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- Nuggets coach Brian Shaw is sticking with the same lineup he used in Sacramento on Wednesday, which means forward Kenneth Faried will come off the bench. Shaw said Faried is working his way back into the starting lineup after missing the last few preseason games with strained right hamstring. “I want to get him more minutes,” Shaw said. “Where he is in the rotation is more a factor from him missing the last preseason games and the practices that go along with that. Trying to get him back up to speed until I feel he’s back into game shape and he’s caught up with some of the things he missed because of those practices.”
- The Nuggets will also be without small forward Wilson Chandler, who is nursing a hamstring injury. Chandler was hoping to be healthy for the start of the season but he has been slow to recover. “I have no timetable for Wilson,” Shaw said. “Hopefully we will get him back soon.” With Chandler out 6-foot-11 Anthony Randolph will start at small forward.
- Portland coach Terry Stotts said his team need to improve its transition defense from opening night to stop Denver. Phoenix scored 31 points on the fast break on its way to a 101-94 win. “Transition defense will be a big priority,” he said. “Denver teams traditionally run. Ty Lawson pushes the ball with the dribble and Andre Miller pushes the ball with the pass. They have athletic big guys that can run the court, so transition defense will be a big priority for us tonight.”
– Michael Kelly