Unfortunately, no one at RMC was able to catch the whole game tonight thanks to a few holiday season related things so there won’t be full grades, just some thoughts and observations based on the final quarter plus that I was able to see. Feel free to leave any thoughts below.
- It is becoming more and more apparent that the depth that everyone thought was a strength for the Nuggets entering the season is in fact becoming a weakness. Depth is a good thing when you have good players backing up very good and great players. Right now the Nuggets have average to good players backing up average to good players. The Denver bench was outscored 62 to 33 by the Grizzlies reserves and for most of the fourth quarter Jame Johnson was the best player on the floor. With just Darrell Arthur missing (Gallo doesn’t count as he hasn’t been available all year and doesn’t look like a return will be coming soon) it is hard to see a fix coming.
- There may be a lot of movement in the Nuggets half court sets but it never seems to really lead to anything. So many possessions just end with either Lawson, Dre Miller or Robinson dribbling around for 8 to 10 seconds and throwing up a prayer or kicking out to someone for a semi-contested jumper.
- Denver still can’t rebound defensively.
- Yes it was the second game of a back-to-back. Yes the game was on the road. But Denver lost this game because they just aren’t good. Bad teams have to play perfect games to win, Denver hasn’t played anything close to that in a while. This team is struggling to find an identity and that process is being made even harder by the lack of talent on the roster.
- I’m all for blowing things up but doing so will be tough. There aren’t a lot of assets that other teams will covet on the roster. Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton may be intriguing but both are going to be paid soon which will lower the return. Nate Robinson is probably the only free-agent signing that teams will have interest in and fans are going to find it hard to support Denver if they move Lawson or Gallo. So Shaw and the front office should probably start thinking about just playing the young guys and letting them learn on the fly. In all reality where is this core going, even if things get straightened out a bit?
- The schedule isn’t getting any easier. Denver faces Miami on Monday and gets a slight break with Philly on Wednesday but after that is Memphis, at the Lakers, Boston, and Oklahoma City. It isn’t hard to see a 1-5 record in the next six games.
Next up: Monday, Dec. 30, 7 p.m. MST vs.Miami. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.