The Denver Nuggets went from the best start in 40 years to losing four straight and playing a stagnant game.
The Denver Nuggets started off so well and looked so polished that buzz was already beginning about them being second in the West. With the last four games resulting in losses and very much unpolished play the buzz has quickly shifted.
Now the buzz has decided anything positive was premature and this Nuggets squad is just like all the others. With disappointment.
The Nuggets are looking for Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks to right the course and snap the streak they are on. It seems like what should happen with a struggling 3-11 Hawks team, however this is also the time that will send Denver into a crash and burn if not successful.
The Hawks have lost their last five games. It sounds promising until you learn four of those five losses were by single-digits and it starts to look a little bit like what the Nuggets are going through. It won’t be an easy win but there are some points Denver can concentrate on to ensure a victory against Atlanta.
Key number one is defense. The defense is slow and stagnant, flat-footed when the Nuggets lose. Nikola Jokic has played well and not so well and the result was the same when the defense wasn’t present. Glimpses of the past with a defense that seems confused about their roles, standing and watching. An involved defense makes more happen, period.
Key number two is turnovers. For the love of Pete take care of the ball. When the defense is back on their heels, there isn’t a team in the NBA that can afford to turn the ball over that much. Cut cost where you can. Of course you would just like to shoot well enough that it doesn’t matter but that just isn’t realistic.
Key number three is free throws. It’s crazy this has to be a key to success but it is something that can be somewhat controlled. It’s points we can’t afford to give up and we can’t let go of.
Game details as follows:
Atlanta Hawks at Denver Nuggets
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 • 9:00 PM ET
Pepsi Center • Denver, CO
Local TV: FSSE-ATL, ALT
Radio: 92.9 FM The Game, KKSE-FM 92.5/KKSE 950