The Nuggets got flat out embarrassed in Utah, just one night after the Jazz flew home from Sacramento after beating the Kings in a 103-102 dogfight. Denver didn't put up a fight, outside of Arron Afflalo's elbow to Gordon Hayward's face, and got laughed off the floor 121-102. George Karl has a lot of work to do if the Nuggets have any hope of winning one of their next six road games.
Alright ... let's start with the good stuff. There was good stuff? Uh, I think there might have been one or two things ... am I talking to myself? Who cares!
JaVale McGee had six of his 11 points in the first and the kid was everywhere. At the end of the half, McGee had 10 points and 2 blocks. McGee definitely has some Chris Andersen in him, as he wants to block every shot in front of him, but he's taking advantage of his clean slate and looking okay for the Nuggets. Troublesome is that McGee picked up 4 fouls, that's 9 fouls in two games for the big man.
The Nuggets actually played pretty well for about a quarter and a half tonight. With 6:46 left in the second Denver was up 45-41 and the Jazz took a timeout as the Nuggets were starting to regain control of the pace. The uptempo style both teams started out playing looked to favor Denver as Utah couldn't possibly maintain that pace ... wrong. When the timeout was over, the Jazz began to get their flow going.
The Jazz actually took an 11-point lead during the second quarter, before the Nuggets reeled them back in a bit before the half (63-55). The sad thing ... the Nuggets were up 32-30 after one and playing pretty nice on the offensive side.
I have no clue what happened to the Nuggets in the locker room, but the team was in trouble during the last six minutes in the second quarter. The problems were only compounded in the third, where Denver was outscored 31-21, and the fourth was just a formality.
The Nuggets defense is pathetic. They let in open dunks, open threes, open jumpers, couldn't rotate, couldn't create steals and the offense couldn't stop turning the ball over (19 TOs).
The Jazz were just one step ahead of the Nuggets all night. When Denver went to make a long pass, there was a hand on the ball. When the Nuggets went for the low percentage small window pass, the Jazz closed those windows or forced turnovers out of bounds. Everything Denver did, the Jazz had an answer for.
Not sure what to make of this game ... not the way to start the longest roadtrip of the season. Six more on the road and the Nuggets need to listen to some Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday,
"Either we heal as a team ... or we're gonna crumble."
Views you can use:
- The Nuggets were only outscored in the fourth quarter by one point.
- The Nuggets were outscored 64-44 in the second and third quarters.
- The Jazz had seven players with 12 points or more.
- Utah scored a season high 63 points in the first half ... ouch.
- Afflalo's frustrations with the game and Hayward boiled over at the 6:23 mark of the third quarter when he was boxing out the Jazz guard/forward, turned and threw an elbow right into Hay's jaw, flagrant 2 was called and AAA was tossed. It was 81-63 after Hayward's two freebies. Never seen AAA lose it like that ... a season of firsts for the former Mr. Can't Do Wrong.
Nate_Timmons on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Nate_Timmons