The Denver Nuggets are back in action in Las Vegas against the D-League Select squad. Check this post for frequent updates throughout the game, and feel free to share your thoughts and reactions in the comments below! (Newest updates appear at the top of the page.)
11:44 p.m.: Thanks to everyone who followed along tonight. See you next time!
11:41 p.m.: Well, it was a better showing than the last two games, but the Nuggets just couldn’t get it going. They lost the game 75-87. They definitely played better in the second half, but not well enough to get over the hump. The D-League outshot the Nuggets 53.2% to 37%, and Denver couldn’t do enough to overcome that disparity despite winning the turnover battle. With only one game in the Summer League left to go, I don’t expect to see any of the bubble players on the regular season roster, with the possible exception of Erick Green who had another solid game (17 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals).
11:34 p.m.: Nuggets cut the lead to five then immediately give up a wide open corner three. D-League’s lead back up to eight with two minutes to play.
11:30 p.m.: With four and a half minutes to go, the Nuggets trail 65-73. They have to make a move right now or that’s all she wrote for their time in Vegas.
11:22 p.m.: Harris starts the fourth quarter with a three from the top of the key. He’s got 13 points, second only to Erick Green’s 15.
11:20 p.m.: At the end of the third quarter, the Nuggets trail 51-56. They are shooting just 28.8% from the field, including 3-19 from three-point territory, and yet they somehow are STILL in this game. LET’S GO!
11:17 p.m.: Tony Mitchell from the D-League squad is putting together a nice little game with 22 points. He looks like the guy who graduates, goes to play at a JUCO for a couple of years, flunks out, and then comes home to ball at the rec center against high schoolers.
11:11 p.m.: Harris and Green both have 10 points with about 3 minutes left in the third quarter. Nuggets trail 44-48.
11:08 p.m.: Gary Harris with his third turnover of the night. He’s struggled a bit taking care of the ball in each game, so that’s definitely an area he can work on during the offseason.
11:04 p.m.: Denzell Bowles with a nice turnaround jumper cuts the lead to 2, 40-42.
11:02 p.m.: The Nuggets still trail 36-39, but they’re chipping in to the lead by winning the turnover battle: 5 for Denver, 13 for the D-League squad.
10:58 p.m.: So, what would make this third quarter a success? Short of finding a way to piece together a win, I’d love to see the team break out of their shooting slump and make a few jumpers. Erick Green is basically invisible out there with 4 points and 1 assist, so anything he can do to make his presence felt would be nice. And personally I’d love to see Benimon find his way to 10+ boards again. I love the guy’s energy and the way he battles. I know he’s a long, long shot to make the roster, but he might as well use this opportunity to make it tough for Tim Connelly to leave him off the roster.
10:50 p.m.: Halftime, and the Nuggets trail the D-League squad 32-39. As a team, the Nuggs shot just 22.7% from the field, including a dismal 2-17 from deep. Gary Harris led the way with 8 points, 3 assists and 4 steals. David Lighty added 7 points, and Jerelle Benimon corralled 6 rebounds. Other than Harris’ defensive performance, not a whole lot to get excited about.
10:46 p.m.: The Nuggets cut the lead to 30-37 following a free throw from Bowles.
10:44 p.m.: Quincy Miller won’t return to the game following his earlier ankle injury. Q might be done for the summer even if the Nuggets manage to pull this one out.
10:41 p.m.: The Nuggets are losing the battle on the boards 24-17, despite another strong showing by Jerelle Benimon, who has 6 rebounds so far.
10:36 p.m.: Lighty hit the team’s first three-pointer of the night, followed be another from Gary Harris (that turned into a 4-point play). The Nuggs are now shooting 2-17 from deep.
10:34 p.m.: Nuggets are playing sloppy everywhere. Lazy passes, losing every battle on the boards and just flat out getting beat on defense. Tough to watch.
10:32 p.m.: Gary Harris makes 1 of 2 from the charity stripe and the Nuggets trail 15-23 with just over 7 minutes left in the first half.
10:30 p.m.: Quincy Miller goes down with what appears to be a right leg/ankle injury. Hopefully he’s OK.
10:25 p.m.: Denver shot 24% from the field in the first quarter, including 0-11 from deep. Ouch.
10:22 p.m.: First quarter ends. Denver trails 14 – 19. Carlon Brown muffed a dunk at the buzzer. Sigh. Might be another long night, folks.
10:20 p.m.: So far it looks like we’re going to get the bad version of Quincy Miller tonight. He’s 1-6 from the floor, already has 2 fouls, and is showing no effort defensively. If you love watching a player stand around and watch on defense, Q is putting on a clinic right now.
10:19 p.m.: So much for a better showing from behind the arc tonight. The Nuggets already are 0-9 from deep. Yuck.
10:16 p.m.: Gary Haris already has three steals in the first quarter. He’s the real deal on D, folks.
10:12 p.m.: Following a couple of free throws by the D-League team, the Nuggets lead 8-5 with 5 minutes left in the first quarter.
10:10 p.m.: Neither team shooting worth a damn from the field so far. I suppose that’s what Summer League is all about, right?!
10:09 p.m.: Jerelle Benimon with a nice put back of a tipped shot. I really like his work ethic and awareness. So far, the Nuggs are looking much more alert and active on the defensive end of the court compared to the last two games. That’s a good sign.
10:07 p.m.: Nuggets come out struggling to make a jump shot again. Hopefully this isn’t a repeat of the last two games. I can’t handle it.
10:05 p.m.: Gary Harris gets things started with a steal that leads to a dunk on the other end. Nice sequence for the rookie.
10:02 p.m.: The Nuggets starting five for tonight looks like Erick Green, Gary Harris, Quincy Miller, David Lighty, and Jerelle Benimon.
9:56 p.m.: I’m using the NBA Summer League Live service to watch this game online. So far, the service is a bit spotty, so hopefully I won’t run too far behind the live action.
9:45 p.m.: Hey, Nuggets fans. The team is gearing up to face the D-League Select Summer League squad at approximately 10 p.m., and I’m here to keep you updated on all the action. Both teams come into the game with 1 win and 2 losses on their Summer League records, and after tonight, only one team will advance to play in the next round of the Summer League tournament. It’s a real Thunderdome type situations (TWO TEAMS ENTER, ONE TEAM LEAVES!), but instead of Mad Max fighting Master Blaster to the death, we’ve got a bunch of rookies, young vets, and long-shots battling it out on the court. I’m hoping the Nuggets look a lot better than they have in their last two outings against Chicago and Utah, because quite frankly, they can’t look any worse. I’m curious to see if Gary Harris can put together a shooting performance similar to his 33-point outburst in the first game against Toronto, and hopefully Quincy Miller can repeat his performance from that game as well. Beyond that, I’d love to see Erick Green distribute the ball better and make a strong case for a roster spot by showing he’s more than a score-first point guard. Tip-off is just a few minutes away, so be sure to check back often. And I’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions to the action in the comments below. LET’S GO, NUGGETS!