Since Coach Pop sacrificed the Spurs’ 11-game win streak to rest Parker and Duncan during a 40-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the two should be well rested for the game tonight against the Denver Nuggets.
The Spurs are trying to end their Rodeo Road Trip on a high note and come home with a win rather than a 2- game losing streak.
The Nuggets started off the season hot, jumping out to a 14-5 record. They looked like they were going to be the surprise team in the West, but since then they’ve only won 4 of their last 15. The biggest reason for the drop-off is most likely injuries.
With leading scorer Danilo Gallinari out the last nine games with a sprained left ankle and not expected back until after the break, Denver could also be without point guard Ty Lawson (sprained left ankle), forward Nene (strained calf) and backup swingman Rudy Fernandez (strained lower back) on Thursday.
The Nuggets lost a hard-fought game in Los Angeles against the Clippers late last night that will no doubt take its toll with a quick turnaround and a short-handed matchup against the well-rested Spurs.
If the Spurs want to win this game tonight, they’ll have to get their defense going against one of the highest scoring teams in the league.
The Spurs have given up at least 100 points in each of their last four games. The Nuggets, despite their injury problems, continue to put up at least 100 almost every night. The last time these two teams played, the Spurs won an offensive slugfest, 121-117.
If the Spurs can slow down this high-powered offense, they’ll have a great chance of winning the game. If not, they better be ready to put up a lot of points.