Bench production, the Nuggets’ recurring bane
“All defeats are disappointing, not just the last two. We have to be better, that is the message”.
Kicked out after losing his temper late in the game, Mike Malone’s jaw was still clenched following the Nuggets’ second straight loss, 121-106 at Louisiana. Among the figures chosen to illustrate his team’s bankruptcy, the contribution of his bank compared to New Orleans quickly came to the table.
Need a real 6th man
Behind the unstoppable Jose Alvarado, the Pelicans bench outscored the Nuggets with 62 points to 18 for the Rockies franchise. An abyssal gap that highlights repeated badness on Denver’s side. Where the entry of the Puerto Rican leader changed everything when the locals quickly found themselves at -14, Mike Malone had to rack his brain to find reliable relays in his bank.
In terms of +/-, only the Warriors and Spurs benches have done worse since the start of the league season. In the last 15 games, the Nuggets are 29th, trailing only San Antonio. And the observation was proven again yesterday: behind Nikola Jokic, the Murray-Brown-Gordon trio should be better supported.
Admittedly, Denver does not have the most flamboyant bench in the NBA, but the general production should be better, while waiting for the return of Jeff Green and then Michael Porter Jr. to stabilize the whole.
Jeff Green is expected to return this week
Mike Malone did not hide behind each other’s physical glitches, taking his share of responsibility for this failure that was one of the weak points of his team last season.
“We will have to wait and see. Hopefully Jeff (Green) will be back in the next game. He was a key player for us, a starter for a large part of the season last year. He is our “glue guy”. I hope he can help this “second unit” on his return. But the general observation is that this “second unit” has often suffered since the beginning of the season, and it’s my responsibility”did he declare. “For not finding a way to get these guys to play, the right way, and more importantly, to be successful so we don’t put them back on the bench too quickly in the 2nd quarter. -time and in the 4th quarter. So again , I take responsibility. After 23 games, it continues to be a big problem.
This is not the time for a crisis, however, the Nuggets are still 3rd in the West but the conference is so tight that Denver can quickly fall in the standings, while teams like Dallas, Portland or Utah, the their next three opponents, remain in ambush around the Top 4 in the West.
“We are at 14 wins for 9 defeats, we will not panic. I’m not the type to give it all back after two heavy losses. We will analyze the match and evaluate the best options,” concluded Mike Malone.
|Michael Porter, Jr.||16||29.1||46.6||42.7||80.0||1.2||4.8||6.0||1.3||1.1||0.6||0.4||2.6||16.4|
|Bruce Brown, Jr.||22||29.7||46.4||40.0||87.5||1.0||3.4||4.4||4.6||1.8||1.1||0.5||2.4||11.1|