The Brooklyn Nets have lost four straight games, and now at 13-14, one game below the .500 mark, sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The team that started Brooklyn's current four-game losing streak, the reigning NBA Champion Denver Nuggets, will square off against the Nets tonight at the Barclays Center.
It will be a tall task for Jacque Vaughn's squad tonight if they want to snap their four-game skid.
Nic Claxton and Day'Ron Sharpe's play tonight will likely determine the outcome of the basketball game.
Nikola Jokic, a two-time NBA MVP, averages 26.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 9.3 assists at the five for Denver this year. He is just as dominant as ever. When these two teams squared off in Denver eight days ago, Jokic had 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. Jokic received a plus-21 for his efforts, the best of any player who appeared in the game.
Claxton played just 17 minutes in the game due to foul trouble. Sharpe held his own in fill-in duties, scoring eight points with 13 rebounds and five assists across 26 minutes. Brooklyn needs more out of Claxton tonight.
Are any Nets out tonight?
Yes, Lonnie Walker IV (hamstring) and Ben Simmons (back) remain out, while Dennis Smith Jr. (back) is questionable. Getting Smith Jr. back would be a big Christmas present for Brooklyn's second unit.
Are the Nuggets fully healthy?
Not quite. Nuggets power forward Vlatko Cancar (knee) is out. Denver's starting power forward, elite dunker Aaron Gordon, is questionable with a heel injury. Denver plays in Charlotte tomorrow night, so Gordon may be held out tonight in preparation for tomorrow.
The team named after delicious Chicken's Head Coach Mike Malone could also opt to hold out Gordon tonight so he can get healthy for the Nuggets Christmas Day showdown (a holiday the NBA actually plays on) against Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, and the Golden State Warriors in Denver.
Zak Musso's game prediction: Denver 115, Brooklyn 110
The Nuggets have just too much firepower. Jamal Murray and Jokic will be the two best players on the court tonight, and they will shine in the fourth quarter and help Denver pull away in a tight contest.