Nuggets Back in Action Against Cleveland

LAS VEGAS — Though the result of the first game wasn’t what they had hoped, on Saturday Nuggets summer league coach Ryan Bowen reminded the team that there were still plenty of positives. 

He leaned into those as they also corrected mistakes in advance of their second summer league game against Cleveland, 5 p.m. today at Cox Pavilion.

“We did some good things,” Bowen said. “Just to let them know how close we were to winning that game.” 

The Nuggets went through a light practice session on Saturday. The top priorities to be corrected were turnovers — they had 17 in the loss to Minnesota — and defensive coverages. After the Nuggets cut a 14-point lead down to one with 1:18 left in the game against the Timberwolves, Minnesota outscored them 8-2 to seal the win, going 3-for-3 from the field in the process. 

Cleveland enters the game having won its first contest, 99-90 over the San Antonio Spurs. Nuggets first-round pick Christian Braun will face his former Kansas Jayhawks teammate, Ochai Agbaji. Agbaji had 16 points and made four 3-pointers in the victory over San Antonio. 

Today’s game is another opportunity for growth for Braun and all of the Nuggets draft picks. Each had areas in which they displayed a lot of promise for the future, and they’ll look to build on that foundation. 

“It’s definitely more about development and growing,” Bowen said. “Obviously, we all want to win, but at the end of the day that’s more important.”

Meanwhile, the team got a boost from the presence of some of the veterans on the roster. Jamal Murray, Zeke Nnaji, Davon Reed, and Bones Hyland were all in attendance at Saturday’s practice and did some scrimmaging with the summer league players. 

“It was great, obviously, to have our guys here,” Bowen said.