Last week’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers sure seems like a long time ago. At that point, being losers of eight straight and having a key veteran blow up at the coach, the Denver Nuggets hit rock bottom. Then Andre Miller was virtually exiled, coaches had meetings with every individual player and Nuggets fans (me) were worried about having to trade away the Knicks draft pick instead of their own.
Fast forward three games and 377 points later, everything looks a little bit brighter. For those not mathematically gifted, that means the same Nuggets that were nursing an 8-game losing streak have averaged 125.7 points per game since. The nine players that Brian Shaw has played consistently since the Philadelphia game turmoil are pouring it in. Not just pouring it in, but they’re acting like they’re back in the ABA with numbers like that.
The best part of this recent offensive output is how the team is putting up those numbers. They’re doing it pretty much every way imaginable. From three, on the fast break, free throws, in the half court, second chance, alley-oops, hell, if there was a 4-point shot they’d be hitting those, too.
During this stretch, the Denver Nuggets are shooting 53.1 percent from the floor. Over three games, that is mighty impressive. From beyond the arc, they’re shooting 42.7 percent, a hearty improvement over last season, and more importantly, this recent string of poor play. One of the biggest areas of concern for this team is free throw shooting, but the last three games, the boys in powder blue have come in at 77.1 percent from the stripe. When those numbers are combined with the fact that the Nuggets are wiping the boards clean - outrebounding their three opponents by an average of 15.7 per game - that equals dynamite offensive numbers.
These numbers surely aren’t sustainable over the long haul, but they sure are fun while they last. What can be sustained, though, is the great play and good chemistry the Nuggets have demonstrated recently, the recipe for wins. The recipe for reaching the playoffs for the 11th straight season. Hopefully this season, the recipe for winning once they reach the post-season.