Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Fantasy Guru - Baseball

NBA Preview: Denver Nuggets (30-14) at Indiana Pacers (24-19)

Indiana and Denver are meeting for the second time in nine days, but it’s a different Pacers team the Nuggets beat on Jan. 14.

Since that 117-109 loss in Denver in the middle of their six-game road trip, the Pacers shook up their roster Jan. 17 by acquiring Pascal Siakam from Toronto and sending three first-round picks and three players to the Raptors, including former Nugget Bruce Brown.

Indiana is 1-2 since trading for Siakam, with the only win coming at Sacramento last Thursday, one day before he made his Pacers debut.

The Pacers paid a steep price to bring on Siakam but hope that he can fit in well with Tyrese Haliburton, who played in Siakam’s debut but sat out the loss at Phoenix on Sunday night. Haliburton had missed five games due to a hamstring injury sustained on Jan. 8.

They looked good together despite the loss to the Trail Blazers, scoring 21 points each and Haliburton adding 17 assists. Now the duo has to tussle with the reigning champions, who are on their fourth game of a trip that ends Thursday night in New York.

Denver had a marquee win at Boston on Friday night and was able to hold off a feisty Washington team on Sunday night. Nikola Jokic has made the case for his third MVP in four years with an impressive stretch of games.

He had 42 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in the win over the Wizards and was an assist shy of his 13th triple-double of the season when the Nuggets handed the Celtics their first home loss of the season.

Jokic has shot 74.9 percent from the field over the last 12 games and is nearly averaging a triple-double for the season (26.1 points, 11.9 rebounds and 9.1 assists). He was serenaded with MVP chants from the Washington crowd as Sunday’s game ended.

Jokic has gotten plenty of help from guard Jamal Murray, who is averaging 24 points in 10 games in January. He had 35 at Boston on Friday night and 19 against the Wizards.

He hasn’t flashed the same accuracy as Jokic, though. Murray was 7-for-23 from the field on Sunday night and is averaging 49.2 percent from the field this month.

He had a strong game at home against Indiana on Jan. 14 with 25 points and eight assists.

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