Nuggets’ Problems Go Beyond Historic Bad Night In Portland

At least no one had to spend a lot of time climbing the ladder to get the ball out of the peach basket.


That game was actually live Thursday night, not some historic footage transformed into 2012-quality viewing by modern technology? George Karl coached the Nuggets, not James Naismith?

Denver's shooting vs. Portland, 12/20/12 -- Red=misses, Green=makes

Denver’s shooting vs. Portland, 12/20/12 — Red=misses, Green=makes

That really was live. That really did happen. An NBA team, Denver, a good NBA team at that, really did make one basket from outside the paint the entire game. The Trail Blazers really did beat the Nuggets 101-93 in Portland in a game for the ages.

The Dark Ages.

Not scrounging a hoop outside the paint until the 17-footer from Ty Lawson with 38 seconds remaining was incomprehensible enough. That doesn’t happen. That it happened to the Nuggets, though, increased the level of disbelief.

Yeah, if there was a list of candidates to miss every shot from 3-point range, 22 in this case to set a league record for futility, Denver would have been near the top – it began the night 25th in long-range accuracy. But to go 47 minutes, 22 seconds without tripping over a perimeter basket? Mind boggling.

The Nuggets were sixth in field-goal percentage when they stepped on the court Thursday and someone turned out the lights. They do not have an efficient offense, with turnovers and free throws becoming a real problem, but they do have veteran perimeter players known for something other than defense. Danilo Gallinari, Andre Igoudala, Andre Miller, Lawson – at some point, someone has to accidentally make a bad shot from 15 feet.

And yet, one make from outside the paint, allowing Portland to win on a night it shot all of 35.9 percent.

“You recognized that, did you?” Karl deadpanned afterward when a reporter mentioned the freak statistical happening.

Assume a few others will as well and that the discussion of a Wednesday night in Portland in 2012, or 1957 or 1891 or whatever it was, will continue. That, the 3-point record and the perimeter scoring as a whole, can be written off as a numerical anomaly for the Nuggets, of course, but it should also put a big-picture spotlight on an offense that it struggling.


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  2. Sedare says:

    I think the funny fact is that even though portland went 0-20… they still won the game vs Toronto.

    Denver beat themselves.

  3. Richard says:

    I do agree with those who say the Nuggets need more home games only 8 out of 27, they gave the LAKERS plenty of home games. The IDIOTS WHO RUN THE NBA AND DO THE SCHEDULING should have their heads examined. Plus the Nuggets do neeed to learn how to win on the road.

    • RJ says:

      That just means that they’re going to see more home games later. Every team gets their 41 away and 41 at home by season’s end. I’m sure with the complexity of getting every team to play against the every other team the right number of times, and making sure Denver, for instance, doesn’t have to play in L.A. one night and New York the next night 21 hours later, it just works out that some teams are going to spend big chunks of their season playing on the road.

  4. So many shots in the paint.

  5. Sosay says:

    as a nuggets fan im going to ignore reality and say this is worse for the blazers. they only won by 8 on this historic night.

    • bigwes95 says:

      it’s actually a lot worse for the nuggets. when you score just about all your points in the paint and still lose, you deserve to lose. and blame the nuggets for their bad defense for letting the blazers score at will in the first quarter and putting themselves in a hole like they did. go ahead and try to ignore reality, it’s living in denial. just move on, don’t try putting the target on the blazers back because the nuggets choked.

      • RJ says:

        It’s bad for both teams. The Nuggets have streaky shooters, and not a lot of those, even. The Blazers just let them get in the paint at will. And most of the Nuggets jumpers were wide open. They just got in their own heads. If 2 mid range shots and just 2 of those 22 three pointers go, Portland loses this game. Both teams have problems. But this is going to be a rare scenario for both teams to see, so it’s really worse for the Blazers. You’re going to sink pretty quickly with a defensive effort like that. That said, what the blazers are doing with as few good, reliable players as they have this year (Aldridge, Lillard, Batum, Matthews, Hickson, Leonard, Price, and maybe you could count Jefferies and Babbitt), especially without Aldridge last night, is pretty nice.

  6. Kris Wayne says:

    So they scored almost 90% of their shots in the paint?? Not Bad…

  7. Big Al says:

    That’s why these post-Carmelo clowns are so annoying when they can measure up against the likes of Memphis but falter to a lowly Blazers team. Trading Iverson back then was a bad call, then when Anthony himself no longer saw any hope in Denver, he wanted out as well. The Nuggets lost two superstars and never got any equal replacements for them. Until they find someone of franchise player quality, they will just be an inconsistent B-team.

  8. John says:

    My Question… How did the Blazers allow 91 points in the paint without giving up any jumpshots (i realize free throws are not considered points in the paint… but still)

    • rich says:

      Exactly my thinking – Imagine a few of those shots ‘miraculously go in then this would’ve been a non-story.

      • RJ says:

        Hickson was the only defensive presence inside the whole game from what I saw. Every blazers perimeter player was getting beat. So I guess, that’s how. The Blazers just got lucky Denver couldn’t hit a jump shot.

  9. Herr says:

    One thing I thought was ironic is that the Blazers set that NBA Record a few days ago against Toronto, and the Nuggets quickly beat it.

    I didn’t view the game, but one thing that needs to be mentioned, although not really on topic, is the play of JJ Hickson. He’s putting up All-Star numbers as one of the smallest centers in the league. He really deserves some recognition. I love Lillard, but it’s a shame the NBA is going to be giving him whacky calls like they give Durant, LeBron, Griffin, and Kobe because he’s playing great. I’ve already noticed them hyping too much. We want a fair fight and I hope it doesn’t come down to us winning games because refs give us the benefit of bad calls, which is what teams like the Lakers, Clippers, and Thunder depend on. We don’t want that here in Portland. We’re more honorable than that. But really, I love Lillard and his play, but let’s put some spotlight on JJ Hickson. Dude is straight up BEASTING and is having a much better season than Dwight Howard.

    • John Young says:

      admittedly Hickson is having a great season but why do you have to then go on with some bs about some the best players in the nba. Also with regard to the benefit of bad calls, did you watch the heat v the thunder in the finals earlier this year!!!!! The Thunder get what they deserve and if anything they are somewhat victimized as there the most athletic team in the nba and there opponants cant keep up and refs miss things.

    • Egan says:

      So in your mind JJ’s 12.3ppg, 10.rpg, 0.7apg and 0.7bpg is better than Dwight’s 18.1ppg, 12.2rpg, 2.0apg and 2.6bpg? Very logical.

    • Andrew says:

      Lillard got thrown around last night and got no calls. He does not get the same calls that Durant, LeBron, Griffin, and Kobe do. “I didn’t view the game…” How can you say that and then go on to say that Lillard gets those calls? The officiating was horrible on both sides last night. They weren’t biased they just messed up a lot of calls, specifically deciding when it should be a no call or not. Most of the time it was a no call when it should have been an easy foul call.

      • RJ says:

        Yeah, a lot of calls they made in that game were blown calls, some in favor of the Nuggets, some in favor of the Blazers. And then just a lot of no calls on both sides. I like both of these teams and thought it pretty much evened out, though. Hickson had a great game last night, and has played well every Blazers game I’ve seen to this point, but he’s not at that level yet. He did minimize Kenneth Faried with his own hustle, which was great, though.

  10. TWizz says:

    NBA needs to give them more home games lol. Only 8 home games so far out of 27 games is ridiculous.

  11. Spire says:

    lmao even as a nuggets fan i found this funny. they shoulda smashed the blazers but missed every jumper. lol

  12. Smh says:

    So the only time the Nuggets get a headline on is when they shoot as horribly as they did huh.