You would think after last Monday’s embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Hornets, the Denver Nuggets would be done overlooking their foes. However, six days later Denver, once again, didn’t come out with the right mentality and, once again, the Nuggets find themselves on the losing end at home in a game they should have won.
Maybe it was losing Rudy Fernandez in the first half due to an injury, maybe it was a hangover from Friday’s exciting victory over the Miami Heat or maybe it was the disappointment that Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos were ousted from the playoffs on Sunday. No matter what the Nuggets didn’t really show any energy or emotion.
Danilo Gallinari was benched in the third quarter due to his lack of production, Andre Miller found himself on the bench later as well after another lackluster performance.
To make matters worst the Nuggets were atrocious, once again, from the free throw stripe. Nene missed five of seven, while Arron Afflalo missed four of his 10 attempts. Gallinari went 12-for-12 from the line.
But nobody should be off the hook for this loss.
- Devin Harris got under Ty Lawson’s skin early and three days after schooling the Heat, Lawson lacked the same motivation and drive. He shot below 40 percent from the field and didn’t even attempt a free throw, he also had four turnovers. He seemed to struggle with Utah’s taller players, who aren’t long but are very physical. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Lawson started to show emotion.
- To go with his four missed free throws, Afflalo also had three unforced turnovers. Twice he was called for traveling and then he was called for an offensive foul on the fast break. If Afflalo would have gotten C.J. Miles in the air with a pump fake he could have gotten a basket or gone to the free throw line. Instead he leaned on Miles trying to draw the foul and was called offensive. It really seems Afflalo is rushing himself instead of slowing the game down and letting it come to him.
- Gallinari was outplayed by the younger and much rawer Gordon Hayward. Hayward finished the game with 19 points and had two blocks. Gallinari had 18 points, but went 2 of 6 from the field and was completely dominated by Hayward.
- Like Afflalo, Nene struggled with turnovers. He had five in the contest, one on offensive foul and had two passes that were stolen by the Jazz. He also disappeared down the stretch, scoring only three points in the fourth.
- Al Harrington has cooled off a bit after his hot start, especially on defense. He picked up three fouls in the third quarter, two on really bad attempted charges. And in the fourth, he was on the receiving end of Paul Millsap’s stellar play.
- Miller played absolutely terrible until the third quarter when he scored a pair of baskets to bring the Nuggets within two. However, he also had a turnover and missed a free throw during that span as well.
Topics: Al Harrington, Andre Miller, Arron Afflalo, C.J. Miles, Chris Andersen, Danilo Gallinari, Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward, Miami Heat, Nene, New Orleans Hornets, Rudy Fernandez, Tim Tebow, Ty Lawson, Utah Jazz