The Cavaliers had just too much firepower last night in Cleveland. There was just too much experience with the Cavs. There were just too many All-Stars against the Nuggets. There were just too many tired legs for the Nuggets. There were 3 starters out for the Nuggets.
Denver played valiantly. Against the world champions they fought even for a half, 59-55 But the reality of 4 games in 5 nights, playing back to back games with three starters out became apparent. How can you win under these circumstances?
After the first half the Nuggets couldn’t shoot and the opposition could. This has happened before during this year although Denver has been better during the third quarter as of late.
Notwithstanding tired legs, this is all mental and preparations focus.
The Nuggets missed the target and the Cavs plastered the target.
Tired legs equals poor defense.
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Tired legs led to hoisting 3 after 3 for Denver as it’s easier than driving, but with tired legs results: 12-37, 32.4%. Their arrows missed the mark and were largely short.
Cleveland shot over the Nuggets beyond the rainbow hitting 15-30, 50%. They took better shots. There was a 9 points differential.
Under the rainbow it was Nuggets 39-97, 40.2% and the Cavaliers shot 46-84, 54.8%. That’s a 14 point differential. End of game.
The Cavs had more effort on defense. This was the result of the difference with their fresh legs. The Nuggets had big hearts but tired legs.
Dec 5, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) warms up before action against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
There were still some bright spots
New observations from this game include an O’Bryant viewing. The powerful youngster had 6 points and a couple of boards in 11 minutes. At 157 pounds he can bang, move and is aggressive. He averaged 18 in the D-league and probably deserves more exposure. He is also tough as a defender.
The Nuggets particularly missed Danilo Gallinari’s accuracy and Kenneth Faried’s rebounds and if they would have played, the game could have been closer.
This was a tremendous experience for the young Denver squad. Get some rest and get the squad cars out for another fun run on the West Coast on Monday vs. Golden State.