Here is a simple Q & A that was done with Editor Mike Catalino of the Denver Nuggets Fansided blog Nugg Love.
From me: (His questions about the Jazz to me can be found here or at the bottom of the page.
1. The nuggets started out slow and have since been on a roll. What do you attribute the slow start to and does it have to do with learning Shaw’s system?
In my opinion I feel that the slow start was a combination of a bit of a roster shake up and injuries. The team chemistry was clearly weak in the beginning of the season, but now the Nuggets are coming together as a team and their record shows it. Danilo Gallinari is yet to play this season as he is still recovering from an ACL injury and that has definitely affected the team. Also, I do believe that the sluggish start came from the unfamiliarity with Shaw’s system, but it appears the Nuggets have adapted well.
2. I’ve always been a fan of Ty Lawson and have felt like he was greatly underrated. Where would you rank him among point guards in the west?
Ty Lawson is becoming a star. He has been a lot of fun to watch this year, and hopefully he is good to go tomorrow against you guys. However, to answer your question I would rank Lawson as a top 10 point guard in the west somewhere in the 7 or 8 range. It is no disrespect to his breakout season, but there is just so many stud point guards that are more established.
3. Vegas has the nuggets at 47 wins and I would’ve put money that they’d be under that. As of right now they are on pace for 48, can they maintain this pace or have they already exceeded expectations?
If you were to ask me this question a few weeks ago I would have told you no way. However, the Nuggets have completely turned things around and I don’t think that 48 wins is out of the question. If they continue to play as they have lately then sure, I don’t see why not.
4. Where do you think the nuggets will finish in the West?
I think that the Nuggets will wind up right around where they are currently. The west is going to be very competitive to end the season, but I see them ending up in the 5th or 6th spot at least.
5. What’s your prediction of the score of tonight’s game?
I think this game is going to be closer than expected. The Nuggets are coming off of a long road trip, and the Jazz are coming off of a big win. I think the final score will look something like 105-100 Nuggets.
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From Mike to me:
1. The Jazz are coming off of a slaughtering of the Kings. Do you see them carrying the momentum from the big win and getting off to a good start tomorrow?
The Jazz have won 4 of their last 5 games with Marvin Williams starting. Marvin is expected to play and so yes I think the Jazz momentum will continue. I think teams are expecting a pushover when it comes to the Jazz, but when the Jazz are at full strength they are actually playing really good basketball.
2. Gordan Hayward is your guys leading scorer. How fun has he been to watch, and does he have potential to be a star in the league?
Gordon is a very good player and might even get a max contract at the end of the season. What has been fun watching G Hay is the fact that every year he has been given a bigger role on the team. He works harder than any player I know and he HATES losing. It has taken him a little time to get use to being the number one option but he learns every game. He will be a top 25 player in this league at one point in his career if he stays healthy.
3. What advantages do you feel that the Jazz have over the Nuggets, and what do you the Nuggets have over the Jazz?
The Jazz I feel are longer and have a bigger front inside that helps them protect the paint. When the Jazz play a lineup of Burks, Hayward, Marvin, Favors and Gobert it’s ridiculous the wing span in that group. The Nuggets however put up points like crazy and have scored over 100 in 10 of their 13 wins. With Lawson arguably the only all-star caliber player on either team right now makes the Nuggets a favorite in this one. The Manimal gives the Jazz and every other team fits as well.
4. Finally, how do you see this game playing out, and what is your score prediction?
I think the Jazz are really confident right now since they are healthy and finally are hitting shots with Trey Burke opening the floor for everyone. Since both teams play in the altitude nobody gets an advantage there. My prediction is it will be a high scoring affair with both teams having a coin flip for who wins. Just because I’m feeling the Jazz are out to prove something I say the Jazz win in Denver 108-105.