The Denver Nuggets were looking for their first winning streak of the season and stay undefeated at home in their matchup with the Washington Wizards.
Here are the grades from the Nuggets 109-104 loss versus the Wizards that turned on a Nikola Jokic technical foul in the last minute of the game.
Jamal Murray: C-
Murray, among many other players on the Nuggets roster, has not found a groove or rhythm within the Nuggets offense. He continues to look hesitant and like he is being torn between being himself and trying to overcompensate for the Nuggets selfless style of basketball. Murray did a good job taking care of the ball and played hard on defense but failed to make a large impact against the Wizards.
Gary Harris: D+
Harris continues to impress with the ball in his hands. He got the Nuggets scoring started by blowing by Bradley Beal in isolation and proceeded to put up four assists in the first quarter alone. If Harris continues to refine his game with the ball in his hands he could be in for another developmental leap. While all of that is fine and dandy, Harris ended up struggling for the rest of the game and looked out of sorts on the offensive end. He was turning the ball over, failing to catch passes cleanly, and could not get his shot to fall. Again, like many Nuggets, Harris looked discombobulated for much of the night.
Chandler’s struggles continued against the Wizards. He did not necessarily play badly but has failed to find himself a role within the offense thus far. Chandler almost always finds a way to help his team but there is so much untapped potential considering his skill set within the Nuggets offensive system. Overall, Chandler helped the Nuggets but there is so much more room for improvement.
Paul Millsap: C+
Millsap was quiet for most of the first half and was differing much more to his teammates throughout the game but once the third quarter rolled around Millsap began to feast on the smaller lineups that the Wizards were playing with. Millsap had nine points on 4-5 shooting in the third quarter as he kept the Nuggets afloat. That offensive burst is what allowed the Nuggets to stay within striking distance of the Wizards as the game came to a close.
Nikola Jokic: B
Jokic came into the matchup with the Wizards with the intention of asserting himself and assert himself he did. From the opening tip Jokic was shooting, playmaking, rebounding, and playing solid defense as he paced the Nuggets throughout the first half accumulating 16 points on 6-8 shooting to go with five rebounds and three assists. While Jokic had his best game of the season he did have far too many turnovers so for that he gets docked.
Emmanuel Mudiay: C+
Mudiay started out aggressive against the Wizards but was more out of control than he has been throughout the season so far. He showed off the vision and velocity on his passes that made him so tantalizing when he was drafted but the same turnover issues remain. Mudiay has taken a positive step, there is no denying that, but he still has quite the ways to go. Mudiay did hit a couple catch-and-shoot threes and had a nice sequence on defense midway through the fourth quarter.
Will Barton: C
Barton struggled out of the gate and never found a rhythm. He was looking to call his own number early but his jump shot was not falling and he was unable to make plays for his teammates. He turned up the offensive production in the second half but still looked like he was playing a bit outside of the offense as opposed to within the system. Barton did play defense with tons of effort, which has been a very positive development from the first three games, but overall it was not the best game from Barton.
Faried’s energy, as usual, was infectious as he was able to impact the game on both ends of the court. Not only was he gobbling up rebounds and scoring in the paint but also was showing a pass-happy side of himself as he hit Barton in stride for a beautiful assist as well as hit a jab-step pull-up jumper he uncorked. Faried just continues to produce when given minutes and it seems that his pairing with Jokic is too good to pass up. This was another solid game from Faried.
Plumlee was a ghost in the first half but turned up the intensity in the second half that directly led to the Nuggets getting back into the game after being down by as much as seven points in the third quarter. Nothing on the stat sheet would tell you that Plumlee was super impactful but he played with pace, was setting strong screens, and did not turn the ball over much. He helped the Nuggets in his time on the court and for that, he gets a solid grade.
Michael Malone: B
The Denver Nuggets offense continues to have more questions surrounding it than answers. Malone needs to find a common denominator that can get this Nuggets offense back on track. Some of the Nuggets players have looked visibly frustrated on the court as the fluidity continues to lack.