In two games at home, we have seen a visibly exhausted Denver Nuggets team come out of the locker room for the second half and lay proverbial eggs. Weird right? Aren't we used to the Nuggets coming out in the third quarter and stepping on the gas? Basically running their opponents into oblivion and MAKING them give up by the fourth quarter?
Well ... that was under George Karl, Doug Moe and even Dan Issel during his first stint (1992-95).
The last two seasons, and the beginning of the current one, it seems like the Nuggets have forgotten HOW to win at Pepsi Center. Seems absurd right? Yet, the last three seasons as the focus shifted from an offensive dominant squad to one that (in theory) is more focused on defense. In doing so the Nuggets have essentially, and knowingly, abandoned the formidable home court advantage they had the previous 8 1/2 seasons under Karl, or even in most of the history of Pepsi Center.
Could some of it be attributable to the quality of team?Absolutely. Last season the Nuggets won 19 games, the least amount of games at Pepsi Center since 2002-03 ... the 17 win season. What is clear is the Nuggets forgot how to win a home, and that is extremely concerning for Nuggets fans who are used to the Nuggets winning at home, even in down years.
Yesterday at practice, coach Michael Malone talked about having three games at home and how that will benefit the team with the ability to get practice. Where Malone has been most perplexed with the Nuggets is how the team seems to come out with zero energy at home. How they seem to lose their way and come out flat. In the CSG video below Malone talks about takingt he positives of the Golden State Warriors game from Friday night. How do the Nuggets take the PACE they played with in Golden State (in the second half) and apply it to the proceeding games.
Fascinating stuff from Malone yesterday, and it's well worth t a listen