Denver Nuggets Thrive Off of Fast Pace
The Denver Nuggets are obviously a team that likes to get up and down the floor. With guards like Ty Lawson and Andre Iguodala and a young, athletic frontcourt, it makes sense that they would like to run. In fact, the Nuggets have the second-highest pace factor, a measure of the number of possessions per 48 minutes, in the NBA at 97.63. Denver is currently at 41-22 and in fifth-place in the Western Conference, so they are obviously effective at this style of play.
The interesting thing about the Nuggets is how great of a team they are in games where they have a lot of possessions and, subsequently, a high number of field goal attempts. As it turns out, the Nuggets play at such a fast pace because they are unbelievably hard to beat when they play that way.
This season, Denver has played in 28 games where they have taken 85 or more shots in regulation. In those games the Nuggets are 21-7. Of those seven losses, five of them came in games where they shot below their season average of 47.7 percent from the field, with the other two losses coming largely because of poor defensive play.
Looking at their possessions even further, the Nuggets have played in 12 games this season where they’ve had 90 or more field goal attempts in regulation. In those 12 contests, the Nuggets are a fantastic 10-2.
Their record in high-possession games indicates that the Nuggets are a team that is playing the way they should. When they are able to control the pace and flow of the game and allow themselves to have a large amount of possessions, they thrive. If they want to have a successful run in the postseason, they have to be able to take control and make games high-octane instead of ones that force them to execute in half-court sets. If they are able to control the pace, they have a chance to make some definite noise in the playoffs.
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