The Denver Nuggets have never swept the season series from the Dallas Mavericks. We are talking 29 seasons. Of course there are other more important things the Nuggets have never done, like win a championship. Denver cannot win a title tonight, but with a win they can sweep the Mavs.
After a 22-17 start to the season the Mavericks have posted a 21-9 mark since and Denver’s three wins against the Mavs all came early in the season when Dallas was not playing well. Oh, by the way, Dallas is 14-1 at home during that 21-9 stretch and they are on a 20-2 run at home since Denver won there on December 15 with their only two losses being at the hands of the Hornets and Celtics.
A fourth defeat of Dallas would be a nice win, not only to sweep the season series, but to validate their win Wednesday night in New Orleans. Up until the Nuggets’ win in New Orleans the last time Denver won a road game against one of the west’s top nine teams was the previously mentioned December 15 contest in Dallas.
Nene will set out once more serving the second game of his suspension. While New Orleans was a good matchup for Denver sans Nene, the Mavs are a different story. Erick Dampier is too big for players like Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen to handle. Johan Petro has shown he can bang in the paint, but George Karl has also shown he dislikes having Petro on the floor for significant minutes. Dampier has always been one of the most inconsistent players in the league so there is always the chance he produces one of his no show performances. He has produced at least nine rebounds in four of his last five games and in the fifth he had seven rebounds in only nine minutes.
Dirk Nowitzki has enjoyed success against the Nuggets defense averaging 31.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in the first three meeting this season. Jason Kidd had a memorable first game against Denver hitting six threes and coming up just one assist shy of a triple double. In the two games after that he has not been quite as good with averages of three points, six assists and 6.5 rebounds. Jason Terry has been solid, but unspectacular this season against Denver with averages of 18.3 points and 3.7 assists. Josh Howard is out, but he has not been a factor in any of the previous three games either.
The Nuggets have shown some life recently, but they have yet to show they can string together well played games against good teams. That makes tonight a prove it game and one that they need to win.
Take this with you: A win tonight will give the Nuggets their 2-1 record on the brief road trip which will meet the goal set forth by George Karl, but of course, he did not know they would be playing without Nene for two of those three games so they may have already met the revised, and unpublished, goal of getting one win.
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