2008-09 Game 55: Denver Nuggets at Chicago Bulls Game Thread

I was all prepared to write about how the Nuggets have a chance to catch the Bulls with their pants down a little bit seeing as how they have five new players on their roster.  With that much turnover they are bound to require some time to adjust.  Well, upon further review, that may not necessarily be the case.  

According to the Bulls game notes they will start a lineup of Derrick Rose, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah.  I may not be an expert on the Bulls, but I am pretty sure none of those guys are new to the team.  A quick scan of their schedule shows that those five will be starting their 17th consecutive game together.  Not much shake up there. 

In fact the Bulls have basically replaced Larry Hughes and Thabo Sefolosha with John Salmons and Aaron Grey with Brad Miller.  In my book those are a couple of significant upgrades.  The Nuggets job may not be as easy as I had initially hoped. 

Salmons traditionally does well against Denver so his addition is timely for the Bulls.  Brad Miller on the other hand has been abused by Nene this season.  Miller has played to a -34 in 44 minutes against Denver this season.

Denver has had a game to get re-acclimated to playing instead of sitting on their couches and have had a day of rest.  They should be ready to go against the Bulls.  The last time they visited the Bulls J.R. Smith poured in a career high 43 points, but it was not enough as Denver was abused for 135 points. 

The Nuggets have been playing great defense over their last three games and I would not expect another offensive explosion from the Bulls tonight.  Denver did clamp down on the Bulls in the first and fourth quarters, but in the second and third Ben Gordon and Drew Gooden lit Denver up and the Bulls threw up 65 points in those two stanzas. 

Denver will have to collapse on Derrick Rose when he penetrates and recover out to Gordon and Salmons.  Why not keep him out of the lane you ask?  No matter how determined Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter are, he will get in the lane.  He is just too quick.

The Nuggets should be able to score on the Bulls.  Rose for all his physical talents does not have the mental aspect of playing NBA defense down.  Noah and Miller do not have the girth and/or quickness to cover Nene.  Deng is a solid player, but he cannot contain Melo.  The one player who can play tremendous perimeter defense is Kirk Hinrich and it will be interesting to see if they assign him to cover J.R. Smith when he is in the game. 

The Nuggets were a little banged up in Philly, but Carmelo Anthony is probably with a knee bruise and Kenyon Martin is not even listed on the injury report after straining his back.  

With the news that Manu Ginobili will miss two to three weeks with an ankle injury the second seed is there for the taking.  Denver must win games like tonight and Sunday in Milwaukee to put some distance between them and their challengers. 

Denver Nuggets Game Notes

Previous Matchup:  Game 15 – Den 114 Chi 101

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  • Josh Hopp

    WHEN are the coaching staff going to BENCH JR WHEN HE CHUCKS UP 3S WITH 20 on the CLOCK!???? WHEN?

  • Josh Hopp

    So sickeningly predictable. We lose momentum and start taking contested long range jumpers. Man on oh man

  • UnarmingMermaid

    what a horrendous start to the 2Q.

  • UnarmingMermaid

    5 turnovers in the first 4 minutes of the 2Q.

  • Josh Hopp

    Oh man, Nene just came in and took over. He just muscles through guys and keeps his eyes on the rim. We are up 10 all of a sudden.

  • Josh Hopp

    Oh good its halftime so I have a chance to go throw up.

    Everything good happens when we take it to the rim. The worst that can happen is we get called for charges. Just do it for gods sake! Stop taking those stupid shots…

  • UnarmingMermaid

    Why hasn’t KMart played since early?

  • Josh Hopp

    We are about to lose our 3rd game to an under .500 team everybody. What a horrible display. Just when we got on a nice run too

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I think that three by Kleiza with a minute left in the third was the first assisted basket by the Nuggets in the second half.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Denver is playing this game like they can just “turn it on” at will and win. Right now I do not like their chances.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    By the way, I did not hear why Kenyon is out.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    The defense looks a little more focused so far in the 4th.

  • Josh Hopp

    Great put back by Bird. Once again I feel guilty that we are in this game. Let’s go Nuggets.

  • Josh Hopp

    Melo is failing

  • Josh Hopp

    LK is a dead weight

  • Josh Hopp

    Elite teams don’t play like this guys n girls. I’m out

  • UnarmingMermaid

    BOOOOOOO!!!

    Bright spot: If we win on Sunday then we’ll have gone 6-2 on the 8 game road trip. I’ll take it.

  • BeefySwats

    3 things:

    1. Play Balkman with Kleiza’s minutes the rest of the season. Trade Kleiza in the offseason or use him as trade bait. The guy is god damn worthless on defense and what little offense he provides is inconsistent at best and absolutely atrocious at worst. At least Balkman can defend better.

    2. Disappointed in this loss, but we still will have a 2.5 game lead over Portland and a 5 game lead on Utah. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Denver still has a good chance to win 40 games before losing their first 20. The upcoming home stand is gonna be critical.

    3. Aaron Grey is one huge motherfucker. Seriously, guy is what, 7′-300lbs? Christ. Bulls are going to get way better with Salmons and Miller.

  • Josh Hopp

    Aaron Grey is huge, isn’t he? I’ve mentioned it before. Even out there amongst the Nenes and Odens he looks like a big piece of steak on my computer screen.