ESPN praises Denver Nuggets’ stingy defense
The Denver Nuggets returned to the No. 1-rated defensive team (101.5) after holding the Knicks to 92 points Thursday. The team had temporarily slipped to second after surrendering 105 points in its loss to the Lakers Tuesday. Defense has been their backbone in 2019-20 and the catalyst of the team’s 14-5 start to the season. ESPN’s Zach Lowe likes what he’s seen.
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“Holy hell are the Nuggets flying around to close windows before opposing offenses slide through them. They rotate with both ferocity and calm attentiveness -- a tough balance to strike. Players rarely stray from the scheme, zip somewhere they shouldn't, or bite on fake cuts and other trickery.
They know where the offense wants to go, and which teammates might need a little extra help -- and when. They don't over-rotate providing that help. Their best possessions are filled with leans and half-slides -- just enough to make the offense hesitate, but not so much that anyone ends up out of place. It is quite artful. This is one way roster continuity manifests: chemistry on defense…
Paul Millsap is a rock. Jamal Murray has stepped up his physicality and effort. Denver is 14-5. If it rediscovers its verve on offense, watch out.”
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