Denver Nuggets Core has Growing Pains, Searching for Success

Denver Nuggets (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Nuggets SG started off the season on fire.

If you’ll recall, three weeks ago, we were all proclaiming Gary Harris the best SG in the Association and a star for whom there appeared to be no ceiling.  It’s unclear what has happened since and it would be difficult to paint Harris’ contribution over the last two weeks as substandard.

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The thing is, it has been substandard, at least by the measuring stick that Harris himself has established.  He is, after all, averaging 17.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists, he also gets 1.3 steals per game.  Pretty solid stat line for a guy that’s just turned 24.  If you look a little deeper, though, he’s shooting just 34.9% from the three-point line and even more troubling, he’s been turning the ball over at almost a 1:1 ratio with his assists.

Gary has always been a player that can surprise you, quietly scoring 20+ and giving solid defensive effort.  This year is no different, he’s performing well but there is something missing.

Think of the Harris that buried a three at  the buzzer to beat Oklahoma City last year and the ensuing confidence Gary played with until injury cut his season short.  That’s what’s missing and it’s hard to quantify with numbers.  It’s a common thread on this team, something is wrong, we just can’t nail down what exactly that is.

The feeling is that it doesn’t emanate from Harris and that he’s still filling his role admirably, he’s a pawn in bigger problems shared by his “core-mates”, both of whom have had their share of curious play to start the season. Let’s look next at Jamal Murray and where his season has taken him: