The defensive agenda was just plain blown off. Marcus Camby had an uncharacteristically low seven rebounds, Nene only grabbed five, and Reggie Evans led the team with eight. As a team the Nuggets were outrebounded 45-38, which is not a good sign if you’re the league’s best rebounding club. And If only the Nuggets problems could have just ended there they might have had a chance, but when you not only fail to have a double digit rebounder you can ill afford not reaching double-digits in any other category but points. There is no excuse for the kind of box score that the Nuggets finished with. It just shows that they just had no energy and a lack of focus tonight.
Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson were just as bad on offense as they were on defense. The two combined for 11-33 from the field, including 1-6 from downtown. ‘Melo finished with 23 and Iverson with 18. These two are combining for an average of 59 points on most nights, and those missing 18 points were devastating to Denver’s chances of a win.
If there is anything positive that can be taken away from this game it is that J.R. Smith is fulfilling his requested role quite nicely. It is never easy to move from the starting line-up to the bench, but J.R. is doing a fine job in the minutes he is playing. He finished the team’s leading scorer with 28 points, and is currently third best in three-pointers made per game in the NBA. Sometimes it is easy to forget that J.R. is only 21-years of age and in just currently in his third year of NBA basketball. His defense still needs to work, but his efforts are there and his progression can be noticed when comparing his defense from early this year up to this point.
Denver is lucky that they are going have a day off before they face the struggling Bobcats. I don’t know what it was that impeded the Nuggets from playing at a level more familiar, but the answer better materialize in the next 36 hours. Charlotte is still a team of professionals and the Nuggets will get beat if they put up another half-hearted effort against them and any other team in this league. For now, that is all I have to say.