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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets in action against the Golden State Warriors during their NBA preseason game at Chase Center on December 12, 2020 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Coach Karl’s Corner: Three keys to the Nuggets upcoming road trip

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Nuggets begin an important five-game road trip on Friday night with back-to-back games against the Suns. Then, they’re off to play at Dallas, Miami and San Antonio. The trip to Florida, in between games in Texas, is a strange scheduling decision in a strange scheduling year.

The Nuggets should focus on three priorities during this road swing:

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Consistency

The only consistent performer the Nuggets are getting these days is Nikola Jokic. When I coached, I was looking for at least two high level performances per game and preferably three. The Nuggets are getting two right now, at best, depending how Jamal Murray shows up.

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Defense

The Nuggets need to continue showing improvement on the defensive end of the court. They need to play better, overall fundamental defense, keeping transition activity under control, keeping guys out of the paint, etc. The front office hurt Denver’s chances this season of being a top-five defensive team, but they should at least be in the top half of the league.

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Three Point Shooting

The Nuggets are the second best three-point shooting team this year, so far, by percentage in away games at 42%. They need to continue to spread the floor and shoot high percentage three balls.

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Overall, the Nuggets need to play with urgency on this trip and aim to win at least three of these games. It will be tough, but if they don’t step up their level of play soon, they will put themselves at risk of missing a top-four seed in the playoffs. And maybe worse.