The Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz are both in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference and the way the NBA is set up you play division foes four times per year. Given that, you would expect the two teams to know each other intimately. Well, a lot has changed since the two teams last met on February 4.
In that 113-106 Jazz victory in Denver, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups were dressed in powder blue and white while Jerry Sloan was coaching Deron Williams and the Jazz.
After last week's trade deadline, it's now Tyrone Corbin coaching Utah stars Devin Harris and Derrick Favors against new Nuggets Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos (Danilo Gallinari won't be available). So while the names on the front of the jerseys are the same, the names on the back aren't.
Both teams are rolling with the flow, though. Utah is 7-1 since their changing of the guard while Denver improved to 4-1 since the blockbuster trade, with a 40-point victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday.
For the Nuggets, the familiar faces have been given new life with the departure of their superstars. In cases where they may have differed to Melo or Chauncey, guys like J.R. Smith, Nene, Ty Lawson and "The Birdman" Chris Andersen now have the green-light to go on their own.
Sometimes players can gain by loss.
Tonight's game tips at 8:30 p.m. MT in front of a national audience on TNT.