“All losses are frustrating, not just the last two. We have to be better, that is the message”.
Sent off after losing his temper late in the game, Mike Malone still had his jaw clenched following the Nuggets’ second straight loss, 121-106 in Louisiana. Among the figures chosen to illustrate the bankruptcy of his team, the contribution of his bench compared to that of New Orleans quickly arrived on the table.
In need of a real 6th man
In the wake of an unstoppable Jose Alvarado, the Pelicans bench outclassed the Nuggets with 62 points against 18 for the Rockies franchise. An abyssal gap that highlights a recurring evil on the side of Denver. Where the entry of the Puerto Rican leader changed everything when the locals quickly found themselves at -14, Mike Malone had to rack his brains to find reliable relays on his bench.
In terms of +/-, only the Warriors and Spurs benches have done worse since the start of the season in the league. In the last 15 games, the Nuggets are even 29th, with only San Antonio remaining behind. And the observation was verified again yesterday: behind Nikola Jokic, the Murray-Brown-Gordon trio must be better supported.
Admittedly, Denver does not have the most flamboyant bench in the NBA, but the general production must be better, while waiting for the returns of Jeff Green then Michael Porter Jr to solidify the whole.
Jeff Green expected to return this week
Mike Malone did not hide behind the physical glitches of each other, taking his share of responsibility for this failure which was already 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’s our “glue guy”. We hope he will be able to help this « second unit » when he returns. But the general observation is that it’s « second unit » has suffered most of the time since the start of the season, and I take responsibility for it »did he declare. « For not finding a way to get these guys to play together, the right way, and most importantly, to be successful so that we don’t have to put them back on the bench 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 still being 3rd in the West but the conference is so tight that Denver can quickly tumble in the standings, while teams like Dallas, Portland or Utah, their next three opponents, remain in ambush around the Top 4 in the West.
“We are at 14 wins for 9 defeats, we are not going to panic. I’m not the type to turn everything upside down after two tough defeats. We will review the match and analyze 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|