Game Preview: Nuggets Look to Bounce Back in Miami
MIAMI, Fla. – The Denver Nuggets had their five-game winning streak snapped on Monday but they’ll have an opportunity to bounce back quickly tonight against the Miami Heat. The Nuggets dropped their only outing in Miami last season, a double-overtime game, 149-141.
The Nuggets are now 26-12 on the season and in first place in the Western Conference, one game ahead of the Golden State Warriors. The Nuggets are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
The Miami Heat are 19-19 and in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are 7-3 in their last 10 games. Miami is just 9-11 at home this season.
Here is what to watch for tonight:
Jokić vs. Whiteside: Tonight presents a matchup of one of the NBA’s top offensive centers against one of the top defensive centers. Whiteside is third in the league in blocks per game at 2.5. He is also sixth in the league in rebound at 12.7 boards per game.
Jokić leads all centers in assists per game at 7.4. The Serbian big man has been on a roll of late, averaging 26.2 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists over his last five games.
Harris and Millsap return to the starting five: Monday’s game in Houston was the first time that Paul Millsap and Gary Harris have been in the starting lineup since their return from injuries. Millsap scored six points, just the second time in his five games back that he hadn’t scored double-digits. Harris had his third-straight double-digit outing with 14 points. Tonight’s game provides the starting group more playing time together and a chance to gel.
Three point shooting: Monday’s game was a bit of an outlier for the Nuggets in three point defense as well as their own shooting from deep. The Rockets shot 46.8% from beyond the arc, a large increase from the 33.6% the Nuggets have held opponents to over the course of the season. Miami shoots 35.4% from three on the season, making the seventh most threes in the league.
The Nuggets shot just 24.1% from three in Houston, compared to the 35% they have shot on the season. The Heat are allowing opponents to shoot 35.8% from deep this season.
Tonight’s game will tip at 5:30 pm MT and will air on Altitude TV and the AltitudeNOW app. Fans can listen on Altitude Radio, 92.5 FM.