Utah Jazz face Nuggets still trying to get first road breakthrough of the young NBA season
"We want to make them play half-court basketball," he said.
Like Utah, the Nuggets are also 2-3 on the season, and Denver has won its last two.
Point guard Ty Lawson leads the way, averaging 15.6 points and 7.4 assists per game, and newcomer Andre Iguodala, a 6-foot-6 swingman who was one of the NBA's most-prized free-agent prospects last summer, adds 14.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Forwards Danila Gallinari (14.3 ppg), Kenneth Faried (12.2) and Corey Brewer (10.2) and center JaVale McGee (10.4) are all averaging double-digit scoring as well, and veteran point guard Andre Miller, the former University of Utah standout now in his 14th NBA season, adds 9.2 ppg off the bench.
"We've got to try to limit Ty Lawson's drives to the basket and see what happens," Millsap said of the Nuggets' super-quick point guard. "We're gonna come in there and try to take them out of their game. We've got to make sure we get back in transition; that's going to be one thing because they really like to run out.
"Defense has been a big emphasis for us coming into this year. We've got to step up and we've got to be a better defensive team if we want to win. Last night (a 95-86 win against the Lakers) proved that we can get out there and actually play pretty solid defense for the whole 48 minutes."
But Utah's biggest issue on the road doesn't really seem to be who it's playing against. Instead, it's the disparity between the Jazz's comfort level in how they play at home as opposed to how they play away from EnergySolutions Arena.
And Friday, they'll try to fix that after dropping their first three road games of the year.
"It's kind of hard to pinpoint one area," Millsap said of his team's road shortcomings, "but we've got to get that winning mentality and the same confidence that we have at home. Even though our fans are not going to be with us, we've got to get that same confidence that, when we go on the road, we can beat anybody, at any place.
"You know you've got more people on your side when you're at home, but as a team, we've got to come together and just realize that it's us against the world when we get on the road. It's going to be us against them and their fans, and we've got to come in with that winning mentality that we can beat anybody.
"We've got to stop talking about it," Millsap said with a laugh. "That's one thing, we keep bringing it up — 'we've gotta win, gotta win, gotta win' — instead of just going out there and just doing it. We've just got to go out there and play our game of basketball."
Even if they can't bring their loud and hostile home crowd with 'em.
Former Jazz player Kosta Koufos, Utah's first-round draft choice in 2008, is the Nuggets' starting center. He spent two seasons in a Jazz uniform before being traded to Minnesota in 2010 in the deal that brought Al Jefferson to Utah. Koufos had 14 points and three blocks in a win over Detroit earlier this week. ... Former University of Utah standout point guard Andre Miller, now in his 14th NBA season, is averaging 9.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game off the Denver bench. ... When playing at home, the Nuggets own a 51-32 advantage all-time against the Jazz, who have won their last two games against Denver, including one at the Pepsi Center last year, and lead the overall series 99-66.
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