The Nuggets, it seems, have some sort of mental block with the tanking Utah Jazz. I'm not sure what it is, but the team can look like world beaters against the Oklahoma City Thunder and then look like the worst team in basketball against the Jazz. Along with an amazing 34 points allowed to Alec Burks (who looked very, very good) the Nuggets looked lazy and taking the Jazz for granted in the first half, and porous defensively in the second half. Take your pick.
The Nuggets just seemed to be out if it from the jump. Looking like they should roll over a team that beat them in Denver less than a month ago. The Nuggets allowed nearly 70 points in the first half, and were down big time heading into the break with spotty performances from just about everyone on the team. Ty Lawson finished with 23 points 11 assists but was a Carmelo Anthony esque 6-18 from the floor and missed potential momentum sustaining free throws at the end. At least Ty tried though. Can't say the same for too many others
One enormous bright spot continues to be the play of Evan Fournier who, while he has his in-game ups and downs (6-15 from the field, defensive lapses against Burks) had big effort all game long. It was for this reason that Brian Shaw kept Fours in the game from the first minute of the third quarter on after Randy Foye (who reverted back to his pre-winning streak play with ineffectual play and inconsistent shooting) picked up his fourth foul. Fournier even had a posterizing dunk that I'm still waiting to see a gif of.
It was Fours' effort, and the occasional good play of Ty that were the lone bright spots in an otherwise dreary game. Truly dreadful was Timofey Mozgov, who couldn't catch a pass to save his life, couldn't hit a shot if it killed him, and couldn't contribute positively if it would save the world. It was one of those games that make you shake your head about Moz. He can be very consistent, but tonight was a night he forgot to take his Metamucil.
Wilson Chandler came back after a two game absence and had 12 points. He didn't seem too bothered by his groin injury. Darrell Arthur and Anthony Randolph were out, and Arthur's absence was felt on the defensive end tonight. On the active roster, Darth is the most consistent defensive player. Was needed pretty badly this evening.
J.J Hickson had impressive stats (21 points and 8 rebounds) but I can see where everyone said the stats were extremely hollow. It seemed like he was having a good game, and then I look up and Derrick Favors is schooling him on the block and Hickson sat for most of the second half. So I can't really sit here and say it was impressive. It was just ... empty. Nate Robinson was a black hole on offense, and if the Nuggets are going to cast their lot with Nate Rob ... this is what you are going to have to accept. Times when he just doesn't contributed positively on offense. Now, he did body up Trey Burke and bothered him a bit in the second half, but on offense he was so bad that it makes it hard to say he had a good game.
All in all, I just don't have much good to say about this loss. The Nuggets
Nuggets of wisdom
All we can hope for is the Nuggets ability to brush off this horrible loss and not take it with them to Oakland. When they play the Warriors, the Nuggets need to be fast and loose. Not play with the same casual effort they had tonight and bring it consistently. There's no excuse to let this loss linger. Right now, with the Knicks recent winning streak (and the diminishing chances of a Nuggets lottery pick) the team needs positive vibes to continue. If they win against the Dubs in Oakland then all will be seen as forgiven.
Leave the loss in Utah.