10/18 Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets: Keys to the Game

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24: Kenneth Faried (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24: Kenneth Faried (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Utah Jazz Rudy Gobert
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – OCTOBER 6: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Key #3 – Take Advantage of Denver’s Weak D

Although the Nuggets were a prolific offensive team last year that ranked among the NBA’s best, they were absolutely dismal on the other side of the court, finishing 27th in the league in opponent points per game, giving up 111.2 per contest. Therefore, the only way the Nuggets tended to come away victorious was by simply turning games into a shootout and outgunning their opponent.

I already touched on the importance of shutting down Denver’s relentless offensive attack, but even limiting the Nuggets’ scoring won’t be enough unless the Jazz can flip the script and get some easy baskets of their own.

Utah’s offense has been their biggest question mark coming into this season, but it looked very solid in preseason play and hopefully starting out the regular season against a team that puts up little resistance on that end of the floor will allow them to build early momentum. It sounds over-simplified, but if this match-up goes as it did last year, then whichever team is able to get over 100 points ought to win the contest.

Denver’s defense shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for the Jazz, but then again, Utah’s offense isn’t exactly projected to be lights out. In other words, whichever team is able to exceed their supposed reputation – Jazz offense steps up or Denver’s defense holds fast – will likely determine the ultimate winner.