|2014 NBA Pre-Season Game 1|
|October 8th, 2014|
|The Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado|
|8:00 PM Central Daylight Time|
|Injury Report: Serge Ibaka (Out), Nick Collison (Out)|
|Previous Matchups: Nov 18 (W, 115-113), Dec 18 (W, 105-93), Jan 9 (L, 98-101), Mar 24 (W, 117-96)|
|Russell Westbrook||PG||Ty Lawson|
|The Mystery Man||SG||Aaron Afflalo|
|Kevin Durant||SF||Danilo Gallinari|
|Mitch McGary||PF||Kenneth Faried|
|Kendrick Perkins||C||JaVale McGee|
It was pretty ho-hum at the end of last season for the Denver Nuggets. Funnily enough, I was there, watching my beloved Warriors play in a meaningless game. Most of the fans around me were disgruntled over the firing of George Karl a year prior, and didn't seem too impressed with their team as it was assembled.
Over the summer, Nuggets fans got a little bit to get excited about. The signing of Aaron Afflalo is huge, as it gives the team a serious #1 scoring option that they lacked previously. The emergence of Kenneth Faried during the 2014 FIBA World Championship can't be discounted, either. On a roster full of NBA All-Stars, Faried was able to maintain a regular starting spot and was named to FIBA's All-Tournament team. He was never a shot creator, but his energy in transition and on the offensive glass were key to several Team USA victories.
The Thunder figure to be doing their best to respond to these improvements. Mitch McGary, the likely starter in place of the lightly injured Collison and Ibaka, will easily be able to match Faried's athleticism. Also, OKC now has Anthony Morrow on the squad. Morrow's not as proficient a scorer as Afflalo, but his catch and shoot ability should bring a whole new dynamic to OKC's offense.
We still have no idea who's going to start at shooting guard, by the way. Andre Roberson and Perry Jones III have started there in the past. Position-wise, Anthony Morrow or Jeremy Lamb seem to be the most shooting guard-y. Talent-wise, Reggie Jackson fits best. But putting Jackson there likely means minutes for Telfair, since he's the next point guard on the roster. In any case, we likely won't get our answer to the big question tonight, as Brooks said that it wouldn't be decided until the end of training camp.
Tonight's game will mostly be an exhibition for the bench, as Brooks also mentioned that the starters wouldn't get much burn. The game will also be radio only, so unless you're enjoying the sights and sounds of Denver, you're not going to be able to glean much from this game. At least there's always the box score....
Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 111, Denver Nuggets 99.
What do you think about tonight's game? Let us know in the comments!