The Nuggets are in the middle of a three-game winning streak and have won eight of the last eleven games. Last week's Western Conference Player of the Week is a huge reason for the Nuggets' recent success, as he averaged 36/11/10 during that week.
New Orleans (18-29), despite their record, is not a team to take likely. They've pulled together many scrappy victories over serious contenders this season including a victory over the Warriors earlier this month, and an overtime victory against the reigning champions in December. Even in their most recent battle against the Nuggets, Nikola Jokić had to score eleven straight points in overtime to bring the Nuggets the win.
TUNE-IN: 6 p.m. MT, Altitude TV and 92.5FM
Keys to Victory
Somehow, the Nuggets were able to pull off a victory against the Pistons this past Tuesday despite a season-high 25 turnovers. This helped them lock in the fourth spot for turnovers per game in the league during the last three games. This might speak to why the wins recently haven't looked so pretty. But, in this league, a win is a win. And, when you don't turn over the ball, it becomes a lot easier to win.
Luckily for the Nuggets, New Orleans isn't the best at causing turnovers. They cause turnovers only 13.2% of opponents' possessions this year, which ranks 22nd in the league. To Denver's credit, they have also been solid this year when taking care of the ball, ranking 16th in turnovers per game. This game gives Denver a nice chance to bring ball security back to their usual standard.
Limit New Orleans' offensive rebounds
While the Pelicans aren't the strongest shooting team, they have no problem with rebounding. They are currently 4th in offensive rebounds per game this year thanks to their aggressive play style and veteran Jonas Valanciunas leading the way with 3.4 offensive rebounds per game.
Thanks to the reigning MVP, the Nuggets are 7th when it comes to defensive rebounding percentage this year. That spells for a good counter to the aggressive rebounding tactics of the Pelicans. However, when Nikola Jokić isn't on the floor, that number drops. Big man DeMarcus Cousins and first-round draft pick Zeke Nnaji will be tasked with picking up the slack when Nikola Jokić rests throughout tonight's matchup.