Denver Nuggets look to bounce back following home loss

by Aaron Lopez

After a letdown, the Denver Nuggets will look to rebound.

Channeling the disappointment of Thursday night’s home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Nuggets went through a crisp practice in advance of Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz.

“It was a good practice,” point guard Ty Lawson said. “We had a long video session and figured out what our problem was (against Minnesota). We just have to play harder.”

In the locker room after the Minnesota loss, Lawson said he and his teammates need to do a better job executing the game plan laid out by the coaching staff during practices and shootarounds. Points of emphasis are also written clearly on the team’s white board in the locker room before each game.

On Friday, Lawson reiterated the need to pay attention to detail.

“We just have to be more focused,” he said. “It’s a little immaturity on everybody’s part. We have to take responsibility. Also, the people who are doing their job have to make sure to tell everybody else they’re not doing it. We have to hold ourselves accountable.”

Denver’s pick-and-roll defense struggled in the fourth quarter against Minnesota, but the issues went beyond X’s and O’s. The Nuggets were 11-for-20 from the free-throw line and got outrebounded 52-39.

After a film session and practice, coach George Karl expected a much better performance against the Jazz.

“I thought the guys showed a lot of pride today,” Karl said. “They understood you don’t want those things to happen, but no team plays 82 good games. After playing well, it makes the spike of the high and then the low (more pronounced). There’s still a residual attitude. Everybody’s (ticked) off, but I think we’ll be ready for tomorrow.”

By the time veteran point guard Andre Miller left the locker room Thursday night, he had already erased the memory of Minnesota.

“Just move on,” Miller said. “It’s a long season. Obviously it’s a game we wanted to win and needed to win and we didn’t take advantage of it. We just need to move on from it.”

Like the Timberwolves, the Jazz will be playing the second of back-to-back games when they take the Pepsi Center court. Utah and Denver have split two games this season, with the home team winning both times.


WHEN: 7 p.m. MT
WHERE: Pepsi Center, Denver
TV; RADIO: Altitude; 104.3 FM, AM-950


F Danilo Gallinari
F Kenneth Faried
C Kosta Koufos
G Andre Iguodala
G Ty Lawson

F Marvin Williams
F Paul Millsap
C Al Jefferson
G Randy Foye
G Jamaal Tinsley

Lawson (Achilles' tendon) is probable; Wilson Chandler (hip) and Julyan Stone (hip) are out.
UTAH: Enes Kanter (ankle) is doubtful; Mo Williams (thumb) is out.

Denver has won seven out of their last nine home games against Utah … Despite their recent stretch in Denver, Utah has still performed relatively well at the Pepsi Center in recent years, having gone 11-14 in Denver since the 2000-01 season … Although the Nuggets are just 11-16 overall against the Jazz since 2005-06, Denver has won eight of the last 15 against Utah over the past four seasons … The Jazz franchise has had more 40-point performances against the Nuggets than any other team in the NBA – 18 Jazz players have scored 40+ versus Denver since 1976-77 (next closest would be nine by Houston). Of the 18 40-point performances, 11 of those were done by former Nuggets assistant coach Adrian Dantley … The Nuggets went 3-1 against the Jazz in 2009-10, marking their first series win over Utah since the 2003-04 season (3-1) … Denver and Utah met in the opening round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs, with the fifth seeded Jazz knocking off the fourth seeded Nuggets (4-2) … With Denver’s 2009-10 Northwest Division title, the Nuggets and Jazz have accounted for five of the last seven Northwest division titles.