Nuggets vs Portland II: "The league's healthiest team vs Denver's mash unit."
The Good Guys
(Open images in a new tab for a closer look. Charts courtesy of ESPN.COM. All links contained within this piece will open in a new tab or window.)
If you are viewing the pre-game version of the TPM piece and you enjoy gonzo-basketball reporting, I invite you to please join me after the game where the same link will lead you to the post-game version. In it, all of the disjointed/unsightly blanks below will be filled, complete with data/analysis.
In-game analysis will be provided for all games except for the second of B2B and/or weekend games. Data will be tracked for all 82 games, regardless of whether analysis is provided or not.
TPM™ Game 18 PDX
Nikola "Big Honey" Jokic: N/A
"Showtime" Michael Porter Jr: N/A
Aaron "Aar" Gordon: +12
"Brontosaurus" Monte Morris: +15
Will "Thrill" Barton: -8
PJ "Bol" Dozier: +4
"Bones" Hyland: N/A
Facundo "El Mago" Campazzo: +9
"Funcle" JaMychal Green: +0
"Uncle" Jeff Green: +21
Austin "Tributary" Rivers: -6
Zeke "The Piano Man" Nnaji: +6
Vlatko "Mr Olympia" Cancar: +1
Bol Bol "Baggins": -2
"Wet" Markus Howard: +5
Petr "French Toast" Cornelie: -2
Jamal "The Blue Arrow" Murray: N/A
Nikola Jokic: 14 games +475
Michael Porter Jr: 9 games +56
Aaron Gordon: 18 games +226
Monte Morris: 18 games +205
Will Barton: 16 games +174
PJ Dozier: 18 games +75
Bones Hyland: 14 games +97
Facundo Campazzo: 16 games +67
JaMychal Green: 18 games +0
Jeff Green: 18 games +39
Austin Rivers: 16 games +12
Zeke Nnaji: 6 games +31
Vlatko Cancar: 1 games +1
Bol Bol: 8 games +0
Markus Howard: 8 games +7
Petr Cornelie: 4 games -2
Jamal Murray: 0 games +0
Avg. TPM™ Per Game
Nikola Jokic: +33.93
Michael Porter Jr: +6.22
Aaron Gordon: +12.56
Monte Morris: +11.39
Will Barton: +10.88
PJ Dozier: +4.17
Bones Hyland: +6.93
Facundo Campazzo: +4.19
JaMychal Green: +0.00
Jeff Green: +2.17
Austin Rivers: +0.75
Zeke Nnaji: +5.17
Vlatko Cancar: +1.00
Bol Bol: +0.00
Markus Howard: +0.88
Petr Cornelie: -0.50
Jamal Murray: +0.00
TPM™ Per-Minute Splits (Through game 10)
*Credit DomP on the Spreadsheet.
Qtr1- The Nuggets go with their 6TH starting five, consisting of Morris, Barton, Senior, Uncle Jeff, & AG. The Blazers counter with Dame, CJ, Powell, RoCo & Nurk. This starting five was historically bad last time, so with Nnaji/Vlatko healthy and PJ available, Coach Malone of course decides to roll with the same unit. Any who, Juka wins the tip and we are under way. Senior predictably clanks his first two from downtown, and it's 2-2 after two minutes of play. PDX still has nobody who can contend with AG defensively. He has the first five points for Denver, while also drawing the defensive assignment on Dame. Barton looks very tentative early, just like last game.
Denver leads by one at 8:35. Jeff Green looks spry and the Nuggets trail by one at the time of the first break, 6:18. The reserves begin to trickle in for both sides, at 4:51; namely PJ and Austin for Denver. J-Mike may be the worst passer in the entire league. It's even-Steven despite five turnovers for Denver. Facu/Zeke enter for Denver at 3:20, trailing now by one. PJ with the yam after a nice hustling offensive board by Zeke, gives Denver the lead. Two straight threes for CJ and PDX leads by six with 90 seconds remaining. PJ is down after twisting his knee, and it does not at all look good. Perfect! He's carried to the locker room by Vlatko and Senior.
Denver is paced in TPM by Monte Morris: +6 as they trail 27-33 after one.
Qtr2- The first shot of the night by Barton, a three from the top, comes up empty. The Nuggets bench is understandably ghost-faced following that injury for PJ. PDX leads by just one at 9:13. They stretch the lead to six on two long j's at the time of the first break, 6:53. AG has two fouls; something to keep a close eye on. Facu is getting into the paint for a change! Monte cuts it to two with a three-ball. He's first to reach double digits for Denver. Powell and RoCo could be called for reaching on every single drive by Denver. Jeff makes two in double digits for Denver and they take a one point lead on his three at 3:35. Paging Will Barton.
You can make your first presence in tonight's game at any moment now. J-Mike checks in for Facu which is a mistake. PDX leads by six after three consecutive threes by Dame, on horrendous shots. If he makes those, it doesn't matter who defends. What the fuck is wrong with Barton? He's pickpocketed on consecutive possessions. Another three, this one of the wide open variety, by Dame and the lead quickly balloons to 13 on the strength of a 12-0 run in less than 2 minutes. Barton inexplicable drills a three, his first make of any variety, cutting the lead to 12 with 6 seconds to go.
Denver is paced in TPM by Facundo Campazzo: +12 as they trail 52-66 at the half.
Qtr3- I'm gonna go light on the analysis during Barton's minutes here in the second half, as a means to attempt to ascertain whether or not he's dealing with that groin injury. Something definitely is not right; here's hoping it's just something between the ears. Of course he drills one from 30 feet to open the scoring, and appears to be moving ok. His lateral movement is definitely clunky, particularly on D, however. Senior colides with Uncle on a failed alley-oop between the two, and Jeff appears to have hurt his abdomen. Both remain in. PDX leads by 13 at 9:24. The refs need to be carefull not to allow this to get chippy; a lot of rough play is going uncalled.
PDX leads by 17 at the time of the first break, 7:18. Barton may break the record for negative TPM tonight. He's at -12 currently. AG is starting to assert himself in the post again; something they inexplicably went away from after the early sucess. Two straight J's for Senior?!?! AG cuts it to 11 with a dunk. Powell is a goddamned hacker. Jeff cuts it to eight on a strong drive at 4:12. The refs are simply refusing to call all reaching/clutching/grabbing by the Blazers. Their lead is back up to 11 after three consecutive no calls lead to empty Denver posessions, at 2:49. Baarton cuts it to nine with a layup off of a wicked bullet-pass from Facu. AG goes the whole way in the third.
Denver is paced in TPM by Monte Morris: +15 as they trail 79-90 after three.
Qtr4- AG makes three in double digits for Denver. Barton just had to take a four step travel as a means to get the ref to reuctantly call the hack on Nance. The lead is 13 at 9:51. Will just dribbled out the chot clock. No Bueno. AG needs to come back early in the 4th or it's over. Jeff cuts it to 12 on an and-one and indeed AG returns at 8:04. The lead is up to 15 after another preposterous three by Dame from 35. Barton, with a step-back three has climbed into the TMP positive and the lead is 12 at the time of the first break, 6:31. He makes four in double digits for Denver. The lead for PDX is 15 at 4:49. They quickly increase that to 19 after exceedingly lazy transition d by the Nuggets, and that should just about do it, with only 3:40 to play. Dame is done and Bol is in and that's all she wrote.
Denver is paced in TPM by __ as theylose for the 5th straight night, by a score of 100-119
- Denver loses again, and in so doing, drops to 9-9 on the year.
- I am WAY over all of these damned injuries.
- Seems counterintuitive, but all of these injuries may just force Malone to play guys at their natural positions.
- If Barton's groin is affecting him, his ass needs to sit. If there is one player in the league who should never play when he's anything less than 100%, it's Will.
- NBA officiating has gotten worse as the season has progressed.
- The tap-backs when you can't grab an offensive board should be considered a turnover. Defense is hard enough already, why reward that crap?
- Solid effort again tonight for Denver, but they need to start getting some upsets as the schedule becomes brutal.
- Every night Uncle Jeff. We need this every night.
For context pertaining to the statistical aspects of this piece, please open this link: TPM™
A brief statement with regard to this piece on whole:
As a means to avoid repeating myself I will include this descriptive diatribe in all TPM posts going forward.
Sure I like statistics; ever since I was a child collecting sports cards and later a pre-teen who ran pre-internet fantasy sports leagues on ink/paper/spreadsheet for the four major US pro-leagues, I've been fascinated by box-score stats, but I'm by no means an expert.
I created TPM, which has been around longer than RPM incidentally and unlike them, I fully disclose my non-proprietary system and I contextualize the action rather than being a boring, mysterious, predictive metric, because it does add immediate and accessible context to what we see and what the numbers indicate, which I like.
While the data is meticulously tracked and demonstrably sound, I'm a creative type, not an engineer. Algorithm is the bane of my existence in fact. I'd far rather approach life with the intrigue of expected surprise than attempt to get to the bottom of why things are the way they are. There are many engineers in my family so I totally understand that joy can be derived from finding solutions to problems, I just can't relate. It's not fun for me. THIS is for the most part, not fun for me.
Now I'm a 44-year-old man who was born during the season in which the team I love joined the NBA. I happen to have a lifetime of experience with this sport in several capacities, including playing (highly underrated within the writing community) so I understand basketball theory in a way most (by no means all) pundits do not.
I was, in this case, interested in a data-driven approach, which if I'm honest has sapped nearly all fun out of taking in games for me. I get very few days/nights off during the season. One piece requires several hours of research and data entry and all tracking/analysis is done in real time and published mere moments after each game's completion, 82 times per year.
As such, the analysis portion is about 90% (I've run the numbers) creative writing with sarcasm generally indicated through italics, non-sequitur humor and hyperbole, in an attempt to steal back some of the joy this endeavor has snatched away.
Hopefully there is a little something here for everyone but if you came just for data or are averse to colorful language, this is not the place for you. I have no way of knowing how many people even read this so I'll not be affected even remotely if you choose not to indulge. For those of you who do, I greatly appreciate your the support.
I can be found at @prmorphine on Twitter.
Also, my DIY music production and videos can be heard/seen here if you don't value your ear-balls & eye-drums.
And as always, get the jab, wear the mask, act like a good person privately and especially in public; even if you are not, and most importantly, fuck the Lakers.