take on 93-94 squad in a clash between eras

by Alex Labidou
Nuggets.com Staff Writer
@LabidouA

Worlds will collide when the 2019-20 Nuggets travel to McNichols Sports Arena to face the 1993-94 Nuggets in an ultimate ‘What If’ matchup.

Nuggets Nation will be treated to iconic on-the-court battles among some of their favorite franchise players. Imagine seeing Nikola Jokić going up against Dikembe Mutombo or seeing Jamal Murray guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf? On Thursday, thanks to NBA 2K, fans will have a chance to see how those matchups would play out.

The ’19-20 Nuggets will be looking to move to 5-0 in the NBA 2K Game of the Week series, but they could have some trouble against a ’93-94 Nuggets team that’s known for securing big upsets when the lights shine bright.

This should be fun. 

Starting lineups (with 2K overall rating):

2019-20 Nuggets (82 overall): Jamal Murray (84), Gary Harris (76), Will Barton III (80), Paul Millsap (82) and Nikola Jokić (91)

1993-94 Nuggets (77 overall): Robert Pack (75), Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (84), Reggie Williams (77), LaPhonso Ellis (79), Dikembe Mutombo (84)

TUNE IN: 7 p.m. MT on Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube 

Here’s what to look forward in Thursday’s contest:

A battle between two all-time centers

There are plenty of popular Nuggets in Thursday’s game, but the most intriguing battle will be between Jokić and Mutombo – arguably the top two centers in franchise history.

The two men couldn’t be further apart when it comes to the differences in their game. Jokic is a skilled offensive center who can hit a shot from almost anywhere and has a point-guard’s mentality. Mutombo, on the other hand, is one of the greatest defensive players to ever grace the league. It’s the ultimate offense vs. defense pairing, though Jokic’s ability to shoot threes might play to his favor.

Threes, threes, threes…

The most significant evolution of basketball over the past decade has been the reliance on downtown shooting and the spike in attempts in that area.

For example, the 1993-94 Nuggets shot only 7.1 threes a game (23rd in the NBA), hitting 2.1 per game (26th). The current Nuggets team isn’t known for their three-point shooting, but they still hit 10.9 shots from behind the arc and take 30.4 a game. This could prove to be a significant advantage for Michael Malone’s team. They should look to be aggressive from downtown early on.

Shooters paradise 

Another iconic matchup could be between Murray and Abdul-Rauf. Although it is likely Robert Pack will guard Murray and Gary Harris would take on Abdul-Rauf, seeing the two of the greatest shooters in franchise history on the same court should be a win-win for Nuggets fans 

Abdul-Rauf had one of his better seasons in Denver during the 93-94 season, averaging 18 points, 4.5 assists, and shooting a sizzling 95.6 percent on free throws. Prior to the NBA hiatus, Murray was averaging a career-high 18.8 points along with 4.8 assists while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor.

Both men have the ability to completely take over games when they get into a rhythm, so it will be interesting to see if either player takes off early.

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