Game #41 Preview: Spurs vs Nuggets

Chaos surrounds the Nuggets. Their leader, Carmelo Anthony, has been in trade rumors since the summer. Nuggets coach Karl does not want to see Carmelo go away, nor does his teammates. Yet, this thorn in the Nuggets side continues to fester. Yes, they have defeated their previous four three opponents... but not knowing what your team is going to look like in the near future has to cause some disruption within the team mentality. Perhaps their unknown future leads to a fatalistic approach to their playing, which is what these often chaotic Nuggets have thrived on. In this matchup, we will witness the turmoil of the Nuggets juxtaposed against the orderly squad of Popovich's Spurs.

So the last time we played, Carmelo was out. I am not going to go into details because the Nuggets were missing their number one scorer. We did, however, play them with their leading scorer earlier in the season. It was a nail biter. Timmy came up huge (28 Pts, 16 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk), Tony was solid (24 Rts, 9 Ast) and Manu was M.I.A. until the 4th Quarter. Manu took the final Spurs shot, scored and then stopped the supposedly best clutch player in the NBA (Carmelo) with an offensive charge, set by Manu. The Denver fans were incredible in their rage as they tore their hair out, screamed with fury and stomped down onto the court looking for blood. This was soon forgotten because rumors would fly that their entire season was down the tubes...they would be losing their precious Carmelo to a trade.

But today, my friends, is the day these opposed forces of enraged fans and discontented superstar align and find a common enemy in the form of the good guys in silver and black.


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San Antonio Spurs vs Denver Nuggets
Where: AT&T Center

When: 01/16/2011, 8pm Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: ESPN


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By the Numbers

Data sources:
hoopdata.com | basketball-reference.com | John Hollinger's team stats

Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 109.8
1st
100.8
7th
Rebound %
25.7
15th
75.26
t-9th
Field Goal % 47.1
5th
45.8
t-15th
3-Point % 39.6
2nd
39.6
28th
Free Throw % / Opponent FTRate
77.4
10th
24.4
1st
Turnover %
12.71
2nd
14.01
13th
Assist %
59.94
8th
54.59
4th
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 107.7
6th
106.1
22nd
Rebound %
23.95
25th
74.24
16th
Field Goal % 46.0
14th
46.2
18th
3-Point % 38.2
t-5th
34.7
10th
Free Throw %
79.3
3rd
30.5
t-13th
Turnover %
13.64
14th
12.31
29th
Assist %
56.03
20th
57.08
14th
Record Wins Losses
Overall 34 6
Conference 23 3
Division 6 2
Opponent's Division 10 0
Home 21 2
Away 13 4
Position Conference Division
Record 1st 1st
Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: DeJuan Blair
C: Tim Duncan

Key Bench Players
Matt Bonner
Gary Neal
Antonio McDyess
George Hill

Record Wins Losses
Overall 23 16
Conference 15 10
Division 4 2
Opponent's Division 4 5
Home 17 4
Away 5 12
Position Conference Division
Record 7th 3rd
Lineups

Starters
PG: Chauncey Billups
SG: Arron Afflalo
SF: Carmello Anthony (for now)
PF: Kenyon Martin
C: Nene Hilario

Key Bench Players

J.R. Smith
Ty Lawson
Al Harrington

Matchup Analysis

Point Guard
Shooting Guard

Small Forward

Power Forward
Center
Bench
Coach
Intangibles
Mojo
Winner

Starters

PG: Tony must dominate Fisher. Sorry Chauncey - that sucks the team you want to retire from is trying to trade you - I am sure our old friend BB can relate.

SG: I almost have a Spur to both of them. Honestly, Affalo put up better numbers in every category compared to Manu. But the one thing Affalo didn't do was make the game winning shot and make the defensive play on the other end to cement that win. Spur to The Manu.

SF: RJ could not stop Carmello in the first matchup. I don't expect anything more to happen here.

PF: No Spur here as both PFs neutralized each other in both games. Neither starter had a decent game in either game.

C: GOATPUFF dominates at will.

Bench

Their bench is good with Ty Lawson and JR Smith but ours is the best in the league with Neal, Bonner, Hill and McDyess.

Coaching

It's Pop. Yeah, Karl is good, hell maybe even one of the greatest in the post-MJ period but he ain't Pop.

Intangibles

Who shoots the 3-ball effectively and who gets to the free throw line. Denver is playing well, so are the Spurs. We are playing to improve, Denver is playing not to implode.

Mojo

I heard it's making a come back.

Prediction

Spurs by 3.

Key(s) to the Game

Key 1 - Keep them off the free throw line. Carmelo shot 14 of them in the first game and then we turned around and gave Chauncy 12 in the second. Unacceptable.

Key 2 - 3-point efficiency. Spurs shot a dismal 35% in the first game and won by 1. In the second they shot en fuego at a 50% 3-point rate. Shot the ball well, boys, especially from long distance.

Key 3 - Chase Nugget shooters off the 3-point line and force them into the lane. At the Rim shooting is usually the highest % shot you can take. For the Nuggets, they shoot more At the Rim shots than anyone in the league but why do they miss so much? (3rd worse shooting% from this range)

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell

Project Spurs

Nuggets

Denver Stiffs (SB Nation)

Following Along

TV

ESPN

Radio

WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]

Online

As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.

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