Any reason for concern after abysmal quarter for Nuggets?

Mar 9, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Zeke Nnaji (22) looks to pass the ball
Mar 9, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Zeke Nnaji (22) looks to pass the ball / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets got a big win their last time out on Saturday, spurred by a historical first-half performance at home against the Jazz. But it wasn’t all positive, as the home side got hammered in the third quarter, 44-24 by Utah.

The 20-point difference was the worst single quarter showing the Nuggets have put forth this entire season. The Jazz took a 34-point deficit that seemed insurmountable, and cut the lead all the way down to 14 with an entire quarter to play.

Nuggets held on for the win

The Nuggets were able to right the ship in the fourth quarter and held on to win the game 142-121. So focusing too much on the one quarter that Denver lost may seem like nitpicking or an overreaction.

Nevertheless, when the standard set by a team is championship or bust, they open themselves up to be overanalyzed and open to ridicule for the slightest issue. That’s the burden of expectations, and heavy is the head that wears the crown. But that’s the way it is and it’s the standard the Nuggets have set for themselves; fair or not.

No reason to panic

Overall, one bad quarter over the course of a long regular season is not cause for concern. Especially during a game when the team already has a comfortable lead. It’s natural for any team to lose focus, even the defending champs.

But it is a good reminder of how deep and talented the NBA is, and how quickly things can swing on any given night. As much as the Nuggets are more talented than teams like the Jazz, if they let their guard down, they can lose any game.

This is also a pretty logical time for a bit of a letdown, as the Nuggets were coming off a massive win over the league-leading Boston Celtics. And again, the Nuggets did win the game. They’re now 44-20 on the season, sitting in second place in the Western Conference.

The team is currently half a game up on the Minnesota Timberwolves and a full game back of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the top seed in the conference. Denver will be back in action on Tuesday night when they host the Toronto Raptors.