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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs @ Denver Nuggets

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Coming off of a terrible loss against the Lakers, the Spurs pursue a win over the struggling Nuggets before they embark on a tough stretch of games.

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs @ Denver Nuggets

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
December 14, 2014, 7:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

It's times like these that remind me that it's become almost taboo for Spurs fans to show signs of worry and disappointment about the team before the All-Star break. If anyone shows any type of distress over performance, a rebuttal is sure to come explaining that "It's only [current month]!" and that we can, of course, expect the guys to turn everything around and peak when it matters most.

This type of patience is warranted, too.

The San Antonio Spurs have conditioned this type of patience in their fans for two decades. Every season has had it's ups, downs, injuries, and turnovers before the new year, and instead of worrying about how the season will end for the Silver and Black, we've been taught to simply expect things will get back to greatness before long.

That patience, though, could be tested as we finish out 2014.

After tonight's game, the Spurs face only two teams that are sub-.500 until January 6th, and one of those teams is the newly-healthy Oklahoma City Thunder (who are playing like the game wronged them) clawing their way back into playoff contention. This is not a stretch of games that any team wants to limp into, but that's approximately what the Spurs are going to be doing.

The especially competitive Western Conference only exacerbates the urgency to right the ship, fast. That's why getting a win against the Nuggets tonight is so (and I never thought I'd say this about a game in Denver in the month of December) vital. If that sounds funny to you, I suggest asking Popovich about the importance of getting this win... I'll wait... Yeah, the guy is pretty heated about his team right now, isn't he?

Luckily, the Nuggets are the type of team the Spurs need before this horrendous stretch begins. Denver ranks 22nd in defensive efficiency and 27th in opponent points scored. They've been a team that has underperformed so far this season, to which the same could be said about their member of USA basketball, Kenneth Faried. The experience of playing for the United States seems to have benefitted most of that roster except Faried, which is a shame since Denver was going to be basing most of this season's successes on his play.

Coach Brian Shaw is currently figuring out how to get the most out of "The Manimal" and he may have found something to like. For the second straight game, Shaw had Faried came off the bench with the second unit against against the Rockets on Saturday night. The Nuggets' head coach said, "The energy was good, so I kind of want to see that again and see where that goes." He added, "Kenneth still got pretty good numbers coming in off the bench. Not that it's going to be a permanent thing, but I just want to feel it out for a second."

The focus for the Spurs will be less about handling a struggling Faried who is coming off the bench, but securing a much needed win before embarking on a long, difficult stretch of very good basketball teams. It isn't like us, as fans, to hope that the Spurs take an easy matchup seriously, but that's pretty much where we are right now. I love a grumpy Gregg Popovich as much as the next guy, but I'd much rather him be competitive grumpy, and not disappointed grumpy.

vs

Denver Nuggets (10-13)

San Antonio Spurs (16-7)

December 14, 2014

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

7:00 PM CST

TV: FSSW

Radio: WOAI 1200AM

Starters

Ty Lawson

PG

Tony Parker

Arron Afflalo

SG

Danny Green

Wilson Chandler

SF

Kyle Anderson

J.J. Hickson

PF

Matt Bonner

Timofey Mozgov

C

Tim Duncan



For the Nuggets' perspective, visit Denver Stiffs.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment: Tel: 210-444-5607 | dfarias@attcenter.com

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