There are no words, at least no good words, about what there is to say following tonight’s game.
Tonight, the Nuggets had an opportunity to beat the worst team in the league, end their six game road trip with a W to split the trip, and move up to be the ninth spot in the West. Instead, the Mavs handed them embarrassing 112-92 loss.
Say it with me. This is not a game that the Nuggets should have lost.
While the Mavs may be the worst team in the league, it was certainly difficult to tell tonight. They started the game out strong and brought their A game in the entire 48 minutes of play. The Nuggets, as Coach Mike Malone said in his post-game interview on the Nuggets Locker Room Report, were never in the game from the beginning.
Turnovers and lack of one-on-one defense were what killed the Nuggets chances of even winning, or getting close to winning tonights game. They had no will to even try and win this game until there were less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets shot a low 42%, which wasn’t helped by the Nuggets starters, who were outscored 80-37.
The bright side to tonights game? Nikola Jokic, who finished tonights game with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists for his third double-double in the last four games. Jokic was the only Nugget who finished with an astonishing +2, considering the 20 point loss. Let’s hope that Jokic’s stats for tonight show Coach Malone that he needs to be playing 30+ minutes per night and even starting.
For the Mavs, they started the game the way that the Nuggets should have. Center Salah Majri had three blocks within the first four minutes and Wesley Matthews scored 25 points overall to lead his team to a rare blowout game against the Nuggets. The Mavs created mismatches and attacked the paint all night, resulting in their victory. In the first half, the Mavs had 40 points in the paint which made for an early prediction that the Mavs would win tonight’s game.
Admittedly so, being on the sixth and final game of this way streak is exhausting and traveling to six cities within ten days is draining but that is NOT an excuse for the Nuggets. At what point are the Nuggets going to wake up and realize that they are much better than they’ve been playing? At what point are they going to stop accepting failure?
Let’s hope that at this point, this is the final wake up call that the Nuggets need before moving on to their game against Portland at home on Thursday. Needless to say, the Nuggets and coaching staff have a lot of thinking to do on their flight back home to Denver tonight.