The Scouting Report: Denver Nuggets (Again)
Projected starting line-up: Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov.
Additions: Jusuf Nurkic, Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, Alonzo Gee
Departures: Anthony Randolph, Jordan Hamilton, Aaron Brooks, Quincy Miller, Jan Vesely
There hasn’t been a lot of difference since we last updated you with how the Nugs were doing.
From Sunday’s scouting report:
The Denver Nuggets are going through another lukewarm start to the season after a mediocre season last year under first year coach Brian Shaw. Shaw returns and so does Danilo Gallinari who missed all of last season with a torn ACL as well as JaVale McGee and JJ Hickson.
The Nuggets have been working their injured guys back with none of the yet in the starting line-up. Making matters worse for Denver is that Ty Lawson missed their last game against the Cavaliers. The Cavs looked like the team many envisioned against Denver on Friday night and the Nuggets didn’t do much to inspire they could sneak into the playoffs.
Their offense looked very vanilla with nothing else really going on outside basic high pick and roll actions. Kenneth Faried is still a beast running in the open court and attacking the offensive glass as well as improving his post-up game. If Lawson plays, the Nuggets will be a little tougher to stop.
Still, as I said, the Nuggets haven’t inspired much hope. They are in the bottom 10 in the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency through five games and the little I’ve watched of them hasn’t been impressive. But, the season is young and maybe the loss to Cleveland could turn things around.
We got our answer on Sunday about whether the Cleveland loss and Ty Lawson’s return could turn things around. It was a resounding “no”.
Per Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post reported that the Nuggets analytics team counted 66 uncontested shots for the Blazers. 66 out of 100 total field goal attempts!
My friend and former KWVA radio colleague Colin Deaver broke down the Nuggets terrible defense against the Blazers for ESPN True Hoop blog RoundballMiningCompany. It was really bad and the Blazers dominated.
Local columnists are going in on the Nuggets.
It will be much harder for the Blazers to dominate tonight. The Nuggets have the advantage of a few days between games and the altitude against a Blazers team that just had to come back from 23 down to beat the Hornets.
The biggest difference on Wednesday is obviously that the Blazers won’t have Nicolas Batum who is missing at least the next two games after going through a “scary” knee injury.
Allen Crabbe has been inserted into the starting line-up for Batum over Dorell Wright and Will Barton. Barton and Thomas Robinson both received DNP’s but they both saw time against Denver. Who knows which way Stotts goes with reserves tonight after last night.
The starters with Crabbe had an offensive rating of 114.2 points per 100 possessions while giving up 107.6 per 100 possessions. “Cool Breeze” was much more decisive with his basketball plays in the second half, shooting without hesitation or driving immediately.
Tonight is going to be one of those nights where the Blazers have to rely on principals against an opponent that *should* come out ready to get their season back towards respectability. The Nuggets will try to out run them and force the Blazers to tire out.
Given the circumstances of last night’s win and closing a 4-in-5 in Denver, the most brutal place in the league to do it, it would be a good win for the Blazers no matter the state of the Nuggets.