What did the Nuggets do over the summer?
The Nuggets had one of the best seasons in franchise history last year, and interestingly chose to not continue with that same group and go a different direction over the summer. (HEY, THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR?) First, they parted ways with head coach George Karl and hired Brian Shaw, who was a popular name for many teams searching for a new head coach. They lost Andre Iguodala to the Warriors, and Danilo Gallinari is still out with a knee injury sustained last season.
The Nuggets signed Randy Foye and Nate Robinson to address one of their biggest weaknesses in shooting, and signed J.J. Hickson to address...something. (Kidding, sort of. He does add frontcourt depth,but they already have a pretty strong frontcourt.) On draft night, Denver traded Kosta Koufos for Darrell Arthur.
It's a different Denver team this season, for sure.
What team stat might determine the game?
Rebounding. The 5-6 Nuggets are third in the league in total rebounding, and first in offensive rebounding. The Mavericks, as we know, are...well, not great at that. And on the second night of a back to back, where they had to travel, and where they could not rest their starters after letting a 28 point lead slip against the Jazz., the Mavs might be tired. Just a little.
Which Nuggets player might be due for a big game?
Nuggets guard Ty Lawson had a little bit of an off-night in their last game on Friday against the Bulls. The Denver bench stepped up, so it wasn't a big deal, but Denver likes to push the pace, same as the Mavs. So a rested Lawson, coming off a bad game and a tired Mavs could be trouble for the good guys.
Which Mavericks player might be due for a big game?
Can I say Jae Crowder? Jae Crowder. After a hot start, he seems to have regressed to the mean of being the player who takes and bricks shots, and I think we were all hoping he had figured that ish out. The Mavs are going to need some other players to step up and play well tonight after a long game last night where the usual playmakers were needed almost the entire game.