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Game Thread #3: Denver Nuggets vs. Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers
3-0 0-2
Novermber 3, 2009 - 7:00PM EST
Conseco Fieldhouse
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
Chauncey Billups PG T.J. Ford
Anthony Carter SG Brandon Rush
Carmelo Anthony SF Danny Granger
Kenyon Martin PF Troy Murphy
Nene Hilario C Roy Hibbert

The Indiana Pacers face a friendly foe in the Fieldhouse tonight with the Denver Nuggets in town for the 7:00PM tip.

The Nuggets and Pacers faced off twice in the preseason during their Asian excursion with each team looking darned good in one game and relatively poor in the other. The Nuggets are off to a strong start at 3-0 and look to be every bit of the Western Conference finalist they were last year. The Pacers meanwhile are still looking for a solid 48 minutes of play.

For a Denver perspective, check out Denver Stiffs.

Leave your thoughts and comments on the game in the comments. After the jump, more on the Nuggs.

As the Pacers are well aware, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups make the Nuggets go. Melo unleashed a lethal scoring binge on the Pacers in their second preseason game in Beijing, pumping in 45 points in a mere 24 minutes of floor time. It appears that Customs let him return to the States with his combustible offensive game because in the Nuggets' three regular season wins, Melo is averaging over 37 points. I have a feeling Melo bounced out of bed this morning looking forward to meeting the Pacers again in the Fieldhouse tonight.

As for Billups, he's spent many years causing problems for the Pacers. Fortunately now that he's in the Western Conference, those problems only present themselves twice a year. Billups has complimented Melo with 23 points per game. He's also playing a healthy dose of minutes, just over 37 per game, to start the season.

So, suffice it to say, no matter how much the Pacers emphasize their defense tonight, there's going to be a lot of points scored. The Pacers struggled against Miami to generate much offense, but with a few days off they should be fresh and ready to run. And running is the key since we saw against the Heat that the Pacers are still mixing and matching players and struggling to sync up the halfcourt offense.

The Pacers need to lean on the horses with some big production from Danny Granger and Troy Murphy. If Melo is staring at 40, Danny better be staring right back. The Pacers also need to squeeze more out of T.J. Ford, Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert to combine with the play of Earl Watson and Dahntay Jones off the bench.

All hands on deck making a positive impact. After the first two games, I know that sounds like a novel idea, but team will come together sooner or later, why not tonight?