The Nuggets got out of the gates nicely but the Nets’ plethora of talented wing players quickly shifted momentum back in their favor. Things were looking grim in the second quarter when the Nuggets lead turned into an 8 point deficit. Its the same thing we have been seeing all year round, the bench cannot maintain momentum when Jokic heads to the bench. Case and point- Jokic came back into the game in the second quarter and the Nuggets closed the half with an 8 point lead.
Things were looking good, dare I say, great. Then the third quarter started and the Nuggets came out flat once again. The Nuggets were outscored by 19 in the quarter and headed into the 4th quarter down 11.
Although the boys were able to rally furiously in the end to make it a nail biter (thanks in to Braun’s infectious play), the Nuggets bad habits cost them once again.
Three losses is concerning but it isn’t the end of the world. We are at a crossroads with this team. This is a crucial stretch. There are 14 games left and this team needs to find the right rotations and the best energy every night. The BIG cushion in the standings between the 1 seed and the 2 seed suddenly seems a lot smaller. Will Malone find the right rotations of players to bring the energy and hustle every night? Is it finally time that Braun earns more playing time? Does Malone continue to stick with Reggie Jackson and Thomas Bryant? The book seems to be out on the Nuggets...do they lets others dictate their story or do they take the pen back and write their own legacies?