Redundantly, the Nuggets got little to no help offensively from anyone but Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. ‘Melo finished the game’s high-scorer with 34 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals, but is still not taking proper care of the basketball as he turned over the rock seven times. Allen Iverson was also having problems making sound decisions with the basketball finishing with 26 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, a block and nine sloppy turnovers. In total the Nuggets coughed up the leather 23 times resulting in 20 Maverick points.
The only other reliable support came from Marcus Camby. The Captain had a nice game tonight with a game-high 17 rebounds, ten points, four steals, two blocks, and seven assists.
As a team it is still defensively where the Nuggets are struggling the worst, and it is no surprise that as they struggle on one end of the floor they can’t get anything going on offense either. Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, and Jerry Stackhouse all had solid games with the trio combining for 74 points on 28 of 55 shooting. Dallas got good looks at the basket, numerous second chances on eleven offensive rebounds, and consequentially shot a smoking 51 percent from the field. Very rarely do the Nuggets turn and box out their man and teams are going to continue to feast on their inability to start their fast break with the simplest execution of fundamental concepts.
On offense, the Nuggets are guilty of standing around and watching AI and ‘Melo, and both AI and ‘Melo are guilty of pounding and suffocating the air out of the ball. Too many times Allen Iverson comes down the floor and dominates the shoot clock dribbling around the perimeter instead of making a quick pass, moving without the ball, and sometimes getting it back in a better position to score off a pass. Because of this I feel that the other Nuggets are not feeling involved in the offense and get caught standing around in observation. ‘Melo too is guilty of receiving the ball on the wing and working too much shot clock jab stepping and ball faking. I would like to see him receive the ball, turn and face, and make his move. If after he takes a quick look at any double team on the way, the defensive position, and his teammates there has to be decision made quicker and with more precision.
The Nuggets are off tomorrow night, but face the struggling Memphis Grizzlies on Monday in what is a must win game. The Grizz are 15-42 on the year despite coming off a win against the Trailblazers on Friday night. Any sort of confidence right now would go a long way for the Nuggets. Even if it is in the form of good practice tomorrow. You have to start somewhere, and after the looks of tonight's loss, square one would probably be a wise place for George Karl and staff to begin.