There isn't a ton to say about this contest. Perhaps it's the three games in four days syndrome that typically effects NBA regular season games, but the Nuggets just didn't have a lot of energy in this one and it showed. The Jazz rolled easy with a 87-69 win over the Nuggets.
A lot of Denver's shot attempts were hitting the front of the rim, the back of the rim, or not even drawing rim. As a team, they shot just 31.5% from the field (29-92), including 3-27 from three-point land -
bad good for just 11.1%. Quincy Miller was just 1-7 from deep, Gary Harris was also 1-7, and Erick Green was 0-4. It wasn't pretty, but the shots kept on coming.
Harris led the way with 18 points, but he got there on 6-20 shooting. He did go 5-5 from the foul line, bringing his summer total to 20-21. That is a good sign. Aside from his three point attempts, Harris showed off a couple nice mid-range jumpers, and attacked the rim a couple times. One of his three steals came on a pick-pocket of a Utah point guard just across mid-court. He finished the play with a pretty layup, another good sign from the rookie.
Green contributed 13 points on 6-13 shooting. His counterpart, Trey Burke, was held to 11 points and the two looked comfortable when they pushed the ball. The big match-up of the night was supposed to be between Harris and Exum, to which Harris got the advantage. Exum played just 18 minutes and was held to 6 points (2-4 shooting) and 3 assists. The size advantage that Exum had wasn't apparent as Harris held his own and stayed with Exum.
Quincy Miller had a miserable night shooting the ball. He went just 3-17 from the field and was held to just 7 points. Miller, too often, settled for jumpers and threes and failed to take advantage of his long frame by driving to the rim. Whether it's his lack of explosion or unwillingness to drive, Q needs to get more aggressive on the offensive end.
It was a pretty sloppy affair and in the big arena at Thomas & Mack, it was a big of a snoozer from the crowd, too.
Rudy Gobert did not play for the Jazz, due to a shoulder injury. This is the second season that the Nuggets don't have a big man prospect on the team and all the scoring is relied on from guard/forward outside shooting or penetration. It would have been nice to see Jusuf Nurkic play here, to take pressure off the guards and help open up the offense.
We enter tournament play now and the Nuggets finished with a 1-2 record. They are guaranteed one more game and they will play the NBA D-League Select team on July 16th at 8 p.m. MT at Cox Pavilion.