Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate DNVR Sports Community!

Nuggets guards Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris face dynamic Phoenix Suns backcourt

An Nguyen Avatar
November 14, 2015


Coming off an incredibly uplifting win against James Harden, Ty Lawson and the Houston Rockets (Denver is 2-0 vs the Rockets this season), the Denver Nuggets will look to continue their three game win streak in Phoenix against the Suns and their pair of star guards Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe.

Regular Season Game 10


Nuggets @ Suns
7 p.m. MT on Altitude2, NBATV, FSAZ, KRWZ 960AM, AZ Sports 98.7 FM

Maverick and Goose


Goose spots ’em and Maverick knocks ’em down. The star duo has been doing an excellent job piloting the Suns as they come off an impressive win against the, albeit Chris Paul-less, Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 12th, 118-104. Bledsoe had a near triple-double with 26 points (9-13 from the field), 10 rebounds, but fell short with nine assists. Knight was knocking down buckets all night as he poured in 37 points on 14-22 shooting, including 6-10 from beyond the arc. Incredible numbers from an impressive duo. Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris will have their work cut out for them tonight if they want to leave Phoenix with a win, where the Suns are 3-1 on the season.


A sparked battle


PHOTO: BrewsterHoops
PHOTO: BrewsterHoops

Not only do Will Barton and Suns sophomore T.J. Warren have similar spark plug roles on their teams, they also attended the same High School for their senior year, Brewster Academy. Barton was two years ahead of Warren but actually helped in his recruitment and was a source of advice for him growing up.

The pair of spark plugs for each team are coming off career highs in scoring as Warren tied his contributing 18 points on 7-10 shooting to help the Suns overcome the Clippers at home. Barton was not to be outdone by the youngster and responded by breaking his scoring record with 26 points on 8-14 shooting last night against the Houston Rockets. Look for these two Brewster Alumni to come in and inject their teams with a jolt of energy in what guarantees to be a heated battle.


Projected Starters
Nuggets Suns

Emmanuel Mudiay (R)

Gary Harris

Danilo Gallinari

Kenneth Faried

J.J. Hickson

Brandon Knight

Eric Bledsoe

P.J. Tucker

Markieff Morris

Tyson Chandler

Denver Nuggets:

Injury report: Jusuf Nurkic – out (rehabbing from patella tendon surgery in his left knee), Wilson Chandler – out (right hip surgery), Joffrey Lauvergne – upgraded to questionable and could soon return (low back tightness/soreness).

Mudiay will need all the energy he can get tonight as he’s tasked with not only running the offense, but guarding either the Suns leading scorer in Knight, or an athletic freak in Bledsoe. I predict he’ll be on Knight as it’ll be easier for the rookie to try and stay close on a shooter, rather than expending immense amounts of energy trying to slow down a huge and athletic guard. The Suns have been putting Bledsoe on the opposing team’s point guards but Mudiay will need to continue his aggression tonight despite that. It’ll be a pretty daunting task to drive with Bledsoe smothering him and Tyson Chandler waiting at the rim, but it’s vital for the offense.

Harris will have plenty of work to do on the defensive end once again as he takes on Eric Bledsoe and his punishing frame. Built like a tank, the 6’1″ 200 pound bowling ball of muscle will bully his way into the paint and find the players whose defenders left to help on the drive. It’ll be up to Harris to make sure those defenders won’t have to leave in the first place. Coming off an incredible defensive performance against James Harden, expect Harris to make Bledsoe work his absolute hardest for each and every point, assist and rebound. Also aiding in Harris’ workload tonight is the fact that he only played 11 minutes last night against the Rockets, so Malone will have fresh legs in the sophomore guard.

Danilo Gallinari is coming off a season-high 27 points on 7-10 shooting. Incredible efficiency as he posted an eye-popping 100.7 TS% and 94.4 eFG%. Look for Gallinari to continue his onslaught as he takes on P.J. Tucker and his aggressive defense. Gallinari should be at the free throw line all night long.

Kenneth Faried is back to being the Manimal again coming off yet another double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Markieff Morris will attempt to bring Faried out on the perimeter on defense, but Faried should be able to punish him on the inside with his pure tenacity and athleticism.

J.J. Hickson continues to fill in admirably for the injured Joffrey Lauvergne, giving effort and working exceptionally well with Mudiay in the pick and roll. He’ll be outmatched tonight with Tyson Chandler controlling the paint but should keep his hands full with just his activity at the very least. We’re going to see a ton of Mudiay-Hickson, Bledsoe-Chandler pick and roll action tonight.

Phoenix Suns:

Injury report: Ronnie Price – doubtful (concussion), Markieff Morris – questionable (knee injury)

Knight has been shooting well this season averaging 20.3 points on 45.3 percent shooting and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc. Stopping Knight will require a combined effort from every Nugget on the court, but Denver has been doing a great job of contesting shots this year.

Bledsoe will give the Nuggets headaches all night on both ends of the court. Coming off a near triple-double, “Mini LeBron” has his fingerprints on every facet of the game and will be vital to literally every thing the Suns do. If Harris can slow Bledsoe down even just a little bit, it’ll be huge for the Nuggets chances of winning.

P.J. Tucker is a gritty defender and will have one task on his mind tonight: stop Gallinari. Gallo has a new-found knack for drawing fouls and should be able to exploit Tucker’s aggression. Not only that, but Tucker stands a mere 6-feet-6-inches compared to Gallinari’s towering 6-foot-10-inch frame. Expect a whole lot of this tonight:

Morris is a little worrying because his ability to shoot allows the Suns to spread the floor. Faried will have to put his mobility to the test as he’ll find himself on the perimeter plenty of times tonight on defense. It’ll be interesting to see how Malone responds to this and I expect we’ll see a lot of Gallinari at power forward tonight if things get out of hand. The versatility on the Nuggets roster is one of the most underrated strengths of the team.

Tyson Chandler at this point of his career is overrated as a defender and is riding mostly on reputation. Unfortunately, he’s still pretty damn good. Chandler will control the paint tonight against the undersized and undermanned Nuggets front court and will annoy Nuggets fans all night with his seemingly effortless offensive rebounds and tap-outs. Tonight will be the night Hickson can put on display his new-found boxing out skills as they will be critical against the taller and more athletic Chandler.

Tip off is tonight at 7:00 MT.


Scroll to next article

Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?