The Nuggets Picking Flowers Early in the Garden

Alejandro Botello, Sports Reporter

The Denver Nuggets rolled into Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks, but despite a spirited second-half comeback, the Nuggets fell short 116-110.

Coming off of a great win over the Nets the night prior, the Nuggets looked to continue their streak but sadly the team came out sluggish, falling behind early 9-22.

Denver only managed to score 18 points in the 2nd quarter, shooting a disappointing 5-20 from the field. New York continued to thrive as they scored 30 points, taking them into the half with an impressive 65-43 lead.  

They dug themselves into a deep hole, but the Nuggets would not go quietly. The 3rd quarter started off sluggish forcing coach Michael Malone to take an early timeout.

“Listen, you got a couple more minutes to show me you wanna play,”  Malone told his team.

Thanks to the aggressive defense and Gary Harris’s amazing performance, the Nuggets were able to force the Knicks into 9 turnovers. As shots began to fall Denver went on a 27 to 2 scoring run and took a 2 point lead with 4:42 left in the 3rd quarter leaving Denver only trailing 81-84.

An issue that plagues many young teams is keeping the same intensity with substitute players and Denver is no exception.  After the amazing spark the starters gave the team the bench came in lacking that same fire. Knicks Guard, Tim Hardaway Jr, scored 11 straight points making 3 three-pointers in a row after the Nuggets had closed the gap to one point.

The Nuggets heroic comeback was short lived and a case of too little too late. Coach Malone said it best, “you can’t dig yourself into a hole.”

The Nuggets came out picking flowers while the Knicks were playing basketball but every loss for a young team is a learning experience.

Nugget takeaways:

  • Do not wait until you’re down 20 to start playing with energy.  

The lack of energy and physicality cost the Nuggets big time.Knicks center, Kyle O’Quinn, dominated the offensive and defensive glass collecting 12 rebounds. The rotations on defense were off and gave Porzingis a lot of open looks from three, and deep in the fourth players forgot to mark Hardaway Jr and allowed him to score those monster three-pointers.

  • When you play hard good things happen 

The Nuggets came out of their first timeout in the 3rd with a fire and desire to win. Their 3rd quarter defense held the Knicks to just 19 points and helped them erase a 22 point deficit.

  • Our Young Point Guards are starting to produce.

Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay struggled in the first couple of games this season. Neither point guard could score or shoot from anywhere on the floor.. Murray finished the night with 20 points and Mudiay 15. If our guards can continue to produce, our offensive firepower will increase significantly.

  • We Will Not Go Away

The Nuggets are really good at falling behind in games. It happened against the Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets, and now the Knicks but what is most impressive is their fighting spirit. Even if they are down 20+ points they keep playing until the last buzzer sounds.

Whats Next?

The Nuggets prepare for a six-game homestand and host the Toronto Raptors Wednesday, November 1st. Toronto took both games last year, so the Nuggets are looking to even the score ball tips off at 7 pm Mountain Time.