When: Monday, October 23 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado
TV: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: Jason Smith (Questionable, Shoulder), Markieff Morris (Out, Hernia), Sheldon Mac (Out, Achilles)
What to Watch for
How will the Wizards slow down Paul Millsap?
Washington knows quite a bit Paul Millsap from their frequent battles in the regular season and playoffs over the years, but now he’s facing them in a new setting after signing with the Nuggets during the summer, and he presents a unique challenge this time around.
Markieff Morris’ Double MMA tactics didn’t work all that well against in the playoffs last season. Millsap averaged 24.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in the series. Still, Morris would be preferable to Washington’s other options guarding Millsap. Jason Smith isn’t mobile enough to check him on the perimeter, Otto Porter isn’t strong enough to keep him off the block, and Millsap knows all of Mike Scott’s tricks. It’s going to take a total team effort to keep him from having a big night.
A random highlight from Wizards - Nuggets history: The time Eddie Jordan got mad at Carmelo Anthony for scoring too much
One of the lamer moments in Wizards history came on a quiet night in February 2008 when the Wizards traveled to Denver to face Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets. Washington was mired in a slump midway through the season as the team was trying to get by without Gilbert Arenas, who had undergone knee surgery, and Caron Butler, who was missing time due to hip issues.
Carmelo took advantage of the Wizards’ woes with 49 points on 25 shots as the Nuggets handed the Wizards their sixth-straight loss. Anthony might have been able to crack 50, but the Wizards chose to double-team him off the ball on the final possession to keep him from getting the chance to shoot again.
The strategy led to an interesting discussion after the game:
Anthony laughed at the sudden attention he was getting after roaming free most of the night.
“It was funny,” Anthony said. “But my team probably would have done the same thing if somebody was going for 50. I would probably have told my teammates to double-team and do something like that, too.”
Wizards coach Eddie Jordan wasn’t laughing.
He was steamed that ‘Melo came back in the game even though the Nuggets were only ahead 94-84 when Anthony checked back into the game with just under 6 minutes left.
“I thought it was very classless to close the game out,” Jordan said. “I have my opinion. I can what I want to say. That’s what I thought it was.”
I thought it was embarrassing but also one Andray Blatche’s better defensive efforts. I can say what I want to say too.
Here are the highlights so you can make your own judgments: