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Regular Season Game No. 18 | Miami Heat (5-12) at Denver Nuggets (7-10)
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado | 7:00 PM MST | TV: Altitude
Tonight, the Denver Nuggets face another team riddled with injuries, the Miami Heat. Miami has lost four of their last five games while the Nuggets look to be trending in the right direction and have a chance to continue to improve their record at home.
Here are some things to watch for in the matchup between the Heat and Nuggets:
Rest for the weary
Recently the Nuggets have been down to just ten active players due to a plethora of injuries and a brutal schedule to begin the season. The Nuggets have not played since Sunday, when they lost in overtime to the freight train Russell Westbrook, and have finally had a chance to get some practice time in and some extra rest to get back some of their injured players back into the rotation.
Danilo Gallinari, after missing the past three games due to a sore thigh, is questionable after getting through practice on Tuesday and looks ready to play some minutes against the Heat. Will Barton also made his way through a full practice and is upgraded to questionable. Darrell Arthur missed practice due to being sick but seems like he is also getting back into a groove. Arthur is questionable against the Heat. Juan Hernangomez, who was active against the Thunder, remains available and ready and Mike Miller has returned to the team after dealing with his own personal issues and is available to play.
Gary Harris, for the first time since injuring his right foot, participated in the non-contact portion of practice. He remains out but seems to be making significant progress. He has not been seen in his walking boot nearly as often and has been participating in some light shooting.
Wilson Chandler‘s dominant play continues
After missing all of last season, Chandler has taken full advantage of his return to remind everyone that he is one of the Nuggets premier players. Chandler is leading the league in bench scoring with an average of 18.3 points per game, which leads all Nuggets players, while shooting 47 percent from the field and taking a career-high 3.4 free throws per game. He continues providing high-level defensive versatility from either the small forward or power forward position. While many knew the skill-set of Chandler would help the Nuggets where they needed help the most, perimeter defense and scoring, but for Chandler to come out of the gates after missing all of last season and consistently play this well is a sight to behold.
Chandler has a good chance of continuing his reemergence against an ailing Heat team full of injured wing players. Justice Winslow, the Heat’s best perimeter defender, is out for at least three games due to a wrist injury and Dion Waiters will join him with a groin injury of his own. Look for Chandler to feast on the reserve wings of Miami tonight.