The Nuggets have been on a tear as of late, going 14-3 since Jan. 1, overtaking the Memphis Grizzlies for the fourth spot in the Western Conference. Overlooking the comeback win in the last minute against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Nuggets have beaten their opponents by double figures since Jan. 1 and are averaging 108.5 points during the same stretch.
The Nuggets will wrap up its six-game homestand Thursday night against a Bulls team that is third in the NBA in points allowed, 91 per game, and second in defensive filed-goal percentage, 42.8%.
It’s clear that Denver knows how to push the ball and run with it, but the team must continue to pick up its defense if it wants to continue to be a legitimate playoff threat. The Nuggets are forcing 18.1 turnovers in 2013 and allowing 100.8 points.
With a healthy lineup for the Nuggets, the Bulls are missing some key players, including the still recovering Derrick Rose. Carlos Boozer (hamstring) and Joakim Noah (foot) are day-to-day, while Kirk Hinrich (elbow) did not make the trip.
The Nuggets have won five straight and 11 of the last 12 against Chicago at Pepsi Center, going back to the 1999-2000 season.
However, the Nuggets must not look too far ahead. Rather they must take it day by day and focus on the matter at hand, the Bulls. Something must give, as the defensive-minded Bulls look to throw a wrench in the Nuggets’ offensive engine.