Denver Nuggets lackluster start is attributed to poor shooting


The Denver Nuggets recently fell to 1-4 on the young season – losing the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers on a nationally televised game Friday night. What can possibly be holding Denver back from winning ball games? Shooting, shooting, and more shooting.

Denver currently ranks 28th in the entire NBA (third-to-last) in terms of shooting percentage, converting just 41.9% percent of their shots. The main reason it’s so low is because the players that Denver relies on to score the basketball rank in the bottom half of the team’s shooting percentage.

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Granted Darrell Arthur is not a player Denver really depends on to score the ball, he still is a key role player who stretches the floor for them at the power forward position.

As you can tell by those numbers, they aren’t pretty by any means. Danilo Gallinari has certainly not been the same player we’ve seen two years ago – prior to his ACL injury. Gallo’s numbers are a bit of a concern, but he had somewhat of a bounce back game Friday vs. Cleveland – 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting over a span of 20 minutes.

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As for point guard Ty Lawson – what gives? The fifth-year veteran out of UNC has struggled early on and was scratched from Friday’s game vs. Cleveland due to a sore ankle. Lawson is averaging 12.5 points over four games, shooting 38.2% from the field and a woeful 14.3% from three-point range. Granted, Lawson isn’t exactly known for his three-point shot, but shooting 14.3% is unacceptable from a guy who has averaged 37.3% throughout his career.

Arron Afflalo was brought back to Denver in hopes to be possibly a go-to-scorer and a lock down defender – we haven’t really seen much of either. Afflalo is shooting just 26.3% from three early on, averaging just 9.4 points per contest. Denver will need Afflalo to score more often to help this team become successful.

Wilson Chandler has slimmed down and looks more comfortable out there, yet his field goal percentage is relatively low. Chandler has recorded 10+ points in each of Denver’s last three games, shooting 15-for-37 over that span. A rough game against Oklahoma City and Detroit plummeted his shooting percentage, but Chandler looks to be picking it up in Brian Shaw‘s offense.

All-in-all, Denver’s lack of success thus far has attributed to their shooting percentage and shot selection. I can recall a numerous amount of times in the game against Sacramento at home where Denver missed an abundant of wide-open shots – something they need to correct.

One thing I’ve noticed with this team is they settle for way too many jump-shots – not suited to their rosters strength. The team that won 57-games two years ago under George Karl was a running team, one that attacked the basket without hesistation. This team is the complete opposite in terms of attacking the basket. In order for them to become successful, they must attack and push the tempo at times, instead of setting for jumpers.

Denver looks to get back into the win column Sunday night as they take on the Northwest Division rival Portland Trailblazers on the road. Tip-off from the Moda Center is scheduled for 9:00 PM EST, 7:00 PM MST.