Denver lost to Dallas on Monday night in a game in which they turned the ball over 21 times while the Mavericks only turned it over 3 times. The major story of the game was obviously turnovers, but it was not necessarily stellar defense that caused them. The Nuggets played like the young team they are and simply beat themselves.
Every player that played more than 8 minutes for the Nuggets had at least one turnover. Both Kenneth Faried, in his first game back after missing six straight, and Emmanuel Mudiay had four turnovers apiece. Those turnovers were clearly costly and the Nuggets lack of care for the ball was just something that comes from a team playing too loosely and sloppily.
Some players on the Nuggets did have good game despite the tough loss. Sixth Man of the Year candidate, Will Barton, continued to state his case for the end of the year award and put up 23 off the bench on 7-14 shooting from the field and 5-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Barton continues to play as a great force off the bench and a consistent bright spot throughout the season. Mudiay, ignoring his turnovers, also played really well. He put up 16 points on a decent night of shooting, but also tallied 6 rebounds and 7 assists. A good, rounded game like this show some of Mudis potential to play as a star. If he can now cut down on the turnovers while still playing aggressively, he will develop into the player the Nuggets thought they were getting when they drafted him. Don’t get me wrong, Mudiay has played great all year, but he has a ways to go still.
Gary Harris was the only other Nugget to score in double figures with 13 points. It was yet another solid performance from Harris who has been an extremely consistent player all year long. The young core for this team is very solid and very promising and watching them put it all together is a pleasure.
The Mavericks played as a team fighting for a playoff spot as nearly every player showed up. Seven different players scored in double figures and the Mavs held onto the ball where the Nuggets couldn’t. Going into the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the Mavs had only turned the ball over once. They tripled that number in the final three minutes, but ultimately they had enough of a lead to seal the deal.
The Nuggets get a day of rest before getting back to the action against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nuggets will look to win for the first time against the Grizzlies this season as they have lost the previous three games.