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Game #25 Preview: Spurs @ Nuggets - Let it Rain (not Snow)


So, the Denver weather conglomeration has been chirping the last few days about the "Winter Storm" coming at the end of the week. Slight exaggeration. As of midnight, it still hasn't started snowing. That's how I feel about all the Melo-Drama. I don't want to hear about it daily - just let me know if anything actually happens. Although if I were the Nuggets brain trust, I'd trade for draft picks and rebuild. There really isn't another course of action.

I honestly have no idea what this TV show is, but it was one of the videos that came up when I typed "Denver" into YouTube. I thought it a better choice than anything by John Denver.

And now for your preview.

San Antonio Spurs @ Denver Nuggets
Where: Pepsi Center

When: 12-16-10, 9:30 p.m. Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: TNT


By the Numbers

Data source:

Category Stat Rank
Offensive Rating 113.0 2nd
Defensive Rating 102.4 8th
Defensive Rebound Rate
74% 16th
Offensive Rebound Rate 26% 13th
Field Goal Percentage 47% 8th
3-Point FG Percentage 41% 1st
Free Throw Percentage
79% 7th
Turnover Percentage
13% 5th
Category Stat Rank
Offensive Rating 110.9 6th
Defensive Rating 108.3 19th
Defensive Rebound Rate
74% 14th
Offensive Rebound Rate 24% 24th
Field Goal Percentage 46% 12th
3-Point FG Percentage 39% 6th
Free Throw Percentage
78% 8th
Turnover Percentage 14% 12th
Record Wins Losses
Overall 21 3
Conference 13 3
Division 3 2
Home 13 2
Away 8 1
Position Conference Division
Record 1st 1st

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

Key Bench Players
George Hill
Matt Bonner
Gary Neal

Record Wins Losses
Overall 15 9
Conference 9 4
Division 1 1
Home 11 1
Away 4 8
Position Conference Division
Record 6th 3rd

PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Arron Afflalo
SF: Carmelo Anthony
PF: Shelden Williams
C: Nene

Key Bench Players
J.R. Smith
Al Harrington
Anthony Carter

Matchup Analysis

Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward


PG: Lawson is another score-first point guard who might actually be quicker than Parker. But with Billups out, he has to carry more of the load. Tony should be able to capitalize on both his inexperience and okay defense, but will have to work a little harder on the defensive end to keep Lawson out of the lane.

SG: Afflalo is averaging a career high in points this season, and he's a pretty good defender. But I expect Manu Claus to take advantage of the Nuggets so-so defense to facilitate the offense and set up the rest of his teammates. Denver still hasn't quite figured out how to defend the PnR.

SF: RJ has a really tough matchup tonight. Not only is Carmelo an offensive machine, but despite the MeloDrama, he's averaging a career high in rebounds too. If Jefferson can make Anthony work for his points (ala Roy), I don't care what RJ does on the offensive end - it'll still be a good night.

PF: Blair has really picked up his game lately. DeJuan needs to play a lot of minutes and to watch the interior defense, since Lawson is good at penetrating the paint and finishing at the rim. Williams is starting because the Nuggets have no one else.

C: Nene is finally living up to his potential on offense, but his rebounding is still lacking and he gambles way too much on defense. Timmeh should be able to slice their defense with passes for easy assists, but he'll need to concentrate on limiting 2nd chance points.


Billups is out for this game; Birdman has been out this week. This means Denver's bench is pretty much limited to Harrington, Smith and Carter. Who wants to bet on J.R. doing something the opposite of basketball smart? The bench will need to play productive minutes tonight, due to the number of minutes the starters logged last night. Tiago is probably a no go, but since we're not at a huge disadvantage inside, I'll take BAM.


Pop is Pop. Karl has become a much better coach during his tenure in Denver, but he still has to deal with too many headcases.


Usually, this category would easily go to the Spurs, since our beloved team permanently resides in the psyche of the Moonmen. However, this is a SEGABABA on the road, the Big Three all played over 30 minutes last night and the Nuggies have a stellar record at home.


This is our first game on TNT this year. Sir Charles will be able to yell "GINOBLEE", especially after last night's showing. I think this bodes well for us.


Spurs win by matching Denver on the offensive end, using key defensive stops in the 4th quarter to crush all their dreams and hopes (or I get a lot of crap tomorrow morning at work). Just no more buzzer beaters - we don't need the heart attacks.

Key(s) to the Game

Key 1 - The 3-Ball. Both teams like to shoot the 3 - in fact, the Nuggets have shot more than the Spurs this year. We need to chase them off the line and limit them to long jumpers, while also passing the ball to find the open shots against Denver's shaky defense.

Key 2 - Interior Defense/Rebounding. Denver is 2nd in the league in FT/FGA and they shoot the freebies fairly well. The Spurs need to close down the lane and rebound the ball, limiting the And 1s.

Other Reading


48 Minutes of Hell


Denver Stiffs (SB Nation)

Following Along


TNT - We've got the late national game tonight. Good for me - bad for the Eastern time zone.


WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass [streaming]


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 (IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.