Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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NBA Preview: Denver Nuggets (46-23) at Detroit Pistons (16-54)

Michael Malone, the coach of the Denver Nuggets, wants them to wake up from their slumber as the season winds down.

Denver, which plays the depleted Detroit Pistons on Thursday, has lost its worst four games of the season. The Nuggets actually have the best record in the Western Gathering yet Malone feels his group is requiring evenings off.

On Tuesday, Denver lost 125-110 to Toronto after allowing 49 points in the first quarter. The Raptors held a 24-point advantage.

During the skid, the Nuggets have also fallen to Chicago, San Antonio, and Brooklyn. Among the last four teams, only the Brooklyn Nets have a winning record.

Complacency and boredom appear to be factors. Instead of attempting to establish the best record possible, the Nuggets appear to be waiting for the postseason to begin.

Despite the Nuggets cutting their deficit to six points by the end of the third quarter, Denver never led against the Raptors. They scored only 18 points in the fourth quarter.

At 16-17, the Nuggets’ road record fell below.500 as a result of the loss. It was the first of five games on a trip.

The Nuggets probably won’t need to play at their best to beat the depleted Pistons, despite Malone’s objections. In Tuesday’s 117-97 loss to Washington, Detroit only dressed nine players, including both of its two-way players and Eugene Omoruyi, who is on a 10-day contract. In the first half, Omoruyi suffered an ankle injury but was able to play again.

The depleted Pistons have lost 12 of their last 13 games, their only win coming on Monday against Indiana.

Although Detroit has only 16 victories, coach Dwane Casey stated that player development is the focus.

Ivey has been placed in health and safety protocols, which has caused him to miss the last three games. As a result of injuries, forwards Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles), Isaiah Livers (hip), and Marvin Bagley III (ankle) did not play against the Wizards, and guard Alec Burks (foot) has already been ruled out for the season.

On November 22, Detroit prevailed 110-108 over Denver, despite Jokic’s 31 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds for the Nuggets.

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