The Denver Nuggets are a tough team to figure out.
Less than 24 hours after looking like arguably the worst team in the NBA, the Nuggets looked nearly unstoppable against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.
Of course their success depends a lot on the play of their point guard Ty Lawson and on Monday the point guard was aggressive and did everything the Nuggets needed him to do as Denver topped the Chicago Bulls – who have a league-best 40-11 record.
Lawson started the game by hitting a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter and helped the Nuggets open the second half with a 10-0 run. Lawson finished with 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Defensively, the Nuggets did a great job forcing the Derrick Rose-less Bulls 15 turnovers and scoring 18 points off of them. They also did a great job of hedging the pick and roll and forcing Chicago’s point guard to go vertical instead of towards the basket.
- Arron Afflalo returned from his one-game suspension and was nearly perfect. He hit 8 of 12 shots, two from behind the arc and finished with 22 points.
- Al Harrington came off the bench to score 17 points and was nearly automatic from behind the arc.
- Andre Miller also was huge off the bench. Despite playing a separated shoulder, Miller scored 14 points and handed out 10 assists.
- JaVale McGee started in place of a struggling T
imofey Mozgov. McGee did a great job at intimidating the paint and forcing the Bulls to play on the perimeter. He also finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
What’s interesting about the win is the Nuggets improved to 13-1 against Eastern Conference teams, but they are only 14-22 against Western Conference teams. Denver finishes the season by playing 12 Western Conference opponents and four against team from the Eastern Conference.