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1. The mapping out of a play is less than half of the battle in basketball. The timing, rhythm, and subtle reads that each player makes are what determine if a play will generate an open shot or not. The two clips below provide nice examples of this. In the first clip, both Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon elect…...

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1. Some turnovers are solely the result of a sloppy play or a missed reads. Others are heavily influenced by poor spacing that allows the defense to double the passer, crowd passing lanes, and eliminate large portions of the court. The turnover below is a great example of how easy the Nuggets are to defend when they place non-shooters alongside…...

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1. Aaron Gordon’s on-ball defense has exceeded expectations. He had shown flashes of elite defense throughout his career, most notably in the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs where he did an admirable job against Kawhi Leonard over the course of their five-game series. But through four games with the Denver Nuggets, Gordon has looked like a first-team all-defensive…...

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1. By now everyone reading THE LIST is familiar with C Corner, one of the Nuggets’ most commonly used actions. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Nuggets got Aaron Gordon’s first dunk off of this action.  The Nuggets have run this for Michael Porter Jr. and Paul Millsap in the corner spot and have had great success. With…...

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1. The most important aspect of Aaron Gordon’s skillset is his one-on-one defense. He does a great job of keeping his defender in front of him, utilizing his size and strength to contest shots, and moving his feet without fouling. He is more of a disciplined defender than overly aggressive defender, playing the angles and keeping the offense away from…...

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1. I love the way Michael Porter Jr. sets up the dribble handoff (DHO) with Nikola Jokic on this possession. Often times it’s the tiny details that gain you an advantage on any given possession. By getting the defender in the air and off balance, Porter is able to sprint into the handoff and take the wide open mid-range jumper.…...

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1. Zeke Nnaji continues to demonstrate great fundamentals and attention to detail on the defensive end. In the clip below, he closes out on Carmelo Anthony quickly and under control before taking a great angle to cut off Anthony’s drive toward the basket. https://youtu.be/jvw1L-_dLRc 2. Nnaji does a good job of staying locked in both mentally and physically. The mental…...

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1. There are complexities to the game of basketball and there are subtleties hidden in the tiny details of how an NBA team structures their defense. But few of those subtleties matter when a team is as incapable of keeping the ball out of the paint as the Denver Nuggets were against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday…...

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1. People think of “chemistry” as an offensive attribute but is just as much a sign of familiarity and connection on the defensive end of the floor. In the clip below, Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic execute a great, quick switch back after Murray gets witched out onto a big. Plays like this as well as seamless rotations are a…...

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1. The most interesting and important detail to come out of Monday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks was Michael Porter Jr. demonstrating a positive defensive impact, in particular on the backside as a helper on PnRs. https://youtu.be/tTcc6g1XuWM 2. He also had a few great possessions defending Luka Doncic, despite Doncic hunting for him on that end of the court. https://youtu.be/HuWtyiWJgP0…...

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1. One of the things that the Denver Nuggets can do to improve their flow in the half court is to improve their timing on secondary reads. In the clip below, Jamal Murray reacts slowly to a backdoor cut that could’ve segued perfectly into a dribble handoff with Nikola Jokic. Instead, he allows the defense to reset before walking into…...

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1. A few weeks ago I highlighted how PJ Dozier got an earful from Nikola Jokic when he wasn’t recognizing a specific cut that Jokic wants from whoever is playing the dunker spot (the spot just outside the paint along the baseline). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn_NREbLj2o On Sunday, Dozier made the appropriate cut without hesitation in one of the highlight plays from the…...

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1. The Denver Nuggets have both found a combination of players that work off of the bench and also a way to better utilize the skillsets of those five players. The clip below highlights the strengths of each of the five players as well as the way all five guys can work in concert. From Facundo Campazzo pressuring the ball…...

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1. I liked this play design to get Jamal Murray open for three out of a horns set. I don’t think I’ve seen it before with Murray in what is typically a forward spot. With four point guards on the court, Michael Malone is able to get creative with unique play designs like this one. https://youtu.be/o_Ec-jYClpA 2. The Denver Nuggets…...

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1. The thing about Nikola Jokic’s passing is that it isn’t just his touch or vision that make him such an elite facilitator, it’s his ability to bend the court exactly the way he wants to create passing angles or open up opportunities for easy buckets. The clips below are A+ examples of this. In the first clip, Jokic makes…...

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THE LIST is a film study deep dive on the Denver Nuggets. Below are the plays that I found to be the most interesting from the last two Denver Nuggets games. 1. One of the things going on with Gary Harris right now is that he doesn’t seem to know where his offense should come from. The three examples below…...

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1. Michael Malone has been given an ultimatum throughout this entire playoff run: play your best defensive lineups and risk going cold on the offensive end of the court or play your best offensive lineups and risk giving up easy buckets on the defensive end of the court. These issues compound once you stop viewing basketball in terms of possession,…...

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1. It’s always interesting when you go straight from a contentious seven-game series into a completely new series, against new personnel, and against a completely different defensive game plan. In game one of the Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers emphasized switching the Nikola Jokic pick and pop in an effort to erase Jokic’s catch and shoot three-point opportunities.…...

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