The Denver Nuggets defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 29 to get to 5-1 on the season at that point. The team held a high-powered Pelicans offense to 111 points, 11 points under their season average before that game. Obviously, their scoring and offensive efficiency took a hit as their MVP caliber power forward Anthony Davis sat out the contest. Nonetheless, the team pulled out another Nuggets victory thanks to a few key defensive stops late in the fourth quarter.
MVP of the game
If you watched the game, you could tell the Nuggets were not as engaged as they should have been. Their defensive intensity was sub-par and the team looked to coast to a victory. This lackadaisical play can be attributed to Davis not playing. Still, the Nuggets lack of focus almost cost them a key home victory.
Luckily, the Nuggets survived another fourth quarter collapse thanks to star shooting guard Gary Harris. Harris has been one of the Nuggets’ most consistent players this season. He is beginning to establish himself as another leader for this young squad.
Harris’s defense helped seal this victory. He came up with three key steals in the final five minutes to put the game away. His quick hands and defensive instincts helped lead the Nuggets to easy transition baskets. Basically, Harris is producing heavily on both ends of the floor. This performance is another display of why he should be considered an All-NBA defensive player.
What does this game mean for the Nuggets?
This type of game is a game that most coaches would want to just forget about. The effort was lacking and the team just looked uninterested throughout the whole game. Thankfully, the Nuggets walked away with a win, but Coach Malone needs better effort from his team during “less hyped” games.
If the Nuggets want to be successful this year they need to play with consistent effort. Every team knows that they are going to have some games where shots are not falling or the game gets sloppy. Even the Golden State Warriors fall into lulls like that. Nevertheless, they play hard even when their shots are not falling. The Nuggets need to play hard each game and play with elite focus if they want to sustain the success that they know they can achieve.
This game may not have been their best performance, but it is a great learning experience of how they cannot play in the future.
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