Well, that was a real head scratcher. Yes, you read that score right, 112-92. The Nuggets fell to the Mavericks, as they put together their worst performance of the entire season. The Mavs never trailed in the game and led by as many as 28.
The inconsistent distribution of minutes was still on full display Monday night, as Darrell Arthur started, but only played 4 total minutes. Kenneth Faried seems to be in the doghouse, as he only played 7 minutes off the bench. Will Barton played arguably his worst game of the year, going 2-12 from the field, but still played 32 minutes. Mike Malone better find a rotation to use consistently because the chemistry for this team is virtually nonexistent.
Nikola Jokic: 27 points, 11 rebounds, 10-12 from the field, 26 minutes.
Jokic looked fantastic tonight and was extremely efficient. Jokic should be starting on a nightly basis and should be playing upwards of 30 minutes every game. As he continues to get stronger, he will get better and better as the season goes on. He has such a unique skill set and a high basketball IQ, and offers a great passing ability as a big. Look for Jokic to be inserted into the starting lineup here shortly.
Emmaunel Mudiay: 17 points, 4 assists, 6-12 from the field, 30 minutes.
Mudiay had a solid game tonight and he needed it in a big way. With the recent spotlight on Jamal Murray, Mudiay’s name has been put to the side. As a young point guard in this league, he needs to build up his confidence. He needs to have confidence in his own game, and he needs to develop confidence with his teammates. He was even 3-5 from behind the arc tonight, which is another encouraging sign.
The Nuggets are still struggling with their identity, and that was evident tonight. This game should have been an automatic win, no questions asked. Instead, the game put Nuggets fans in utter shock. The lineups need to be fixed, and they need to be fixed fast. Getting Gary Harris back will hopefully solve some issues. The Trailblazers will be up next, and hopefully the Nuggets can turn it around back home in Denver.