Denver Nuggets: Nuggets Endure Rough Opening Week


I am trying to think of a word to describe the Denver Nuggets play in open week. I honestly can’t think of any so instead I will tell you how they looked. In game one they played 11 players for 10-plus minutes. Does a deep rotation work? Not against the Kings. The ball wasn’t moving around well and effectively as evident by their 19-18 assist to turnover ratio.  Did rookie coach Brian Shaw change his game plan for their home opener? Nope. This time ball movement was not an issue, but defense was. It might take a while for Shaw to work out the perfect rotation for his deep team, so expect a bumpy start to the season. Here is a quick recap of Denver’s games last week:

Wednesday : Sacramento Kings 90 Denver Nuggets 88

MVP: J.J. Hickson-12 points and 9 rebounds on 6-10 shooting

DeMarcus Cousins

Will other big men dominate the Nuggets like Cousins did? (NBA.com photo)

LVP: Nate Robinson- 0 points in 18 minutes

Key Stat: 1.05 assist to turnover ratio

Nate Watch: 0 points in 18 minutes

Recap: DeMarcus Cousins. It was his night and he was not to be denied. It was almost surreal, as this was the first game in Sacramento since their announcement to stay in the city. With Shaq sitting courtside, he saw his apprentice Cousins wave in a new era of Kings basketball. Cousins lead the way on both ends of the court; recording 30 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals. As for the Nuggets, they struggled holding onto the ball-turning it over 18 times. Ty Lawson missed a potential game tying layup at the end of the game. He finished the game with team highs 20 points and 8 assists.

Friday: Portland Trail Blazers 113,Denver Nuggets 98

MVP: Nate Robinson-24 points and 7 rebounds on 17 shots from the field

LVP: Evan Fournier- 0 points in 15 minutes off 6 shots from the field

Key Stat: 36.4–the Nuggets field goal percentage

Nate Watch: 24 points and 7 rebounds on 17 shots from the field

Recap: The Portland Trail Blazers used a 40-point second quarter to blow past Nuggets in their home opener. Three Blazers scored 20 or more points against a sluggish Denver defense. Nate Robinson bounced back from a poor debut to lead the Nuggets with 24 points of the bench. What was the difference in the game? Three-point shooting. Portland made 14 3-pointers compared to Denver’s six. Missing 14 free throws also didn’t help the Nuggets cause.

Next Week: The Nuggets look to rebound after a poor opening week, but things won’t be easy. On Tuesday they have a date with the defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs. Following that game, they host the Atlanta Hawks followed by a trip to Phoenix to play the Suns.

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  • Chris Reichert

    Get ready to see this type of headline a lot this season. For some reason people thought this team would still contend and I just dont see it. Not only did they lose Andre Iguodala (which is who everyone thinks of) but they lost Corey Brewer — defensive stalwart and instant offense — AND George Karl. I realize Shaw is ready to coach but they aren’t close to playoffs this year IMO.

    • Arash Darbandi

      They need Gallinari back to contend for a playoff spot