The Nuggets have had a bit of rough go of it in Summer League this year heading into today’s game 0-2 facing the Raptors who are 2-0. Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez have been doing the heavy lifting for Denver followed by Robert Carter Jr. while the rest of the Nugg pups are leaving much to be desired.

Denver’s 1st draft pick, Tyler Lydon, isn’t looking as strong on offense as projected, but some quality time in the G League next season will do him well. (For those of you who don’t know, Gatorade has recently become the sponsor of what used to be the “NBA D-League”. The league has been renamed the G-League to honor Gatorade’s partnership.)

Defense is still a glaring and painfully noticeable problem even against the other rookies of the league, and Denver’s performance in game 2 against Minnesota has me feeling very skeptical that the Nuggets plan to address this serious problem in the off season.

The Basics:

Who: Denver Nuggets vs Toronto Raptors

Where: Cox Pavillion Las Vegas, NV

When: 6:00 pm MT

How to watch: ESPNU

Rival Blog: Raptors HQ

Position Nuggets Raptors Advantage
PG Monte Morris Fred Vanvleet Raptors
SG Malik Beasley Mychal Mulder Nuggets
SF Juancho Hernangomez Alfonzo McKinnie Nuggets
PF Tyler Lydon Pascal Siakam Raptors
C Petr Cornelie Jakob Poeltl Raptors
Bench Nikola Radicevic, Robert Carter Jr, Torrey Craig,
Howard Sant-Roos, David Walker, Thomas Bropleh, Xavier Johnson, Dallas Moore, Henry Sims
Will Sheehey, Paul Watson, Kennedy Meeks, Jalen Reynolds, Troy Caupian, OG Anunoby, Justin Edwards,
Cole Huff, Tidjan Keita, JOrdan Loyd Malcom Miller,
Goodluck Okonoboh

The “Veterans”: Beasley is visibly bigger than last season, and it’s obvious he’s put in serious time at the gym. His overall shooting percentage isn’t great, but he’s out there making things happen and he’s managed to rank #1 so far in Summer League Las Vegas. You’ve got to appreciate a guy who gets out there and shows some enthusiasm.

Juancho is also performing fairly well albeit a less than stellar shooting percentage, but I’m going to grade him on a curve given that he’s just had lasik surgery on his eyes and is wearing cumbersome goggles. He’s showing great leadership on the floor with his younger teammates, and I’m hopeful for a solid performance from him next season. I will say that he he needs to get into the gym a little more now that he will probably be coming off the bench for Wilson Chandler at the 3, and some work on his handles would go a long way.

Prospects to watch for: Robert Carter Jr is showing to be an interesting prospect making a very strong debut with the Nuggets in game 1 of Summer League. He brought in 17 points and 6 rebounds against Minnesota making him the third highest scorer behind Beasley and Hernangomez.

Henry Sims also played well against the Timberwolves bringing in 9 points and 4 rebounds in his 22 minutes of play. Monte Morris isn’t looking to be quite NBA ready, but some time in the G-League may get him to where he needs to be next season.

The Nuggets currently rank 3rd from last in Las Vegas this summer so hopefully after getting a couple of games under their belt the Nuggets can compete with Toronto.