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Nuggets Film Room

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A film room review of Nuggets players and plays.

Bones Hyland closed the game at the point guard spot for the Denver Nuggets in the second night of a back-to-back against the Sacramento Kings. For the most part, he got the ball where it needed to go. Watch all possessions over the final 6 minutes and let us know what you think about his clutch time offense. Also in…

1. Nikola Jokic's between-the-legs pass might be the pass of the year for the Denver Nuggets. What makes it better is that the pass was actually a counter to the way the Memphis Grizzlies were defending one of Denver's most common actions.

In the clip below, you can see how the Grizzlies aggressive denial of the reversal triggered Jokic to become the release valve every time the team ran that play in the first half. In the second half, Brown perfectly timed the "blind pig" action. Perfectly enough for Jokic to just hike the ball in stride to Brown for the easy dunk.

https://youtu.be/M9ImqsAvUMQ

2. Jokic is a wizard at waiting until the last second to make his read as a passer. In the clips below, you can see how the flare screen to the corner is the first read for Jokic. But by waiting until the last possible second, Jokic is actually luring the defender away from his preferred option which is the dropoff pass to the screener.

https://youtu.be/iRJOXg3fV-Y

3. I like that Christian Braun isn't just settling for spot-up jumpers when he's sharing the court with the starting unit. Braun is shooting just 31% from behind the arc this season, a number that needs to improve in order for him to become a reliable two-way option for the Nuggets. But even if he becomes a more steady three-point shooter, mixing in cuts like the one below that get him attacking the basket is still a valuable option.

Braun is big for a wing and has a 40-inch vertical. We haven't seen him fully deploy his athleticism in the NBA just yet but I like that he is looking for options where he is going towards the rim and not always flaring to the corner.

https://youtu.be/KIwfEJiutkA

4. Another great cut. Watch how Brown flares and then cuts off of the Gordon screen, forcing Dillon Brooks to take the furthest possible angle. That cut, paired with a perfectly timed entry pass, forces the favorable switch.

https://youtu.be/GypiYO4jcjY

5. Another important skill for Christian Braun will be his ability to knockdown dribble handoff and pick-and-roll three-pointers when the defense goes under the screen.

https://youtu.be/EOpsBmT8EFU

6. Here is Braun quickly falling back into Denver's free flow rhythm after an offensive rebound and taking an aggressive left-handed drive to the rim. Braun has the foundation of a solid offensive option. A decent three-point shot, the ability to handle the ball in basic actions, and the right amount of aggressiveness for a 5th option.

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1. If there is one reason to have faith in the Denver Nuggets championship aspirations this season it is the perfect synergy of the Nikola Jokic - Jamal Murray two man game. The duo took a 500 day hiatus yet picked up immediately where they left off as if they never stopped playing. The two of them are so perfectly in sync at all times, especially at the close of each half when the other three players seem content to get out of the way and watch as the two dance back and forth en route to the exact outcome that they seem fit. The term pick your poison seems to undersell the conundrum presented by those. Often times, the duo will gladly make that choice for you.

https://youtu.be/Xev9bufPT58

2. One of my favorite things about Jokic is that he has a counter for every read the defense makes. Here, rookie Walker Kessler clearly studied his scouting report to note that these rub screens send Jokic to one of his favorite spots on the left block. But Jokic sees him jump the action and decides to pop out to the three point line, taking advantage of Kessler's early work.

After the game, Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy said of Kessler, "Walker came to the bench at one point and said like 'I'm trying really hard.' I said, 'Dude, I get it. You are trying really hard. And keep trying hard. This is part of your growth."

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This is a compilation of common plays and actions in the Denver Nuggets playbook. I will update this list throughout the season with over 200 unique examples of plays from the Denver Nuggets playbook. This can act a a companion for THE LIST, WHAT MAKES THIS PLAY GREAT, or just as a resource for anyone trying to learn and recognize…...

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If you thought the last Wizards game ended in a deflating and bizarre fashion, then avert your eyes from Thursday night’s train wreck. Denver finally found a spark in the fourth quarter behind a furious rally from Jamal Murray — sound familiar? In the final seconds of the game, Denver had a chance to win it or send it to…...

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The Denver Nuggets led 90-89 late in the final leg of their five-game road trip. They looked primed to pick up their sixth straight win and cap off a 5-0 trip as they prepare for a brutal stretch of schedule upon returning home. But the turnovers and general lack of discipline reared their ugly heads. Malone turned away from Michael…...

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This edition of THE LIST is a companion piece to Monday’s episode of the DNVR Nuggets podcast. 1. This was an interesting take on the inverted 5-1 PnR that Nikola Jokic often runs with Jamal Murray. https://youtu.be/bEH_YJKkWwA 2. Communicating on defense should be made easier inside this bubble setting, void of fans and excess background noise. It should also be…...

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Nikola Jokic made his unofficial NBA debut back in July, 2015 at Las Vegas Summer League in front of empty stands and without fanfare. For most NBA fans, Jokic was an afterthought on the Nuggets summer league roster behind rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, end of bench players Gary Harris, Erick Green, and Joffrey Lauvergne. Jokic averaged just 8 points,…...

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1. Michael Porter Jr. has a tendency to get knocked off of his spot in the post or on the wing. Some of this has to do with his slender build, a weakness that will likely improve rapidly as he starts to add muscle and strength. But he also has a lot of room for improvement with his footwork. In…...

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One of the emerging story lines from the last few games has been how Michael Malone and the Denver Nuggets are slowly adapting the offensive playbook to fit the players who are available to the team right now. Some of those actions feature the two-man game of Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. Others feature Jokic and Jerami Grant. As…...

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1. One of the most memorable plays of last season was the Nikola Jokic, Mason Plumlee pick and roll (PnR), a rare combination from two centers. Last night, the Denver Nuggets might’ve stumbled upon a new, equally as rare but perhaps even more sustainable action between Jokic and Jerami Grant. https://youtu.be/eAaonrT_288 It looked like Jokic was sharing a laugh with…...

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1. Torrey Craig does a lot of things well on the defensive end. Here, watch how light he is on his toes and how early he meets the rolling big man as a back side defender before sprinting out to the corner to take away the three-point shot. https://youtu.be/oqtbbV_m4YA In the second example, he meets Sabonis even higher up the…...

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“What makes this play great” is a brand new series I will be doing here at DNVR in which I break down in detail a single play, moment, or sequence from a Denver Nuggets game and explain all of the subtle details that you might’ve missed the first time around. On Wednesday, Michael Malone talked about how he and his…...

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“The List” is a brand new series that (usually) serves as a companion piece for the “Notebook” episodes of the Locked on Nuggets podcast and the DNVR Nuggets podcast. In this edition, I take a look at Bol Bol’s eight games in the NBA G-League and talk about how he might fit alongside Nikola Jokic. 1. The first thing that…...

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“The List” is a brand new series that serves as a companion piece for the “Notebook” episodes of the Locked on Nuggets podcast and the DNVR Nuggets podcast. In this edition, I share notes on Michael Porter Jr.’s first start of the season and the slow developing chemistry of Jerami Grant and Nikola Jokic. 1. The Nuggets opened the game…...

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“The List” is a brand new series that serves as a companion piece for the “Notebook” episodes of the Locked on Nuggets podcast and the DNVR Nuggets podcast. In this edition, I share some notes on the win over the Memphis Grizzlies at Pepsi Center. 1. As the season unfolds, the Nuggets are adding new wrinkles to common plays in…...

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Was the Phoenix Suns’ zone defense really going to end the Nuggets’ six-game winning streak? For most of Monday’s second half it seemed like it was. After the Nuggets took a 56-49 lead into the halftime break, the Suns stormed out of the locker room to outscore Denver 32-26 in the third quarter. The Nuggets looked lost against the Suns’…...

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