The Denver Nuggets’ pre-season ended as quickly as it began. They sealed it off tonight with their second consecutive defeat of Portland Trail Blazers. Once again, the Nuggets jumped on Portland early in the match and quickly made an unbeatable lead. Paul Millsap put twenty-four points in the half and most beginners never played in the second game. The Nuggets go 2–1 in the short introductory period after a 129-96 victory over their division rival.
Malone chose to go with Will Barton in the starting line-up over Michael Porter Jr.and Denver got a head start. Portland responded with a small tour of his own to keep the match close. Parton was extremely aggressive and Paul Millsap looked strong again, but Robert Covington buried some trios to keep the Blazers in. The Nuggets called up their defense when the quarter crossed the midway point and their lead ballooned to two numbers behind 8-0 in Denver. Paul Paul appeared early, scoring less than four minutes. Nuggets bench unit was sturdy down the span as Portland was collapsing again in the first quarter. By one end he drove Denver 41-23.
Denver opened the second half with a hat-trick of Monte Morris and Facundo Campazzo to force Terry Stuts into an early time-out. The extra-long lineup of Nuggets from MPJ, Bol, and Isaiah Hartenstein gave Portland all kinds of spells as the quarter progressed, before she knew the progress was up to thirty. Denver fell in love with the three contenders, and Gary Trent Jr. fell into a pair of jumpers to get Malone to take a time-out and sort things out. Paul Millsap was crushing the Blazers, and his consistency got the Denver attack back on the right track even though the Blazers had more success attacking themselves. The spotlight happened in the quarter-finals when Jokic threw a Tomahawk shot with one hand. Denver got a little bit of dirt at the back end of the half but Millsap was there to fix the ship again. Harris buried the three bell beater to close it and the Nuggets went into the first half with a 79-48 increase.
Denver started the second half with a lot of players resting. Jokic, Jamal Murray, Melesab and Harris all seated to start the third. The quarter also witnessed a scary moment as Derek Jones Jr. embarrassingly fell on his back after a large alley and had to leave the match. This kind of drained the game’s energy and slowed the pace of some ugly ball. Mid-quarter Nuggets are still led by Twenty Nine with their long bench starting check-in as RJ Hampton appeared. Porter netted some shots for the Nuggets but the Blazers were teetering ahead as the quarter-end approached. CJ McCollum was a real thorn in the Denver side with Carmelo Anthony and Trent doing their part as well. PJ Dozier put together two beautiful plays, including An Alley to Bol and then frustrated Milo so much that he was fired. Despite Portland’s run, the Nuggets still lead 22 after three.
The deep bench Nuggets were out for the fourth match and the match was predictably sloppy. Their defense was strong despite Paul, Dosier, Zik Naji and Flatko Kankar shutting things down. Ultimately, Dozer gets some chemistry with the group, dropping three and then setting up Hampton for another. Nnaji also put together his third consecutive impressive match in limited minutes. Although there appeared to be a record number of travel calls in the quarter, the depth of Nuggets definitely looked strong and pushed the advance well over thirty. Marcus Howard scored three minutes before the end, but there wasn’t much to write about as the game ended. Denver wins, departing from 129-96.
Best match: Nugget depth versus rotation of blazers
While Denver initially opted for a rest, the Blazers were not out of Damian Lillard who hadn’t played at all. Terry Stuts stuck to several players alternating along the way while Michael Malone had roughly 11-15 players from the fourth quarter onwards. Although the Nuggets played their long reserves early on, they still managed to keep their big lead. There are a lot of intrigues in men like Bol, Hampton, Campazzo, and Nnaji for a reason. They all have some great aspects of their game and they have highlighted them in this game. There’s no doubt about that, the Nuggets are completely reloaded in the depth section.
The main thing I noticed: The Bol / MPJ combination can be fatal
Perhaps my favorite part of this game was the first bench change that featured Paul and Porter in my forward position. That height and physique is something the Blazers, and most teams, generally don’t answer. Defensively it was difficult at times, but these guys put a lot of pressure on the opponent’s defense through their versatility and silly skills. Paul may not be the minute early in the season, but we saw tonight that if a big man gets injured, he’s probably Malone’s first choice off the bench. Don’t be surprised if he gets his chance, forcing the coach’s hand to keep him spinning. Tossed on another solid night from Isaiah Hartenstein, too. These three men were extremely quickly and far from their wingspan.
Final thought: to the real thing
The pre-season continued as Nuggets fans had hoped. No one has suffered any noticeable injuries and Jokic looks like he’s already in the middle of the season, Parton is back on the field and the Blazers beat a total of 64 points in two games. perfect. Now Denver will have two days to rest before it prepares for Sacramento Kings Wednesday. This team is extremely talented and ridiculously deep. I have a feeling this is going to be a very unforgettable year for Nuggets fans.
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