|Game 9: 2014-15 NBA Season|
|Nov. 16, 2014|
|Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY|
Refs: David Jones, Tony Brown, Ben Taylor
|Next game: November 17th at Cleveland Cavaliers|
|New York Knicks|
|Tim Hardaway Jr.||10:53||2-4||0-1||2-2||2||1||0||0||0||6|
The good feelings from the win on Friday night against the Indiana Pacers were quickly washed away when the Denver Nuggets took the court to start the second quarter. After a hot shooting quarter (for the Nuggets) and scoring 31 points, it looked as if we were going to have a good game on our hands.
The second quarter started with Brian Shaw going with his all backup lineup, they rewarded him mightily by not making a single field goal and knocking down just three free throws. Thankfully, Ty Lawson was able to score on a layup as time expired to avoid not making a field goal for the whole quarter. The Knicks led by Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith put up 34 points in the quarter and would only be threatened once more during game on their way to a 109-93 victory. This was only the second time this season the Knicks managed to score over 100 points.
Arron Afflalo led the Nuggets in scoring with 18, matching his season high. He was exceptionally hot in the first quarter, knocking down four threes and one was for a three point play for a total of 13 points. Lawson also added 17 points to go with nine assists and Kenneth Faried had 16 points and nine boards. Wilson Chandler (11) and Darrell Arthur (10) were the only other Nuggets to score in double figures.
Last night in the preview I shared that the Nuggets bench was scoring an absurd 72% of the teams points (yes, leads the NBA). Today the bench was ice cold, scoring a total of 23 points (24.7% of the team's points) on an abysmal 6-20 (30%) from the field, 3-13 from three (yes, 65% of the shots from the bench came from three) and a respectable 8-12 from the free throw line.
Going back to the second quarter, where everything just went to (insert your favorite expletive here). Here Shaw continued to defy logic with his lineups. For some reason Gary Harris played just about ten and a half minutes, was 0-3 from the field, which includes a missed layup and a missed dunk. From there he filled up the stat sheet with two steals, one leading to his missed dunk and he also had a turnover.
Danilo Gallinari was once again defending in the post for extended periods of time and getting absolutely abused by both Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony in the low block. He gave up at least eight points in the paint and a foul that would lead to two Anthony free throws.
Could also go on to point out how ineffective Nate Robinson was again, how Afflalo picked up two bad fouls in his only 49 seconds of the period, giving him three for the half, forcing him to sit for the rest of the half.
I've seen some bad basketball from the Nuggets this season, but this had to be the absolute rock bottom of it all.
The game did get a lot more interesting with Lawson scoring 14 of his 17 in the quarter along with three assists. The Nuggets were able to cut the lead down to a manageable 12 points heading into the fourth quarter. Nate Robinson was able to cut the lead down to nine on a nice steal and forcing the defender to foul him for the and-1.
The Nuggets wouldn't get closer after that. They picked that time to miss their next eight shots, five of them were threes with only a single pass and then shot with more than 15 seconds on the shot clock. At that point in the game, the shots did not need to be rushed, yet they were with no ball movement or an attempt to run a passible National Basketball League offense. When the team is clicking with each other they are moving the ball, getting good shots, Lawson is getting into the paint and either finishing or dishing for an assist. More often than not this season we are seeing a lot of hero ball, hardly any ball movement and long jumpers.
The defensive effort is also terrible during most games. The Knicks do not have much fire power outside of Anthony and Smith, yet the Nuggets allowed them to score 109 points.
It isn't exactly time to start panicking, the playoffs are still very makeable, but some questions need some answers and some players need to step up and play at the level we know they are capable of.
The Nuggets are in Cleveland on Monday to take on Joey Harris and the Cavs. We'll have all the coverage you need for that coming up soon.