After a crazy off-season which saw Andre Iguodala, Kosta Koufos, Corey Brewer, George Karl, and Masai Ujiri all head out of the Mile High City. Nate Robinson, J.J. Hickson, Randy Foye, and Darrel Arthur all arrived in Denver as they will join the rest of our Nuggets squad to begin he Brian Shaw era.
The 1st Qtr. of the new NBA season was a very even affair. Denver and Sacramento traded baskets, and no surprise that Ty Lawson was the main man in the early minutes. Denver’s bench accounted for 13 1st Qtr. points. After the 1st, Denver was down 25-22. In the 2nd Qtr. Sacramento came out much more aggressive going on an early run to extend their lead. Andre Miller was his usual self helping out with 10 first half points, and the Nuggets bench combined for 19 points to help Denver erase Sacramento’s lead to only 47-45 at the half. Ty Lawson had a solid 1st half of the new NBA season with 11pts, 5ast, and 4rbs.
The 2nd half began with the Kings by far the more forceful team, but Denver hung tough and withstood the beginning surge by Sacramento. As the 3rd Qtr. continued, Denver’s defense continued to get better which was a pleasant surprise, as they held Sacramento to under 40% shooting. The big Russian big man for the Denver, Timofey Mozgov played some impressive minutes as JaVale McGee was in foul trouble most of the night. After 3 Qtr.’s, Denver was up 72-70. As this game got to the late stages in the 4th, the game came down to the smallest of margins. A put back dunk by Kings put them up 90-88 with under a minute remaining. Shockingly, Ty Lawson who was the best Nugget player tonight missed a turnaround layup. It was contested, BUT he definitely should have made the basket. Still, Denver had 0.9sec remaining to make something happen and unfortunately Randy Foye’s three pointer was off line. Denver finished with 5 players in double figures with Ty Lawson (20pts, 8asts), and J.J. Hickson (12pts, 9rbs) lead the way.
With that the Denver Nuggets start the 2013/2014 with a tough loss to the Sacramento Kings. All is not lost, as there are still 81 regular season games to go. Plus there were some bright spots as Denver’s D looked much improved, but the inability to get a quality shot in last few minutes hurt Denver ultimately. 16pts in the 4th Qtr. is not going to win you many games in the NBA. This Nuggets team is going to be a much different team than we are used to seeing. With Gallo and Chandler still injured, if Denver can stay middle of pack, when they get healthy they could be a very effective team.
The Nuggets will return home for their home opener at the Pepsi Center on Friday against the Portland Trailblazer. Dig in Nuggets nation, the season has just begun!