Ty Lawson returns to the region he grew up in with the Denver Nuggets to take on the Washington Wizards. The Nuggets currently sit at 9-9 in the standings, but have won seven of their last 10 contests. The Wizards are not going to have an easy out against the Nuggets' 9th ranked offense in the league. Let's explore the matchup.
When and where? Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in the Phone Booth.
Injury updates: Nene said him returning against the Nuggets is a 'big possibility', according to J. Michael of CSN Washington. Nothing has been confirmed just yet, but it sounds like Nene will be a go tonight. The Nuggets have no reported injuries.
Keys to a Wizards' win: The Nuggets are not going to be an easy task for the Wizards tonight. Lawson is one of the more underrated point guards in the league, and John Wall has a history with shorter, quicker point guards scoring big on him.
Lawson has not found his shot yet this season and is shooting just 42 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three, but he's still drawing free throws at a high rate and has an offensive rating of 111. He's also assisting on a career high 44 percent of the Nuggets field goals.
The key to Washington winning this game and shutting down the Nuggets' 9th ranked offensive attack in terms of efficiency is to shut Lawson down. He is one of the best point guards in the league at driving the ball in the lane and kicking it out to shooters.
Lawson leads the league in drives and averages 13.4 per contest. The Nuggets score 15.5 points per game on those drives. The Wizards have to prevent Lawson from getting into the lane easily and generating points for his team.
They also need to make sure they get back in transition, because Lawson is one of the fastest point guards in the league. The Nuggets make it a point to run in transition and are ranked 6th in the league in pace. To keep the Nuggets from getting easy run-out buckets, the Wizards need to make sure they have players getting back at all times.
Will they win? Though this team is no slouch, the Wizards should be able to pick up a win against the Nuggets. They have the league's sixth best defense when it comes to efficiency and have slowed down some of the best offenses in the league this season.
Wall is going to have a tough assignment in Lawson, but he's one of the best defensive point guards in the league. When dialed in he is tough to get by because of his quickness laterally and with his hands. If Wall is able to contain Lawson the Wizards will be in great shape to win the game.