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
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.