Denver Nuggets Use Big Performance by Bench to Power Past the Magic

Dec 10, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) dribbles the ball past Orlando Magic forward Serge Ibaka (7) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets finished down the stretch to beat the Magic in Orlando to get to 9-15.

The Nuggets decided that they were finally going to close out a game for once, as they finished the game on a 19-7 run that helped them power to a win. After dropping 3 of the last 4 games, the Nuggets turned it around with a win and will look to go even on their 6 game road trip on Monday where they will visit a very weak Dallas team. As for tonight, the Nuggets used good games from Nurkic, Jokic, Faried, and Juancho to help them on their way to their 9th win of the season.

Nikola Jokic finished with 14 points on 6 of 11 shooting, but the impact that Jokic makes on the game for the Nuggets is what has been overlooked this season. After stating himself that the “Jurkic” combo wasn’t working, and moving to the bench, Jokic has looked outstanding. Just looking at Jokic’s statline of 14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal, will show you how valuable he is to this team. Jokic also finished with a team best +22 and is showing that he probably should be starting. This was also the first night in the last 5 games where Jokic didn’t have a double-double, all of the games in which Jokic came off the bench.

The rookies have been huge for the Nuggets this season. Jamal Murray has played inconsistent, but even when he isn’t scoring a huge amount, the other parts of his game have been very solid and likeable. As for Juancho Hernangomez, he dropped 14 points, a new career high, and shot 4 of 5 from the 3 point line.

The Nuggets also did a solid job of bouncing back after committing a league-high 29 turnovers against the Wizards, and only committed 12 turnovers against the Magic. Emmanuel Mudiay, who has been critizied for committing turnovers the entirety of his short career finished the night with only one turnover.

Nov 27, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Nikola Jokic (15) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-114. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Studs

Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic has essentially returned to the player he was last season as in the last 5 games, Jokic is averaging 15 points, around 11 rebounds, and 3 assists, per game, while also adding around a steal per game as well. His value has been utilized well, but a starting role would help Jokic exceed. Jokic has been one of the Nuggets best players since their lineup change earlier in November and has shown his worth and how he is an important piece to the Nuggets future.

Kenneth Faried

A game after Faried didn’t record a minute, Faried came out and poured in 19 points alongside 10 rebounds in only 23 minutes. Faried has been very inconsistent this season, but played very good tonight as he shot an incredible 90%.

Dec 10, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) shoots the ball over Orlando Magic forward Serge Ibaka (7) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Duds

Emmanuel Mudiay

After missing a game with an ankle injury, Mudiay didn’t play very good against the Magic. Although he did a good job of controlling the ball and not turning it over, he only added 4 points and struggled while he was in the game as he finished dead last in the plus minus category for the Nuggets with a -13.

Jamal Murray

Murray didn’t play terrible, as he finished with a +17 and had a solid game defensively, but he didn’t shoot well. Murray has been inconsistent shooting as he has gone in and out of slumps multiple times, but he only added 2 points on 1 of 6 shooting, 0 of 3 from three. Jamal Murray’s inconcsistency will continue, as he is only a 19 year old rookie, but tonight wasn’t his night

The Nuggets will head to their last game on their second 6 game road trip of the season, as they will look to finish the trip a decent 3-3 against a struggling Dallas team. The Nuggets have played very inconsistenly lately, and hopefully they can start a winning streak to try and close the gap out of eighth seed.

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