Despite a spirited effort in the second half, the Denver Nuggets were unable to overcome a 57-36 halftime deficit to the Atlanta Hawks and lose 96-84. The loss now puts Denver's losing streak at three games, something this team rarely did under George Karl. Winning streaks and losing streaks have become the norm under second year head coach Brian Shaw. The team's inconsistent play mirrors the coaches inconsistent rotations and uncreative game plans.
-Wilson Chandler continued his strong play with a season high of 29 points on 12-22 shooting (4-12 from deep, 1-1 at the foul line) in 37 minutes of action. Chandler added 10 rebounds and 2 assists, but turned the ball over 5 times.
-Chandler and Timofey Mozgov were the only two starters to get in the + department with +1 and +2, respectively.
-Alonzo Gee had a fine performance and helped the Nuggets win the third quarter 30-20. Gee scored 14 points off the bench on 7-9 shooting in 21 minutes of action.
-Despite picking up 5 fouls, Timofey Mozgov was able to log 32 minutes and scored 14 points and grabbed 11 boards. Had Shaw been able to turn to J.J. Hickson at center (he played power forward with Kenneth Faried missing the game), we may not have seen Moz log over 30 minutes tonight.
-Ty Lawson (1-10), Danilo Gallinari (0-6), and J.J. Hickson (1-6) combined to shoot 2-22 on the afternoon. Lawson's bones will be turned to dust, as Jeff Morton would say, by the halfway point of the season at this rate. Lawson logged 43 minutes, despite being ineffective. Shaw didn't give Erick Green a shot to see if he could provide any kind of spark, Green logged just 4 minutes on the night.
-The Nuggets were 6-35 from three point land, that's just 17% shooting. The Nuggets were just 10-13 at the foul line. Too much settling for jumpers and not enough attacking of the rim.
Setting out for this three game road trip was going to test the Nuggets against the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Denver has been defeated easily in the first two games of the trip, and face the best of the bunch tomorrow in Toronto for the second of a back-to-back.
The Nuggets are now 1-4 in December and things do not get any easier for this team.