The Denver Nuggets, like the majority of the league, begins the 2011-2012 NBA season on Monday after five game took place on Christmas Day. One of the teams that did play on Christmas Day was the team's first opponent, the Dallas Mavericks, who fell to the Miami Heat, 105-94.
It was certainly not the way the defending NBA champions would have liked to open the season, especially since the loss came at home. LeBron James dropped 37 points and Dwyane Wade had 26 points to lead the way to victory. Jason Terry, so instrumental in the Mavericks' playoff run, led the Mavericks with 23 points off the bench. Dirk Nowitzki, NBA Finals MVP, led Dallas starters with 21 points.
The Mavericks were outrebounded, 51-31, and shot 37.8 percent from the field while allowing Miami to hit on 48.7 percent of its shots. The Nuggets will look to disrupt the Mavericks and keep the defending NBA champions reeling from an Opening Day loss.
For the Nuggets, it's time to introduce a starting lineup that will for the first time since 2002 not feature Carmelo Anthony on Opening Night. Stability returned to the Nuggets with the return of Nene and Arron Afflalo, both of who were free agents. They will be part of a starting lineup that features Ty Lawson at point guard, Danilo Gallinari at small forward and Timofey Mozgov at center.
Andre Miller and Rudy Fernandez will serve as the first two men off the bench and act as the "sixth man." Rookies Kenneth Faried, Jordan Hamilton and Julyan Stone will all have a hard time cracking the Denver lineup, but we'll see if George Karl is able to work them into the game at any point.
Game day/time: Monday, Dec. 26, 2011, 6:30 p.m. MT
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Tx.
Dallas: Fox Sports Southwest
For more on this game, visit Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs and Mavericks blog Mavs Moneyball. To keep up with the new season, head over to SB Nation NBA.