The Denver Nuggets lost their second game in a row tonight as they fell to the Phoenix Suns 117-103. This was another game that should have been won, but the Nuggets failed to seize the opportunity. They lost to another lowly team, and the team is starting to slide. Their record is now even at 20-20, and Brian Shaw has a lot of work ahead of him.
The first topic that needs to be discussed is the poor play of Kenneth Faried. Faried played only 13 minutes and he scored 3 points. He has struggled this season for the most part, but tonight was horrible. Faried definitely brings energy when he is on the court, but scoring the ball has been an issue for him. Taking over for Faried was Anthony Randolph. Randolph stepped up and scored 19 points in 22 minutes. It was a pleasant surprise for the Nuggets, and if Faried continues to struggle, Randolph’s minutes will only increase.
Randy Foye couldn’t play tonight due to the flu. Ty Lawson had the flu recently, and it appears the bug is going around the team. Foye was missed tonight, but the loss goes way deeper than his absence. The team struggled on defense again, and Brian Shaw explained afterwards that the next few days of practice will be base around fixing it. Also stepping tonight was Evan Fournier. He had 17 points and hit three 3′s. The rest of the Nuggets starters were solid and played well, and Wilson Chandler was able to score 17 points in 40 minutes.
The Suns got a huge game out of Channing Frye who scored 30 points. Frye had five 3′s and shot an impressive 12-16 from the field. The Morris twins were factors again for the Suns as they combined for 26 points off the bench. The Suns controlled the game from the start, but really pulled away late in the game. You have to give them credit for controlling the tempo tonight, and not letting the Nuggets speed it up and take over.
Well, I really expected the Nuggets to bounce back tonight and get the win, but it seems as if another ugly stretch could be ahead. The Nuggets have played exactly as their record has shown this season, and they have a lot to improve on. The most obvious issue is the defense, and that needs to change immediately. The Nuggets can score with any team in the league, but the team that wins is the one that can come up with the most stops. Thankfully, the Nuggets have off until Thursday when they will face off against the Portland Trail Blazers.