The hallmark of the 2013-14 Denver Nuggets is inconsistency on every imaginable front: shooting, effort, defense, rebounding, you name it. A team that is equally capable of going to Oakland and beating one of the hottest teams in the league on their own court, and then two days later getting outplayed and beaten at home in the Pepsi Center by one of the worst teams in the league: This is who the Nuggets are.
Tonight, despite a late game push that brought them within as few as three points, Denver fell 109 to 117 to Cleveland, who never relinquished the lead they established in the second quarter. Grades after the jump. (more…)
We are almost halfway through the 82-game marathon that is the NBA regular season and the Denver Nuggets sit with a 20-18 record, just outside of a spot in the playoffs. This year has had its ups and downs. During some stretches of the season the Nuggets have looked like a serious playoff contender, capable of becoming an interesting team to watch when postseason rolls around. At other times, Denver has gone through extended periods of mediocre play and looked like a lottery team. Which team will we see over the second part of the regular season? The schedule would indicate the latter.
Denver stayed hot and destroyed a decimated Orlando Magic team playing the second game of a back to back 120-94. The game was never all that close as Denver got up double digits in the first quarter and built on that lead as the game went on. Everyone did a bit of everything in a game that included a Timofey Mozgov poster dunk, a Randy Foye transition block, a big Kenneth Faried steal and slam and the Nuggets setting a franchise record by hitting 12 threes for the fourth straight game.
As if an eight-game losing streak and an embarrassing home loss to one of the worst teams in the NBA wasn’t enough, the current circumstances seem to only be getting worse for the Denver Nuggets. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nuggets have suspended Andre Miller for conduct detrimental to team.
The Nuggets gave up 44 points in the second quarter and dropped their eighth straight game 114-102. Everyone gets an F tonight for grades because that is what happens when you get blown out at home by a team with nine (now 10) wins, and just two (now three) on the road. Below is a recap though.
The Denver Nuggets might lack a bonafide superstar, but the team has something a lot of other teams don’t — depth at pretty much every position. Even with injuries to some key players, Brian Shaw has a lot of pieces he can throw into different lineups and he experimented quite a lot early in the season. The rotation is pretty solid now and with a decent sample size we can begin to examine the trends.
Almost two months into this NBA season, it has become exceedingly clear just how important the Denver Nuggets bench has been to the team’s relative success. The starting lineup has frequently struggled, especially in first quarters, and the second unit has come to their rescue all too often.
In my recent post on Wilson Chandler, I compared his net efficiency with that of Timofey Mozgov, suggesting that Timo was, and Wilson wasn’t making a big impact. In the comments section, a Roundball Mining Company reader correctly pointed out that it might not be fair to compare a starter with a bench player, given the discrepancy in the caliber of players they’re going up against.
Defensive systems in the NBA are predicated on rules, when and who to help off of, what type of pick and roll to switch on, where on the floor to direct this point guard, where on the floor to direct that wing, ect. Denver’s defense (currently 12th in the league in defensive efficiency and sixth overall in opponents points per possession) is starting to round into a more principled form following the stutters, stops, and fixes that defined the early part of the season. A specific mandate that is becoming more and more clear by the game, is when and how the Nuggets will switch on a pick and roll.
In a rather subdued edition of #THUNDERNUGGETS Oklahoma City displayed their superiority in a game that was sloppily played throughout. Every run had an answer and despite spirited play, Denver couldn’t help but fall in the face of overwhelming talent.
Nate Robinson came up big as the Nuggets clawed their way to victory in DC with three game-saving stops in a row. It was one of the uglier affairs of the season featuring 20 turnovers and a Kenneth Faried benching in the second half, but Denver hung around and did just enough to come away with a win.
The Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers shared the floor in a relatively ugly game, with Denver trailing most of the way. Without Ty Lawson in the lineup the Nuggets struggled to find offense, but managed to get over the hump thanks to a late explosion by Jordan Hamilton.
Last night ESPN’s Marc Stein talked to a bunch of scouts to get their takes on a lot of NBA early season happenings for Stein Line Live.
Stein talked to an Eastern Conference scout on why the Nuggets turnaround has happened. The answer was mostly that Denver was running again, though the part that sticks out most is the scout’s take on JaVale McGee.
Denver went down big early and couldn’t quite ever get back into the game and fell to the Celtics 106-98. Most importantly Ty Lawson left the game with a left hamstring injury. Stay tuned at RMC for more information as it comes out.
The Denver Nuggets came up short on the tail end of a back-to-back, dropping a 10-point game to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
– Stephen Stills
What is going on here?
In the 2013 offseason, Josh Kroenke and Tim Connelly made a series of roster moves which did not seem to some observers (including many here at Roundball Mining Company) to be internally consistent or part of any apparent cohesive long-term plan for building a roster which could ultimately contend for a championship. Masai Ujiri and Andre Iguodala had bailed, George Karl had been fired, and the new player acquisitions were looking a lot like band-aid solutions to major arterial bleeding. (more…)