The Denver Nuggets were trying to get back on track Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs after having their winning streak snapped by the New Orleans Hornets. The game was close and the Nuggets lost by only one point despite not making a single three-point basket.
This team has struggled from beyond the arc all season, but not making a single three on 10 attempts is not going to get it done in the NBA postseason.
Ty Lawson finally returned to the starting lineup but didn’t even reach 20 minutes in playing time, still struggling with an ankle injury. He managed to turn up the pace and got the Nuggets up by as many 14 in the second quarter. The Nuggets shot better from inside the arc and from the line, but couldn’t make one stinking three to win the game.
The bench had to step up for the starters as they struggled to score. JaVale McGee was a force to be reckoned with, scoring 21 points and collecting 11 rebounds. Wilson Chandler is looking himself again after injuring his shoulder and showed the Nuggets once again how to take the ball to the hoop. Andre Miller had a decent game but missed the last shot that would’ve won the game. Lawson wasn’t on the floor for the last shot, but let’s hope he is back being the one to sink the game winners soon.
The Nuggets struggled making and defending the three ball in the loss against the Hornets as well. They shot only 31.2 percent but allowed 56.0 percent.
They have done poorly in this area all season. They are shooting 34.3 percent on three-pointers for the season, good enough for 24th in the league. They are 21st in defending from beyond the arc with 36.5 percent allowed.
Allowing 10 three-pointers and scoring none is no way to win a basketball game. The Nuggets defense needs to stop giving up open looks. Danilo Gallinari did this multiple times against the Spurs, getting to his defender too late and allowing a wide open look.
It’s great to see the team actually making free-throws, especially ones late in the game. However, they need to step up their play beyond the arc in order to win the close games in the playoffs.