Preview: Nuggets take on 76ers in search of third straight win

2022 NBA Summer League - Denver Nuggets v Cleveland Cavaliers
Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Yes, winning streaks are still nice in Summer League

The Denver Nuggets will battle the Philadelphia 76ers as Denver looks to continue their winning ways. The offense has not been Denver’s strong suit this summer season as their game-high is 84 points, but their defensive intensity has proven effective. They held their last two opponents under 80 points, and they held the Clippers to 35.6% shooting from the field on Wednesday.

Top picks Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, and Ismael Kamagate have revealed their defensive prowess throughout the Summer League despite their offensive struggles at times. Braun is one for his last twenty shooting the three ball while Watson is coming off a 3-14 shooting effort last game, but turbulence is expected as they introduce themselves into the league. Today, they face a 76ers bunch who have given up 90+ points in two of their three games, so today might be a day where we see an offensive revival.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (2-1) vs Philadelphia 76ers (1-2)

When: 4:00 PM MST

Where: Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nevada

How to Watch: ESPN3

Rival Blog: Liberty Ballers

Projected Starting Lineups:

76ers — Cassius Winston, Malik Ellison, Charlie Brown Jr., Trevelin Queen, Charles Bassey

Nuggets — Collin Gillespie, Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, Matt Mitchell, Ismael Kamagate


Three Things to Watch

Offensive eruption from Christian Braun

Braun shot the ball decently in his first outing, going 8-17 from the field, but he was 1-7 from three and is yet to sink a three-ball since that game. He has also hoisted 5+ three-point attempts in each outing, which could be a sign of confidence, but look for him to get to the rim today. Hopefully, he can regain his three-ball stroke today but if not, he is fearless and athletic at the rim, so he has to use that to his advantage early and often.

Will Collin Gillespie remain steady?

Gillespie appears to be the most steady performer for Denver this summer season. His years at Villanova have proved to give him a veteran-like mentality where he does panic amidst potential danger. He has been efficient from the field and one of the only Nugget starters to avoid turning the ball over. When the rest of the team starts to reveal rookie tendencies, Gillespie is often the one to get them out of the jam, so look for him to have a similar performance today.

How Denver is turning the ball over

We expect the young guys to play outside of themselves at times and turn the ball over, so it is not a shock but it would be a welcome sight to keep the turnover numbers low today. They have recorded 15 turnovers each in their last two games which is not bad but it is how they’re turning the ball over. Barreling into traffic with no purpose, errant passes, dribbling too much, and the list goes on. If these guys expect to earn a spot in Denver’s rotation at some point, they have to show the willingness and ability to slow themselves down and see the court for what it is. Now that some of these rookies have three games under their belt, we will see what they have learned so far.

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