The Denver Nuggets had a fairly slow week this week. Everyone got a few days off the enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday which meant only two game to be played. The Nuggets wrapped up a four game homestand on Tuesday against the Washington Wizards before playing in Sacramento against the Kings Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately it wasn’t all roses like last week when Denver went 4-0.
Nuggets go 1-1 on the week
Denver opened the week with a game against the Wizards and old friend Isaiah Thomas. It would wind up being a big night for the bench as Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee both put up stellar performances while Malik Beasely seemed to regain his spot in the rotation (at the expense of Michael Porter Jr. it appears). Gary Harris put the clamps on Bradley Beal and the rest was history.
The Nuggets foray to California was less successful. What had all the appearances of a trap game in fact turned out to be a trap game. Denver got up big behind a scoring explosion from Harris in the first half but appeared to rest on their laurels in the second half. They allowed the Kings a 17-3 run to close out the fourth quarter which forced the game into overtime where the home town crowd and energy won out. It is not a stretch in any way to call Saturday the worst loss of the season thus far.
G League roundup: P.J. Dozier and Vlatko Cancar have big games
Down in the G-League the Nuggets continue to develop three players: Cancar, Dozier and Jarred Vanderbilt. Meanwhile, Bol Bol remains up with the NBA squad. Dozier continued to just wreck the G-League this week. He’s currently averaging just about twenty-two points (9th in the league) and eight assists (5th in the league) a game. He highlighted this week with a thirty-four point outing against the Maine Red Claws. Vlatko hasn’t quite had as much success as Dozier but appears to have his feet under him in the G-League after a rocky couple of games. He’s scored in double figures four straight games and has been inserted in the Erie Bayhawks starting lineup. It didn’t take long for that move to be rewarded as Vlatko went off for twenty-nine points against the Wisconsin Herd on Friday. Vanderbilt meanwhile continues to be a double double machine for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, averaging sixteen points and nine rebounds a contest.
Jamal Murray commits to Team Canada
Though the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics are still months away, Jamal Murray announced via twitter that he is planning to play for his National team. Murray was unable to participate this past summer in the FIBA World Cup due to a sprained ankle. Canada will first have to qualify for the Olympics as they have yet to secure their bid to Tokyo. Four spots in the tournament remain up for grabs and the Canadians will get the home court advantage as they will play in Victoria this summer for their leg of the qualifiers. However, their draw could have been more favorable as Greece and Giannis Antetokounmpo also landed in the Canadian leg of the tournament. Only one winning team from each of the four legs will qualify.
Playing for my country is always an honour and I want to take the step and leadership role to commit to @canadabasketball this summer. I want to play my part to help push our team into the Olympics and compete at the highest world stage. Let’s go Canada— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) November 26, 2019
Player of the Week: Gary Harris
Harris had a very solid week. First he absolutely stifled Beal in the Nuggets game against the Wizards. Beal ended up with fourteen points on fifteen shots and shot just 20% from the three point line. While Harris didn’t have a big night shooting himself, his number one task was to shut down a perennial all star and he did just that. In the Kings game Gary had his best quarter of basketball on offense this season, pouring in fifteen points in the first quarter on his way to twenty-five points overall. Unfortunately he scored just five in the second half which certainly contributed to the Nuggets losing but there were other things that were far more concerning in the game than Gary falling off after he carried the team in the first half.
Fun moment of the week: Jokic has a new commercial
Nikola is still raking in the Serbian goldfish dollars and while this one has been out for a couple weeks, our good friends over at Denver Nuggets Reddit brought it to my attention a couple days ago. Overall, not my favorite of Jokic’s promotional exploits and I have no idea what they are saying in this commercial but it’s still general meme gold.
A big week of podcasts as always. Gordon Gross and I react to the Nuggets win over the Phoenix Suns before predicting what will happen in the Wizards and Suns games on the Pickaxe Podcast, then Ryan Blackburn breaks down how the Nuggets can improve their offense on Nuggets Numbers. Nick Hertzog and Ryan question whether the Nuggets have enough to win a championship right now on The Dig and then Gage Bridgford, Ryan and myself serve up our hottest Thanksgiving takes (and talk a little Nuggets too) on The Denver Stiffs Show. Make sure to subscribe to the Denver Stiffs Podcast Channel to get all of these shows delivered to you on the daily.