Denver Nuggets vs New Orleans Pelicans Prediction & Match Preview - December 8th, 2021 | NBA Season 2021-22

The New Orleans Pelicans will host the Denver Nuggets on December 8th.
The New Orleans Pelicans will host the Denver Nuggets on December 8th.

The New Orleans Pelicans will host the Denver Nuggets at the Smoothie King Center on Wednesday, December 8th.

The Nuggets will head into this game off a 109-97 loss against the Chicago Bulls to fall to 11-12 on the season. Meanwhile, the Pelicans are also coming off a loss, a 118-108 reverse against the Houston Rockets, to remain at the bottom in the West.

Match Details

Fixture - Denver Nuggets vs New Orleans Pelicans | 2021-22 NBA Season.

Date & Time - Wednesday, December 8th, 2021; 8:00 PM ET (Thursday, December 9th, 2021; 6:30 AM IST).

Venue - Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA.

Denver Nuggets Preview

Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets
Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets started their campaign with one of the most talented rosters in the NBA. Featuring a lethal frontcourt trio of Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon, the Nuggets' overall makeup put them in a good position to compete for a playoff spot again.

However, since October, the Nuggets have been plagued on the injury front. With Porter Jr. suffering another back injury and the heightened usage rate of Jokic, the Nuggets find themselves in a tough spot in the West.

Nikola Jokic has taken up the Nuggets' offensive responsibilities, but the onus is also on the other players to step up. Although the game against Chicago saw some balanced scoring from the Nuggets' starting rotation, that wasn't enough to overcome the Bulls.

Season-high 11 assists for Nikola!

Following their latest loss against the Bulls, the Denver Nuggets are now 2-2 in their road trip. With three more games on the road to come, the Nuggets will hope to end with a winning record to enter the playoff seedings again.

Key Player - Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon hustles to save the ball.
Aaron Gordon hustles to save the ball.

With Nikola Jokic carrying the burden of performing for the Denver Nuggets in every game, Aaron Gordon needs to step up.

The role of Gordon, part of their primary trio, at the offensive end as a cutter and a rebounder is often underplayed. It doesn't help that while Gordon is shooting at a career-best, his overall numbers have only seen a minor bump since last season.

Aaron Gordon is shooting 75% at the rim this season. It’s a career-high and in the 94th percentile among all forwards.46% of Gordon’s shot attempts are also coming at the rim, his most since 2015-16.

Additionally, Gordon is one of the best on-ball defenders in the Denver Nuggets' roster. Guarding the perimeter, Gordon will most likely draw the task of marking Brandon Ingram.

Containing Ingram in this game could be key. He is coming off a huge outing against the Rockets, and his scoring often kickstarts the Pelicans' offense. Gordon's ability to contain Ingram could be key in complementing Jokic's efforts against Valanicunas.

Denver Nuggets Predicted Lineup

G - Monte Morris | G - Will Barton | F - Aaron Gordon | F - Jeff Green | C - Nikola Jokic.

New Orleans Pelicans Preview

New Orleans Pelicans vs Houston Rockets
New Orleans Pelicans vs Houston Rockets

The New Orleans Pelicans will return home after their latest loss to the Houston Rockets. Finding themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference, the Pelicans have many issues to ponder.

The Pelicans will continue to see their superstar Zion Williamson out of their rotation. He is facing a delay in his return, due to foot soreness. His prolonged absence has put the Pelicans in more than a spot of bother.

Pelicans’ Zion Williamson experienced a slight delay in his rehab due to soreness in his injured right foot. Team is optimistic it is not serious but will dial back his ramp up in approximately a week.

The combined efforts of Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas at the scoring end has helped carry the team to a few wins. However, the New Orleans Pelicans' overall contributions haven't been enough to see them through to a balanced season.

Although the game against the Rockets saw the Pelicans win the rebounding battle, their poor shooting from beyond the arc saw them getting shot out of the game.

Key Player - Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram warms up ahead of a New Orleans Pelicans' game.
Brandon Ingram warms up ahead of a New Orleans Pelicans' game.

The New Orleans Pelicans' key player for this game against the Denver Nuggets could be Brandon Ingram.

In the absence of Williamson, Ingram is the only remaining All-Star-caliber player in the roster. Although Ingram missed some time due to injury, he has found his rhythm, coming off a 40-point performance against the Houston Rockets.

Ingram posted a season-high 40 points vs the Rockets 🏀

With Valanciunas taking up most of the rebounding load for the Pelicans, Ingram will have to focus on scoring from mid-range. Supported by shooters like Devonte' Graham and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Ingram should have enough space to operate.

Ingram will have to emerge as the dominant player in this game against the Nuggets. With the big man battle between Valanciunas and Jokic ensuing, Ingram will have to take advantage of the situation to take over the scoring load.

New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup

G - Devonte Graham | G - Garrett Temple | F - Brandon Ingram | F - Herb Jones | C - Jonas Valanciunas,

Nuggets vs Pelicans Match Prediction

The Nuggets are favored to beat the Pelicans. Both teams will miss key players. But Denver's superior ability and discipline at both ends of the floor gives them the upper hand against the young Pelicans team.

Where to watch Nuggets vs Pelicans game?

The game will be locally broadcast on Bally Sports New Orleans. The clash will be available on the NBA's League Pass platform too. Fans can also listen to the game on radio by tuning into ESPN 100.3 FM.

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Edited by Bhargav
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