Game Preview: Pelicans at Nuggets

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

On Wednesday, the Pelicans kick off a 3-game road trip in Denver. Although the Nuggets have lost 4 straight, it came at the hands of the Spurs (twice), Thunder and Grizzlies. Prior to that, they went 7-4 including wins over the Heat, Wizards and Clippers. On any given night, the Nuggets are liable to play like a top 10 team, especially in the Mile High City.

Over the last 15 games, the Nuggets most effective weapon has been Kenneth Faried: 19.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals. If you haven't watched one of their games in awhile, Faried's game has expanded and improved at the same time. His post-play, once non-existent, is now a viable form of the Nugget's offense. The main difference appears to be where he is receiving the ball. It will be key for Anthony Davis to not allow him to establish good positioning.

3 keys to watch:

  • The rebounding battle. At first glance, the Nuggets appear to be a formidable team on the glass, but due to their frenetic pace, they are quite close to average. Regardless, the Pelicans will need to post a stronger effort than their 73.5 defensive rebounding percentage on the season. The Nuggets like to get out in transition so gobbling up all the boards would go a long way.
  • Who finds the bonus first. Both teams commit fouls at extreme rates -- ranking in the bottom 5 of the league. Whichever team shows just a little more restraint and thus ends up with several more free throws a quarter, could wind up the winner.
  • Austin Rivers. In two games against the Nuggets this season, Rivers is averaging 15.0 points, 3.0 assists, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 three's and 1.0 steals. It'll be curious to watch whether it's merely a small sample size caveat or Austin has figured something out against an opponent.

For a view from the other side, check out the Denver Stiffs.
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Bird Writes

You must be a member of The Bird Writes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Bird Writes. You should read them.

Join The Bird Writes

You must be a member of The Bird Writes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Bird Writes. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker