On Sunday, the Denver Nuggets, particularly their starting roster, exhibited a notable unpreparedness during their clash with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After a demanding encounter with the New Orleans Pelicans last Friday, the Nuggets faced a substantial 121-109 loss.
Despite the score disparity, the Nuggets demonstrated their skills in the closing moments, performing admirably when the game’s fate was already sealed.
This marks the team’s first back-to-back losses in the current regular season, prompting Head Coach Michael Malone’s apprehension regarding his team’s playing approach and commitment.
Post-game, a visibly furious Malone expressed plans to address the team’s rebounding issues, emphasizing a need for improvement during the plane ride to Detroit.
Additionally, Nic Vambordi of Altitude TV Denver notes that Michael Malone plans to strongly criticize his team’s insufficient effort during today’s game.
Throughout the game, Nikola Jokic faced difficulties in consistently creating shot opportunities and earning free throws.
The team’s below-par shooting and limited spacing resulted in a congested court around the Serbian center.
Frustrated by foul issues, Jokic incurred consecutive offensive fouls, called by referee Tony Brothers. Despite concluding with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists, Jokic’s performance featured turnovers and lackluster defense.
While Michael Porter Jr. displayed a shooting rhythm, accumulating 21 points with impressive three-pointers, his defensive shortcomings remained notable.
The remainder of the starting lineup, including Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, encountered challenges in making a significant impact.
Despite these struggles, the Nuggets found consolation in the bench displays, with Christian Braun, Zeke Nnaji, and Jalen Pickett making noteworthy contributions.
However, despite the bench playing well, the Nuggets lost, showing inconsistency in how the bench performs.
Looking forward to the next game against the 2-12 Detroit Pistons, the Nuggets need to find a way to get their energy back.
Players like Jokic, Gordon, and Porter need to step up for the team to work better together.