The Denver Nuggets started their final preseason game without two of their starting five players, Kenneth Faried (rest) and Ty Lawson (ankle, hamstring, rest). So right there they were at a deficit. The Nuggets were behind the 8 ball all evening, and it was compounded by a very hot shooting Klay Thompson (35 points).
So of course the Nuggets were blown out, right?
They were NOT!. They didn't win mind you, but in a scenario very similar to the preseason game against the Clippers the Nuggets bench was playing against the Golden State Warriors starters. Your Nuggets came back from 17 points down in the third quarter to close within 2 points in the 4th. It wasn't to be as the bench to starter ration overcame the Nuggets big comeback.
Denver Stiffs darling Jusuf Nurkic came in and had himself a whale of a game, largely, against Dubs center Andrew Bogut (who also had himself a good game). In 15 minutes the Bosnian Bear had 16 points and 7 rebounds. Just let that sink in a bit. He also was 6 of 6 on free throws. Pretty impressive. JaVale McGee had himself a good first half in his brief stint, finishing with 11 points. Looked like McGee ran out of steam in the second half and essayed to all of us that it will be awhile before McGee is back to game shape.
Erick Green (Nate Timmons' boy) came in and actually played good point guard. He finished with 12 points and 3 assists, and at one point scored 7 straight points in the third quarter. Danilo Gallinari was, again, minutes limited ... but was excellent in his 16 minutes. He finished with 10 points and 3 rebounds and had some pretty sweet shooting. He definitely likes playing against the Dubs, and Harrison Barnes guarding Gallo was a laughable mismatch. Alonzo Gee also continues to impress of the bench. Dude is FAST. He had 10 points in 24 minutes and was VERY active all night.
The Bad? Wilson Chandler remains an enigma. After a couple of impressive performances in the preseason, Chandler followed it up by scoring 3 points on 1-2 shooting and one particularly bad heave late in the 4th quarter. Arron Afflalo has struggled all preseason, and after a game where he scored 16 points, he looked out of sorts all night ... he finished with 3 points and was summarily torched by Klay Thompson.
Ah...the hell with it. The Season starts in 4 days and I can't be happier! Get ready for Nuggets vs Pistons on Wednesday!