The Denver Nuggets are stacked full of talent. They have the 6th youngest team in the league and have a nice mixture of youth and veteran leadership. Two things the Nuggets lack is consistency and a sense of direction. This team is capable of winning against some of the best teams in the league but they are also capable of losing against some of the worst teams as well. Where the Nuggets struggle most is in the turnover category as they only trail the woeful Sixers in turnover per game.
Wilson Chandler has proven to be the Nuggets best player throughout the first 22 games of the season and has shown that he is capable of being the number one or two option when called upon. When healthy he is a great scoring, rebounding and defensive player but throughout his career he has been injured more often than not. After missing out on the whole 2015-16 season Chandler has come back with a vengeance averaging 18.6 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Other than Chandler there has been no other Nugget to give consistent effort or production while on the court. A quarter of the way into the season I think it’s becoming more and more clear, the Nuggets need to play their rookies more. Jamal Murray the sharpshooter out of Kentucky played the 3rd most minutes of the team in the disappointing loss to the Brooklyn Nets last night with 33:33 minutes. He didn’t shoot well from the field as he shot below 30% but his presence on the court was enough to keep him in there. He made a couple nice passes and played pretty good positional defense.
Juan Hernangomez and Malik Beasley the Nuggets other 2 rookies did not see any playing time last game even when the Nuggets went down by 29 points. Hernangomez is an active power forward with the skills and quickness to move to the small forward. Beasley is an explosive shooting guard out of Florida State who might have the prettiest 3 point stroke on the team behind fellow rookie Jamal Murray. Both of these players are raw but they can definitely contribute to the team right now, I mean it won’t be that hard to match what some of these veterans have been doing these past few games.
In 22:56 minutes, Danilo Gallinari shot 2-7 and only scored 5 points. He also had the second worse +/- of the team as he finished with a -24. That’s not acceptable for your best player and most lethal offensive weapon. We can excuse these types of numbers from Emmanuel Mudiay who is a 20 year old point guard but as the teams leader and best player those number are unacceptable.
Would the Nuggets be much worse if they gave their players consistent minutes even if it’s off the bench? We should all be eager to find out.