After registering the league’s sixth-best half-court offense a year ago, the Denver Nuggets have slipped to 29th in that category according to CleaningTheGlass.com.
The Nuggets are averaging just 84.9 points per 100 plays in the half-court this season after scoring 95.5 a year ago and after a couple games where it looked like Denver was ironing out some creases on that end of the floor, the Nuggets as an offensive unit took a step back in their 17-point defeat in Portland Monday night.
On the season, Denver is still the 14th-most efficient offense in the league, but that’s in a large part due to the Nuggets being second in putback points and fourth in transition scoring. Right now Denver is getting the “easy points” (Ben Falk’s words), which is a crucial component to their attack but Denver is struggling to execute in the half-court.
Take this set from Monday night for example. Typically, good things happen when Nikola Jokic brings the ball up the floor and dribbles into a dribble-hand-off sequence with one of the Nuggets’ wings. He gets that here with Wilson Chandler.