Sorry for the belated and brief post. The Nuggets deserve to be skewered for their performance last night. Sadly I just do not have the time to go all out on them. The four games in five nights is not only tough on the players, it is tough on the bloggers too.
I have no idea how the Denver Nuggets could play the way they did in Sacramento knowing that a loss drops them out of first place in the division. You could tell as the game wore on that they realized they were in danger of losing to the worst team in the Western Conference and they tried to crank up the intensity as time ran down. The problem was the Kings realized early on that it was their night. As the threes started to fall the entire team was filled with confidence. By the end of the game when the Nuggets were finally challenging the Kings’ shooters, it was too late, they were all dialed in.
Offensively the Nuggets played their lazy perimeter game involving one or maybe two passes and a jump shot until the final minutes when Chauncey Billups realized he better start going to the basket. Last night I thought at key portions of the game Chauncey was trying to force his offense by posting up on Will Solomon, which resulted in the offense becoming even more stagnant. Billups finally started going at the rim during the fourth quarter and the Nuggets shot 15 free throws in the final stanza as a result, but it was too little too late.
After starting the season dominating the lesser teams in the NBA Denver has now lost to five sub .500 teams since the All-Star break and Detroit was under .500 when they beat Denver earlier in the week. I listed out the sub .500 teams left on the schedule and Denver has a great opportunity to take advantage of those games and reinsert themselves back amongst the elite of the west, but if they continue to play uninspired ball in the first quarter and give these teams hope they may not be able to take advantage of their relatively easy finishing schedule.
Additional Game 64 Nuggets
- One cliché you hear in the NBA is never foul a jump shooter. Apparently that is not one of the sayings the Nuggets are familiar with. How many times did the Nuggets foul a King taking a shot from 18 feet or further? Five? Six? The number is probably even higher than that. If you are concerned about a player’s outside shot you do not play five feet off and then lunge at him when he brings the ball up.
- J.R. continued to be aggressive on offense. He tried to force his way to the rim through the teeth of the defense resulting in a couple of turnovers, but his attacking style is quickly becoming a staple of the Nuggets offense. He seemed to be looking to shoot almost every time though and he finished the game with zero assists.
Mindboggling Game Stats
Pace Factor: 94.6
Defensive Efficiency: 120.5 – I am guessing that is one of the worst defensive efficiencies the Kings have dropped on someone all season long.
Offensive Efficiency: 112.1 – That should have been good enough.
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