Red-hot Nuggets travel to Chicago on CSN

Red-hot Nuggets travel to Chicago on CSN
March 18, 2013, 11:45 am
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Mark Strotman

The talk of the NBA over the last month has been the Miami Heat, and for good reason. Their current 22-game win streak is tied for the second longest run without a loss in NBA history, but there's another team out west that is putting together a solid streak of their own.

The Denver Nuggets, winners of 11 straight, will try to keep their run going when they travel to the United Center tonight to take on the Bulls on Comcast SportsNet.

George Karl's group began their impressive streak on the heels of a road skid that saw them lose four of five away from the Pepsi Center from Feb. 10 to Feb. 22. That stretch of play dropped their road record to 11-19, but the current No. 6 seed in the Western Conference has turned things around in a hurry.

The streak began on Feb. 23 with an inauspicious win over the Bobcats in Charlotte, but since that time the Nuggets have reeled off wins over the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City, the Clippers, the Knicks and the Grizzlies. This hasn't just been a fortunate stretch of opponents; the Nuggets are playing stellar basketball.

And leading that charge as they head down the home stretch is point guard Ty Lawson. The fourth-year man out of North Carolina has taken his game to another level in 2013, averaging career bests in point, assists, steals and a host of other categories. His numbers have only improved during the 11-game win streak, as he's averaged 19.8 points on 50 percent shooting, 6.5 assists and 1.1 steals. If Kirk Hinrich (game-time decision) can't go, Lawson could be in for another big night against Nate Robinson and Marquis Teague.

What makes the Nuggets so deadly is their depth, and they received a significant boost when Wilson Chandler re-entered the rotation in January after hip surgery in November. It took him a while to come around, but the former DePaul standout has been a key ingredient to Karl's rotation during the 11-game win streak. In that span, Chandler has averaged 13.8 points, including games of 23, 35 and 24, respectively. He joins second-leading scorer Danilo Gallinari, Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer on the wings, widely considered the deepest and most talented group in the league.

A frontcourt of Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee rounds out the rotation, and all three have formed a rotation at the center position (Faried at the "4" when the Nuggets go big) that has them clicking right now.

Things didn't go well the last time these two teams met, with the Nuggets blowing out the short-handed Bulls, 128-96. Hinrich and Taj Gibson are game-time decisions, so the Bulls may have a small rotation again but at least they'll be in front of the home crowd.

They haven't lost since that Feb. 22 date against the Wizards, and while they have had their road struggles they are the hottest team in the Western Conference. Tune in tonight to Comcast SportsNet to see if the Bulls can end that streak at the United Center. Coverage begins at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live, hosted by Mark Schanowski and Kendall Gill, and those two will have Postgame Live following the action. Stay in-check with everything on social media by checking out Bulls Pulse, too.