The Denver Nuggets wrapped up preliminary play at the Vegas summer league with another loss.The Washington Wizards mopped the floor up with the Nuggets winning 97-69.Jan Vesely led the Wizards with 18, helping them pick up their first win.Quincy Miller summed it all up with his thoughts after the game. “Um……….We lost I don’t know we need to play more defense.That’s basically it. Defense wins games.
With that loss the Nuggets locked in to the twenty-two seed in the tournament.That’s the lowest seed in the tournament.The top ten teams get first round byes. So the Nuggets will play the eleven seeded New Orleans Pelicans today at 4pm Mountain time. So it’s now become win or go home for your Denver Nuggets.They will get one more game if they lose but will not be able to advance in the tournament in that game.
Here are my thoughts on what I saw last night.
Quincy Miller: Miller was hands down the best player on the floor for the Nuggets last night. He finished with 11 points, 4 boards, and 1 blocked shot. His energy and low post presence were one of the few bright spots in otherwise dreadful game. The coaches constantly worked with him again during timeouts. I asked after the game if he would continue playing the four in the regular season and this is what he said “No last year with the team I was practicing and playing at the three.It’s kind of different of for me running the four,but at the same time four is an advantage for me. I expect him to keep developing and see him as a major contributor with Gallo being gone this year.
Evan Fournier: Fournier had what you can say was a down night. He still led the team in scoring with 12 point but committed 7 turnovers. Fournier looked uncomfortable with the ball in his hands and for Nuggets fans hoping he could play some point it looks doubtful. However, he has extreme upside and should contend with new acquisition Randy Foye for the starting 2 guard position. I expect Fournier to have a much better game against the Pelicans.
Erick Green: Still struggling to find his shot. He did knock down shots from behind the arc though. He shot 3-4 from there and finished with 9 points.Green needs to be more aggressive and show the staff what he can do. As of right now the jury is still out as to whether the Nuggets will keep him or move in a different direction.
C.J. Harris : Harris got his first action last night. He shot 3-4 from the field and had 8 points. With Green struggling I expect to see a lot more of Harris. He has a good range and looked impressive in his time. If he plays well I would not be surprised to see him at training camp.
Other Notes: The bigs brought in have been garbage. Any comparisons previously made about O.D. to Kenneth Faried were a mistake. Ramon Galloway got in finally and has one of the ugliest shots you will see. Harangody has continued to show he can score and that’s about it. Defensively he is a mess and really doesn’t fit at any position in the NBA.
I spoke with coach Melvin Hunts and here is some of what he had to say paraphrased. (These are not direct quotes as the audio got messed up.
What can we expect with one game left?
We got 2. Basically we are gonna look more at Evan, Quincy, Erick and see what they can bring to the team. It will also give us a chance to see if maybe someone else could help us out.
C.J. Harris saw his first action tonight will we see more of him tomorrow?
Yes we definitely are going to play him more.
Luke and Darius Johnson Odom have seen lots of minutes will they get a training camp invite?
We like both of those guys but I can’t say for sure.
Erick Green what do you think of him and will he go to the D- League?
We like what we’ve seen. This an opportunity for him to learn and hopefully he takes something away from this. As, for the D-League we don’t plan that far ahead.
Today’s game tips off at 4pm mountain time. Stay tuned for more updates and follow me on twitter for in-game tweets.