Denver Nuggets: Another Loss to an Undermanned and Overmatched Roster
Nugget Nation hoped the team had learned a difficult lesson in the embarrassing November loss to the Philadelphia 76ers who played without Joel Embiid, Danny Green and Ben Simmons. That loss started the six-game losing streak. Unfortunately, the Sixers loss wasn’t an exception.
However, one stark contrast can be noted between the loss to the Magic last night and the loss to the Sixers. Before Jokic was injured in the fourth quarter against the Sixers, the team looked sluggish all night. Against the Magic, the Nuggets started off strong, building a 16-point lead in the first half.
This time, they came out flat in the second half. Perhaps they gave into the worst of human nature, feeling as if they could expend a minimal amount of energy the rest of this game.
The lack of energy displayed in the second half leads to questions about the night out in South Beach to celebrate Monday’s win against Miami with the Jokic Brothers. The night at the club included a “Nikola Jokic NBA MVP” marquee on the dance floor and the Serbian national anthem, according to Arryana Prassad’s report for FanSided.
Usually, it seems like Jokic is the most steady of players, never too high after wins or too low after losses. I’m not saying Jokic and the Nuggets were nursing a physical hangover from Miami but an emotional one. Or, maybe Jokic does need to play back into game shape.
Of course, a large factor in this loss was the absence of Bones Hyland energy. The team also missed the reliable presence of Austin Rivers, who has a far more subtle style in the backcourt.
They missed the pair both on offense and defense, as the team used only a 9-man rotation. Maybe the extra minutes starters absorbed explains the team running out of gas in the second half.