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Nuggets

Nuggets-Jazz Game 7 preview

Despite falling behind 3-1 in their best-of-seven series with the Jazz, the Nuggets have battled back to force Game 7 tonight at 6:30 p.m. on ABC. With that in mind here’s a roundup of the best stories to get you ready for tonight’s game.

Murray vs. Mitchell

TheAthletic.com’s John Hollinger wrote about the battle between Denver’s Jamal Murray and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, described as a “shootout for the ages.”

Both have had two 50-point games in the series, becoming just the third and fourth players in NBA history to have multiple 50-point games in the same series. For the Nuggets Murray has scored 142 points in the past three games with just five turnovers total.

Calipari on Murray

During Murray’s one season playing college basketball he played for legendary coach John Calipari, The Denver Post’s Mike Singer talked to the Kentucky coach on what it’s been like watching his former player shine on the biggest of stages.

Among other things he said this about Murray:

“How good can he be? We don’t know yet, because what he’s done is he’s beginning to master his craft. … There’s not one shot that he shoots that he thinks is a bad shot. If he gets it off, it was a good shot. That’s what Jamal is.”

Harris could be the X-factor

At TheDNVR.com Harrison Wind wrote about how Denver guard Gary Harris could be the X-factor in tonight’s elimination game.

Game 6 was the first NBA game Harris had played in since March, but he managed to play 21 points and held Utah’s Jordan Clarkson to just 11 points on 5-for-14 shooting.

“To welcome him back in an elimination game I think was reassuring to our players. Our guys trust Gary. I trust Gary. He went out there and defended at a high level.”

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said about Harris.

MPJ deserves praise too

TheAthletic’s Kendra Andrews took at a look at what Michael Porter Jr.’s rookie season has been like through the eyes of those who have taught him.

While The Post’s Sean Keller wrote that while Murray is clearly the Nuggets postseason MVP, both Porter and Harris deserve game balls too.

Chance to make some money

And lastly, on the sports betting side of things, DraftKings is offering fans a chance to bet on the Nuggets and profit based on how many points Murray scores tonight.

The Game 7 scoring special goes like this: Place at $27 or larger wager on the Nuggets moneyline tonight and you get $1 towards a free bet for every point Murray scores. So if Murray scores 40 points you’d get a $40 free bet.

As for the moneyline bet, if you bet $27 and the Nuggets win you’d get $51.84 back, plus however much money for the free bet based on Murray’s point total.

Whether the Nuggets win or lose you’ll get the free bet portion of the special.

Nuggets-Jazz series results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

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Nuggets

Nuggets look to right the ship in Game 3 vs. Jazz

The Nuggets take on the Jazz this afternoon at 2 p.m. (TNT, Altitude) in what could prove to be a pivotal Game 3 in the teams’ first-round series.

Utah likely will have starting point guard Mike Conley back for today’s game. Conley missed the first two games of the series after he left the NBA bubble in Orlando for the birth of his son.

Gary Harris remains out for Denver, but head coach Michael Malone is hopeful the shooting guard could return at some point during the opening-round series.

“I think he’s getting in a really good place mentally and physically and it would be great to get him back at some point in this series if that’s possible.

Malone said about Harris ahead of Game 3.
  • Nuggets guard Monte Morris talked about how some of the screens that Utah center Rudy Gobert sets are illegal.
    “He does a good job at setting screens,” Morris said. “I don’t think all of them are legal, so I mean, the ref can’t call all of them, but we gotta get into the ball and fight through them and not wait on what the ref’s going to do.”
  • TheAthletic’s Kendra Andrews wrote that the Nuggets defense has been an issue so far in the series and what Malone is doing to adjust going forward.
  • TheDNVR.com’s Adam Mares took a different approach, breaking down whether Denver can turn the series into an offense battle going forward.
  • Nuggets-Jazz first-round results and schedule
GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

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Nuggets, Rockies, Rapids all in action today

Nuggets

The Nuggets are back in action today for the first time since mid-March, albeit just a scrimmage vs. the Washington Wizards (1:30 p.m., Altitude).

Denver is only expected to have nine players available to play as both Gary Harris and Torrey Craig cleared quarantine on Tuesday, but will not be available.

  • According to The Denver Post fourteen of the Nuggets players will wear messages on their jerseys supporting racial equality. Guard Troy Daniels added the team also is considering other ways of protesting, but said nothing has been decided as of now.

Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon was named a finalist for yet another award on Tuesday, this time the Hart Trophy, the NHL’s MVP. Last week the MacKinnon also was named a finalist for the Lady Byng and Ted Lindsay trophies.

The Lady Byng is given to the player who displays the best sportsmanship, along with high standards of play. MacKinnon definitely makes sense for that since his 12 penalty minutes this season are the fewest among the NHL’s top 25 scorers.

And the Ted Lindsay trophy is for the league’s “most outstanding player.”

My thoughts: I’m guessing the Lady Byng is the only regular-season hardware MacKinnon brings home this year, but he’ll be perfectly fine with that if he adds a Stanley Cup instead.

Rockies

It was just an exhibition game, but still, it was great to see the Rockies back in action on Tuesday night. Colorado beat the Rangers 5-1 as Texas opened new Globe Life Field.

Colorado got home runs from Daniel Murphy, Nolan Arenado and David Dahl in the win. The team’s square off against tonight (6 p.m.), before Opening Day on Friday.

Broncos

Today in their on-going series, The Denver Post tackled the Broncos’ running backs.

My thoughts: I still don’t understand the need to sign Melvin Gordon this offseason. I think he’s clearly an upgrade over Royce Freeman, but I’m not sure he’s an upgrade over Phillip Lindsay. And the $16 million over two years just feels like a major overpay.

I would have rather seen Denver sign a less expensive free agent (Devonta Freeman perhaps) and use the extra money for some help on the offensive line or at cornerback.

And one thing the Post article does not mention is Gordon’s problems with fumbling during his career. It doesn’t matter how well he runs this ball, if he can’t hang onto it he’ll be a liability.

  • ESPN.com published its list of the most improved teams this offseason from 1-to-32. Denver checked in at No. 6, right behind Cleveland and just in front of Arizona.
    They ranked Miami the most improved and the L.A. Rams as the least improved.

Rapids

Colorado is back in action tonight against Minnesota United (8:30 p.m., ESPN, Altitude 92.5 FM) for what likely is their final game of the MLS is Back Tournament.

The Rapids dropped the first two games of the group stage against Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City. Minnesota already has clinched a spot in the knockout round.

The Denver Post wrote about whether or not the Rapids have a discipline problem. And judging by the numbers, the do. Colorado led the MLS in red cards last year and in 2018 had 11 more yellow cards than the next closest team.

CSU Rams

The Mountain West Conference released its conference’s coaches poll on Tuesday and Colorado State was picked to finish fifth out of six teams in the Mountain Division. Not surprisingly, Boise State is picked to finish first, followed by Wyoming and Air Force.

New Mexico was the one team ranked below the Rams.

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Rockies, Nuggets and Avs all gearing up for seasons

Rockies

It’s hard to believe that Opening Day is this week … assuming all goes according to plan. The Rockies are scheduled to play two exhibition games Tuesday and Wednesday in Texas against the Rangers, with the opener set for Friday.

Colorado wrapped up it’s 15-day summer camp on Sunday and manager Bud Black was most excited about how good the offense has looked.

My thoughts: I’m definitely excited for the season to be here at last, but my expectations for the Rockies still haven’t changed that much from when Spring Training began months ago. I expect them to hover somewhere around .500, probably finishing a few games under.

In this shortened season though their playoff chances definitely have increased though. All it takes is a hot stretch for a couple of weeks and they’ll be right in it.

Nuggets

The start of the NBA restart is coming up fast as well. Denver has its first scrimmage this Wednesday against the Washington Wizards and while they likely won’t play Gary Harris and Torrey Craig were reportedly en route to Orlando as of Sunday afternoon.

Harris was the final member of the Nuggets regular starting rotation that had yet to enter the NBA bubble. No word yet on the whereabouts of rookie Michael Porter Jr. though.

Avalanche

As the Avs also near their return to action count Ian Cole among those players who believe Colorado has a legitimate shoot to lift the Stanley Cup in a couple months.

Cole, a 10-year veteran, begins growing his playoff beard at the start of the hockey season, in October, if he thinks he’s on a playoff team. And since the playoffs are usually over by now this is already the longest he’s ever had it.

Here’s hoping he still is growing it in late August.

Broncos

The Denver Post began its series previewing the Broncos position groups. First up, the quarterbacks.

My thoughts: I’m cautiously optimistic that Drew Lock will be the long-term answer at quarterback for Denver. I don’t think that means he’s going to be be like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes and win the MVP award in his second year in the league however.

I do love the fact that John Elway and company have surrounded him with talent though. I also am hopeful that even if he struggles some this year, which is highly likely, that he still gets another year or two to learn and grow into the position.

Nationally

ESPN previews the upcoming MLB season with a look at the stars and storylines they’re most excited to see. Not surprisingly no Rockies players made the list.