Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Nuggets struggled offensively Wednesday night and suffered one of their toughest losses of the season against the Atlanta Hawks.
Nikola Jokic had arguably the worst shooting game of his career and it carried over to the rest of the Nuggets. The Nuggets shot just 40 percent from the field and were only 9-37 from behind the three-point line. Jokic had a rough night from behind the arc going 0-8 and was just 4-21 from the field. After recording a triple-double in the Nuggets last game over the Warriors, Jokic posted a stat line of just nine points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists. The Nuggets record now moves to 21-20, which puts them at seventh in the Western Conference.
The Hawks, now 11-30, had the worst record coming into the game and also had the worst road record in the NBA that now sits at 4-19 after the victory. The Nuggets on the other hand had a great home record coming into the game that is now 14-5 after the loss. Denver was playing catch-up all night and couldn’t stop anyone on the defensive end of the floor. The Hawks had six players who scored in double figures and had three players who scored over eight points. Dennis Schroder led the way with 19 points and also had a game high 10 assists. Pacing Schroder was Taurean Prince who had 16 points and Kent Bazemore who finished with 14.
The Nuggets offense was unable to overcome Jokic’s struggles as they only had one guy really produce offensively, and that was Gary Harris. Harris was his normal consistent self scoring 25 points on 11-14 from the field, 2-3 from behind the three-point line. Harris also had seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and another highlight making play.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 11, 2018
The Nuggets had a total of five players who scored in double-figures, but none had shooting number even close to Harris’s. Will Barton was second on the team with 15 points, but was just 6-17 from the field. The other three who scored in double figures were Jamal Murray, Wilson Chandler, and Trey Lyles, who combined to shoot just 11-32 from the field.
This loss stings for a Nuggets team who has aspirations to make it back to the postseason for the first time in four seasons. The team is now half way through the season and a loss against the NBA’s worst team is not a strong way too start the back half of the year. Playing down to opponents is something the Nuggets can’t do and it’s something that they’ll be tested again with on Friday night.
The Nuggets will be back in action on Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, who will bring one of the NBA’s worst records at 13-27 with them. It’ll be interesting to see how the Nuggets bounce back after a tough loss to an inferior opponent. A victory to start the second half of the season is almost a must and would end the teams current three-game losing streak.