Playing like they have this year – the Denver Nuggets have not deserved to win more than they have. There are things like poor shooting slumps from stars that can contribute to losses – but losses usually end up boiling down to ball movement, teamwork, or giving up too many good shots. Knocking down jumpers behind the arc looks great when the team is winning those games – but as soon as those shots aren’t dropping – a team just looks like it is getting out coached. The Nuggs defensive rebounding also has not been good, sitting in the bottom portion of the league.
The Nuggets need to get the team working like a team – they need to play with more aggressiveness on both ends of the court and set up better defense at the rim. I know they have played with slower pacing, and that’s great, but a team with limited scoring opportunities needs to make a couple stops on D. A team giving up almost 113 /game can get in trouble on many nights – because offense can get bumped off course more frequently, than playing tight D. It makes me question. They have given up 116 or more points in about 47% of their games this season so far. Makes you think if the Nuggets were a bit overrated last year when they went 46-27, did everything just fall in place for them? Denver has to switch it up a little bit, and they really shouldn’t have been so quick to let Mason Plumlee go – their problem is bigger, and now they are missing his efficient rebounding. Plumlee being moved was a weird move that I didn’t think really helped them – he is a guy who, I think, could have been a 10-12 ppg player in the paint, we already know he can get his share on the boards, and can play decent defense as well.
Their backcourt needs some shaking up as well, in my opinion. Jamal Murray is a good player, and he can put up his quick trigger jumper, but just cannot seem to step up when the clock is ticking. He needs to take over and be the Top Dog. Gary Harris has been in the league for 6 years, and is really struggling to hit a jumper from downtown, at 29% this season. The 26 year old guard needs to work more on his release and his shot selection. He just cant be taken too seriously, and until he gets a consistent jumper from more than 12′ – teams will give him the looks. Maybe the former Iowa State guard, Monte Morris should get some more court time? He has been shooting very well this year with almost 12ppg and has also not been turnover prone
With what they are pushing as their product on the court, it is going to be tough for the Nuggets to make a serious push in the tough West. They just don’t seem to have the right chemistry, and it is hurting them badly. The Lakers, Clips, and the Jazz all look like they are playing with purpose – Denver needs to get it together.