Denver Nuggets vs. Brooklyn Nets: 2 questions answered.
First of all, the most important thing this game taught us is that Jokic is still the leader of this Denver Nuggets team. In the 5 games before last night, Nikola Jokic put up 4 points, 8 points, 7 points, 4 points and 22 against the Bulls.
Needless to say, Nikola has had his fair share of struggles. However, for the most part, Denver has still been winning. A healthy sign to say the least. Last night, one word summed up Jokic’s performance, efficient.
Nikola was 14 of 22 from the field and 1 of 1 from 3. Perhaps, Jokic took our advice of focusing on the mid range prior to stepping out to the 3 point land, to heart. Alternatively, maybe Jokic simply took a leaf out of Marc Gasol’s book. Focusing on scoring from the field and attempting a minimal amount of 3’s.
Either way, Jokic’s approach was again, efficient if nothing else. Jokic was roughly 66% from the field. A big reason why as a team, the Denver Nuggets shot 46% from the field.
Denver Needs Their Back Court Back
Clearly, the rest of the Nuggets were less efficient. Which brings us to the 2nd lesson from last night’s game. It’s time to ‘break the glass’ because we have an emergency in Denver.
Overall, their performance this season, particular from 3, has been underwhelming. Now, is the time to draw the line in the sand. They need to be shooting 1,000 threes a day. Admittedly it is the early days, but it is time to nip this shooting slump in the bud while it is still early and there are still plenty of games left to be won.
Slumps do happen, however, thus far Denver’s back court have largely failed to adapt. With Murray and Harris too often shooting poorly from the field and 3 as well. To his credit Jamal made 100% of his free throws and was only 0-1 from 3. However, Jamal was also 5 of 14 from the field.
Similarly, Harris was 2 of 2 from the charity stripe, 0 of 5 from 3 and 1 of 11 from the field. It’s fair to say the Denver Nuggets guards never brought their A games. Games like these happen. However, they should have brought their B or even C game’s.
Moreover, perhaps Monte Morris should have gotten more minutes this game. In 22 minutes, Monte was 1 of 2 from 3 and 7 of 11 from the field for a total of 15 points. Going forward, the Denver Nuggets back court must practice running their offense using their go-to (most dependable) moves.
Additionally, if Jamal and Gary’s game’s are off, they need to be able to create offense for the rest of the team to offset their own lack of offense. Clearly, the Denver Nuggets never struck gold in this game. Nevertheless, there were plenty of silver linings. Once again, if the Denver Nuggets work on the weaknesses revealed by this game.
They will be a force in the Western Conference and the NBA that no team wants to reckon with.