DENVER — Despite a late rally, the Nuggets suffered an upset loss to Brooklyn at home on Sunday in a game that highlighted a potential weakness of Denver in the postseason.
In a Monday edition of the Locked On Nuggets podcast, host Adam Mares discussed why the Nets deploying the “cheat code” of five-out offense worked and what it shows about Denver.
“The Brooklyn Nets provided a preview of the playoffs. It’s small ball with great shooting and five-out attack,” Mares said on the show.” And you run that against Jokic which is big ball, bully ball, and what is going to work? Can Denver and their high-powered offense out-perform against a team that goes five out?”
Brooklyn went 17-44 from deep, dished 32 assists as they shared the ball expertly, and only turned the ball over eight times. Denver was able to use size to their advantage with 15 offensive rebounds and a plus-22 advantage in points in the paint, but it wasn’t enough.
“(The Nets) have a bunch of wings, not a lot of guards, and not a lot of centers. The Nuggets have the center, Nikola Jokic, a traditional center, they’ve got a lot of guards, they play a lot of guards and not a lot of wings,” Mares explained. “So it’s really an inversion of the Denver Nuggets in a lot of ways, and that’s why this is such a compelling matchup.”
Denver won the fourth quarter by nine points but it was not enough, as they lost anyway. Even with the loss, the Nuggets remain comfortably in pole position for the top seed in the Western Conference. But Sunday’s loss gave a clear example of a game plan that can beat Denver come playoff time.