2012-2013 Game 39 Preview: Thunder-Nuggets Finally Returns

THIS IS THE ANGER I FEEL TOWARDS NUGGETS!!!! - William Bennett Berry

As J.A. Sherman once said, the rivalry between the Thunder and Nuggets has to be one of the greatest in all of sports.

2012-2013 NBA Season
Xeti0fjbyzmcffue57vz5o1gl_medium
The Denver Nuggets(24-16)
@
Khmovcnezy06c3nm05ccn0oj2_medium
The Oklahoma City Thunder (30-8)
January 16th, 2012
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
7:00 PM CST
Fox Sports Network Oklahoma, Altitude Sports and Entertainment 2
WWLS the Sports Animal (98.1), KZBR 97.1 FM
Enemy Blogs: Denver Stiffs, Roundball Mining Company, Nugg Love
Previous Meetings: None.
Probable Starters
Ty Lawson PG Russell Westbrook
Andre Iguodala SG Thabo Sefolosha
Danilo Gallinari SF Kevin Durant
Kenneth Faried PF Serge Ibaka
Kosta Koufos C Kendrick Perkins

As J.A. Sherman once said, the rivalry between the Thunder and Nuggets has to be one of the greatest in all of sports. It's not something that routinely has a lot at stake, since the Thunder have been generally well above the Nuggets in the standings. But games between the two teams are almost always guaranteed to be exciting. Both teams are usually guaranteed to score somewhere in the low hundreds, and both have significant advantages against the other.

Still, this year, there could be more at stake. The Nuggets have gone 8-1 in the month of January, and with just a bit over half of the season remaining, it's not outside of the realm of possibility that they could catch up to the Thunder in the race for the division crown. Winning the season series against OKC would go a long way towards that goal.

As it stands, the Nuggets are perfectly capable of winning this game. They're a fast paced team with many options to spread the floor with, taking advantage of the Thunder's pressure defense. Moreover, they're one of the league's best passing teams, avoiding turnovers and not relying in a single maestro to orchestrate them all. Further helping their offense is their ability to get to the line and grab offensive boards, which can make up for sometimes lackluster percentages. In terms of flaws, the Nuggets really don't shoot the three well at all, which can be killer for a team that prides itself on scoring.

Serge Ibaka is still suffering from a chest contusion, and will be a game time decision tonight. I almost think the Thunder are better off sitting him though. He usually struggles to score in faster-paced games, and he's less effective defensively because he's not always ready in the lane. I'm not saying that he hurts the team by any means, but having a smaller lineup with an energetic defender like Liggins could be rather effective mid-game.

Otherwise, the Thunder will basically have to play their game. Run the floor with the Nuggets, and take advantage of the fast break. Don't let Westbrook get too frustrated with the quicker Ty Lawson. Let Kevin Durant take over the game when need be. Find Kevin Martin on the perimeter. Let Collison use his size advantage in the post. The list goes on. Really, whatever I tell you is a crapshoot, because I don't whether the Thunder can handle the offensive trio of Lawson, Gallinari, and Iguodala. At the same time, the Nuggets really don't have a defensive answer for Kevin Durant. So does this game's outcome rest on the abilities of Russell Westbrook, offensively and defensively?

Quite possibly.

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 124, Denver Nuggets 120 (OT).

If you are looking for tickets to upcoming games, you can find Oklahoma City Thunder tickets here.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Welcome to Loud City

You must be a member of Welcome to Loud City to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Welcome to Loud City. You should read them.

Join Welcome to Loud City

You must be a member of Welcome to Loud City to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Welcome to Loud City. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker