The Denver Nuggets (1-0) take on the Boston Celtics (1-0) on day two of the Las Vegas Summer League in Cox Pavillion. The game will be broadcasted on NBA TV at 11 p.m. EDT (9 p.m. MDT).
These two teams were polar opposites when it came to scoring the ball in their day one contests. The Nuggets had the lowest score of any of the winning teams in their 70-69 victory over the Timberwolves. Meanwhile, the Celtics survived Furkan Korkmaz’s 40-point display in their 95-89 victory, setting the high scoring mark for the tournament so far.
Jordi Fernandez, Thomas Welsh, and others have commented that the identity of this Nuggets team is their competitiveness and intensity on the defensive end. This matchup with the Celtics will be a true test of if the Nuggets can bring the defensive intensity for all 40 minutes.
In last night’s game the Nuggets were cruising to a 60-41 lead after a third quarter where they held the Timberwolves to just nine points. However, the issue came in closing out the fourth quarter, much like it did for the 2017-18 Denver Nuggets. The team only score 10 points in the final quarter while giving up 28 to the Timberwolves. Fortunately, the Nuggets were able to hold the Timberwolves from converting the game winner on the final possession.
Nuggets running away with it as they lead 60-41. They held the wolves to just 9 points that quarter
— Blake Kemple🏀⛏ (@BucketsBlak3) July 7, 2018
After injuring his knee in their first game, Celtics’ first round pick Robert Williams is doubtful to suit up against the Nuggets tonight. Still, the Nuggets will contend with Jabari Bird, Semi Ojeleye, and Guerschon Yabusele who combined for 46 points versus Philadelphia.
It took the 76ers 13 three-pointers and 29 free throw attempts to put up 89 points on the Celtics last night. Against the Timberwolves, no Nuggets player made more than one three-pointer and the team shot 8/12 from the free throw line. A key for the Nuggets tonight should be to get Tyler Lydon and Thomas Welsh involved in the pick and pop game. Lydon and Welsh combined to shoot 2/4 from three last night, so getting them more involved tonight would not be a surprise.
The surprise player of the game last night was Vlatko Cancar. Cancar finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds on 4/9 shooting, including some nice jams. Nobody expected too much from the 2017 second round draft-and-stash in his first Summer League appearance for the Nuggets. Cancar himself just wanted to come in with a goal to keep it simple in Vegas.
“Just to get a feel for the NBA,” said Cancar. “Just to play simple and try to win as much as possible”
Cancar seemed to have enough of a feel for the game to make an impact from the moment he checked in. It’s pretty clear what the Nuggets have in Monte Morris and Malik Beasley, but this game should be most interesting to see if Cancar can have a repeat performance back-to-back nights.
Let’s get this Vlatko Cancar hype train rolling! pic.twitter.com/M88EpW8y5F
— Uncle Drew 🇸🇪 (@drews_newsfeed) July 7, 2018
As Rick Kamla pointed out during last night’s broadcast, the Nuggets are always one of the most fun teams to watch during the Summer League, and yesterday was no exception. The games may not count for much of anything at this point, but it’s been exciting so far to get a taste of some of Mile High Basketball’s youngest talent.