The Denver Nuggets need more effort
The Utah Jazz are one of the youngest teams in the league, they’re essentially a collection of assets and matching salaries the team received in the Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell trades, and first-year head coach Will Hardy is trying to get them to play hard.
But boy, did they play hard.
While Utah shot the ball incredibly, nailing 16 of their 38 shots from long range, it was the second-chance opportunities and transition baskets that really hurt the Nuggets. It simply came down to effort as the tanking Jazz wanted the ball more.
There was one sequence in the first half where (former Nugget) Jarred Vanderbilt pulled down two offensive rebounds on the same possession, leading to Utah points. The second rebound, he walked right past Nikola Jokic to steal the ball away from him.
This was a microcosm of the game as the less-talented team did what they had to do to grit out a win.
Collin Sexton also made his return to the court after a season-ending injury last season and he was staying true to his ‘Young Bull’ intensity. Sexton finished with 20 points on 6-12 shots for the night and posted a 104 defensive rating when he was out there.
The Jazz are probably going to be one of the worst teams in the league as they look to add superstars through the draft but it’s clear now that this team’s going to give maximum effort at all times. An elite team like Denver can’t let themselves be outhustled and need to take the winnable games in a crowded Western Conference.