Las Vegas -- Just a day after blowing out the Toronto Raptors 110-82, it was Denver's turn to be on the receiving end of a blowout. The Chicago Bulls, behind 19-36 shooting from deep, defeated the Nuggets easily 103-76.
Let the "Doug McDermott" superstar calls be heard by those in Nuggets Nation that were upset his draft rights were traded away (the trade of McDermott was made before the Nuggets even made the pick for the Bulls). McDermott bounded back after a 2-8 shooting night in his first game (10 points) to score 31 points against the Nuggets on 7-12 shooting (5-9 from deep), including 12-12 from the foul line. He also tallied just 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, and 1 blocked shot - while also allowing Quincy Miller to score 26 points on the other end (they were guarding each other most for most of the contest).
For the Nuggets rookie watch, Gary Harris struggled shooting the ball in his second game. He was just 1-12 on the night and 0-4 from deep. Harris did do some little things to help his poor shooting night, including getting to the free throw line (where he was 7-7), grabbing 5 rebounds, and tallied 2 steals. His 9 points were a bit of a letdown from such a strong performance the day before (33 points), but that's how things go.
As a team, Denver struggled defending and allowed many open looks for the Bulls shooters.
"They were making a lot of plays, we didn't get any stops," said Quincy Miller. "They were making the right plays and picking us apart."
It was Miller's man McDermott that was doing a lot of the damage early.
"I took a lot of gambles on defense trying to get steals," said Miller. "I take full responsibility for that. I played well on the offensive end, but that doesn't mean anything if they get the win."
On the offensive end, the Nuggets struggled to put together plays the way they did against the Raptors. There was a lot of one-on-one play versus finding the open shooter.
"We didn't look as good as we did yesterday, didn't look as crisp," said Erick Green. "It's a learning experience. We'll get it back."
The team that took the floor against the Bulls wasn't the same one from the first contest and Green shouldered a lot of the blame.
"I'm not happy about it. I don't really care about scoring," said Green. "I felt like I didn't lead the team like I should have - like I did the first game. The thing for me is controlling the team, like I did yesterday, and getting everybody involved. I don't think I did that today. I think they kind of sped us up instead of playing [the game] at our speed."
The Nuggets next game will be on Tuesday, July 15th at 6:30 p.m. MT against Dante Exum and the Utah Jazz.
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-Quincy was strong on the offensive end again. He was the taller man in his match-up against McDermott and put up 26 points on 11-20 shooting (3-7 from deep, 1-2 from the foul line). Q also tallied 8 rebounds (3 offensive), 3 assists and 1 steal. He said after the game that he is trying to play more in the high-post, where Head Coach Brian Shaw wants to utilize guys more. Q said he looks for pass options first in the high-post and to score second.
While Miller had a nice offensive game, his gambling and losing McDermott cost the team. Sometimes it's important to take the defensive challenge rather than the offensive one, but Miller is the showcased player out here - but he has to do a much better job on the defensive end.
-Erick Green finished with 16 points on 7-14 shooting (2-4 from deep). The key for Green to be considered for the Nuggets roster has to be his ability to run an offense and get his teammates going. While Green has shown some scoring flashes, he didn't control this game for the Nuggets.
-It's hard to get a read on the other guys on the roster. Three players: Carlon Brown, Chris Wright, and Denzel Bowles all tied for the third most shot attempts on the team with four each. It's kind of easy to see that the Nuggets are working to showcase Green, Harris, and Miller on the offensive end and very tough for the other guys to get involved to a large degree.