The Denver Nuggets (3-1) suffered their first loss of the Summer League in the first round of the tournament Wednesday night. That loss means the Nuggets will be awarded one more game at the Summer League in the consolation round where they’ll rematch the Minnesota Timberwolves (2-2).
The game will air on ESPNU at 8 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. MDT) as the teams will go at it again after their last game ended with a Nuggets victory 70-69. Monte Morris led the way for the Nuggets in that game with 15 points and 4 assists. Meanwhile, Isaiah Cousins posted 15 points of his own for the Timberwolves.
Back at it tonight. pic.twitter.com/twDazgOLWb
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) July 13, 2018
Not much has changed for the Nuggets throughout the tournament. Monte Morris, Malik Beasley, and Monte Morris have all played well. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the Nuggets play that has changed has been improved three-point shooting compared to 4/21 performance against the Timberwolves where no player made more than one three.
For the Timberwolves, they’ve seen great improvement from draft picks Keita Bates-Diop and Josh Okogie. Okogie started to put it together in the fourth quarter against the Nuggets which is part of the reason the game became close late. Bates-Diop had his breakout 20-point performance the next game as the Timberwolves took down the Raptors in game two.
Given these factors I wouldn’t be surprised if the game ended up just as close as the last, assuming that all the players involved play. Considering it’s the last game of the Summer League, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some players like Morris and Beasley sit out because of how well they’ve played to this point.
For the Nuggets to close out the Summer League with a win, and to cap their productive week as a franchise, they’ll need to bring the same defensive intensity and energy that they brought in the first matchup. That energy appeared to be lost in the fourth quarter of the Raptors game and it would be encouraging to see that energy return to this team that’s been so much fun to watch.
Hopefully, we’ll see another great performance from Vlatko Cancar before he goes back overseas. Hopefully, there will be more “Beast-ley” dunks in transition. Ideally we’ll see more domination from Monte Morris while also getting some more looks at Thomas Welsh and Tyler Lydon.
The Beast-ley dunk counter was in action last night! pic.twitter.com/r4GvsGD6HN
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) July 12, 2018
Regardless this will be the last chance to catch some Mile High Basketball game action until the preseason in October, which makes it worth the watch.