Player Grades: Denver at Charlotte
Despite a career sixth tripe double from Nikola Jokic, Denver choked on the road.
The Denver Nuggets’ playoff hopes are on life support now. While there is still a minuscule chance at the post season, I along with many other fans think it’s time to shoot the metaphorical old horse that resembles the Nuggets’ season.
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The Nuggets looked as if they were in good shape for a good portion of the game. However, the Hornets took over when it counted most. They played Denver’s own game and won. The Hornets were able to drain 17 three pointers compared to Denver’s 16. Just a minor difference, but Charlotte still won the battle in that aspect.
The one bright spot from this game for the Nuggets was Nikola Jokic. Jokic was able to record his sixth career triple double by posting 26 points, 10 assists, and 13 rebounds. He now has posted the fourth most triple doubles this year only trailing, yep you guessed it, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and LeBron James. I think it is abundantly clear at this point to any Nuggets fan that Jokic will be the centerpiece to build around for the future.
At the end of the night though, Charlotte had the better overall team performance and it resulted in a big win for them. Kemba Walker was his usual All-Star self putting up 31 points, but guys like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Nicolas Batum, and Frank Kaminsky were vital in outperforming Denver.
Kidd-Gilchrist was able to make his presence felt on the glass collecting 7 boards and also made a huge impact defensively. He blocked two shots and grabbed two steals as well. However, Frank Kaminsky had one of his better games as a pro. He scored 22 points and shot 53.8% from the field.
Even with Gary Harris dropping 20 points, Kenneth Faried getting a solid double double, the Nuggets just simply could not make a must win game on the road count. Denver may as well start looking ahead to the draft and free agency now.