home 2015-16, Blogs, Game Coverage Wizards vs. Nuggets Pregame: Roller Coasters, The Manimal, and Bullets

Wizards vs. Nuggets Pregame: Roller Coasters, The Manimal, and Bullets

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Denver at Washington

January 28, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 99.1FM


Last time they met was..

January 25, 2015 – Pepsi Center, Denver: Wizards 117, Nuggets 115 (ot)
Game Notebook 45, Wizards at Nuggets: Wiz get bailed out for Big 30


What to watch

Is being consistently inconsistent an identity? Can ambiguity and randomness be an identity? Can unpredictability be an identity?

Are the Wizards a team that plays big or plays small? Do they play fast or play slow? Do they shoot threes or scope out mid-range jumpers? Are they good or are they terrible? Are they injury ravaged or are they just fragile?

The Wizards longest winning streak this season is 4 games. Their longest losing streak is 4 games. They’re 10-14 at home, and 10-9 on the road. They’ve beaten the Cavaliers, the Bulls, the Mavericks and the Spurs. They’ve lost to the LA Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans.

Here’s a pretty good visual diagram of the 2015-2016 Washington Wizards season:

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Note: Roller Coasters make me sick.

The Denver Nuggets on the other hand know exactly what they are right now: A lottery team with raw young talent that tries to slash and attack the rim. They have a few high fliers (Kenneth Faried and Will Barton), a fun, streaky shooting semi-star (Danilo Gallinari), a young, talented, poor shooting, turnover prone point guard (Emanuel Mudiay), and a few savvy veteran professionals to hold it all together (Mike Miller and Jameer Nelson). They are a team that plays hard, learns from their mistakes, and improves a little on a nightly basis. They are a 17-29 team that expected to be about 17-29.

At this point, which team would you rather be?


Key Matchup

Nene and Gortat vs. The Manimal

The Wizards big guys have been pretty decent this season at handling large, dominant big men: Andre Drummond, Marc Gasol, etc. But they’ve had major problems against the quick, active, springy types i.e. Bismack Biyombo. Well, it doesn’t get much more active and springy than Kenneth Faried. The Manimal will sprint the floor, attack the offensive glass, and dunk on your head. Faried averages 12 points and 9 rebounds in just 26 mins per game, numbers that translate to 17 points and 12 rebounds (5 offensive) per 36 minutes. Box out The Manimal, or die.


X-factor

Danilo Gallinari

Gallinari is the only Nugget that averages over 30 minutes per game, at 34 minutes. What he does in that 34 minutes is crucial to whether the Nuggets win or lose. Check out Gallo’s splits in wins vs losses:

  • Wins: 22.5 ppg, 47% FG, 44% 3FG
  • Losses: 17.1 ppg, 36% FG, 29% 3FG

Here’s what Gallo looks like in a win:

Slowing down Gallo is crucial to slowing down Denver. We’re looking at you Otto, Jared, Garrett, maybe Kelly?


Fun Factor:

Let’s hope DC empties the whole clip on the Nuggets. Let’s hope they leave no bullets in the chamber. Let’s hope they’re sniping from the three point line, scoping out good shots, and shooting on target all night long.

Yup, it’s throwback night at Verizon, meaning that for tonight, it’s the Washington Bullets!

C’mon NBA, isn’t it time to just let us have the name back?! The name was lost because of its negative connotation of violence, right? So the name was blacklisted for a while. But now the NBA is allowing, and in fact CELEBRATING, and profiting off of the Bullets name, right? So either you’ve accepted that the name isn’t in fact offensive, or you’re celebrating and profiting off of an aura of violence! Just let it go!

Bring back the Bullets!!

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Prediction

Nuggets dodge the Bullets, keeps the roller coaster on the down slope. Ugh. I’m going to go throw-up now.

we are Hoop District

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