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Nuggets-Magic Grades: Too close for comfort

Andre Simone Avatar
December 6, 2018

The Denver Nuggets took a day off from playing defense in this one, but found a way to outlast the pesky Orlando Magic with a 124-118 overtime win.

We grade every performance from the Nuggets with our Dynamic Player Rating (DPR), which take into account 12 different statistical factors.

Note: for DPRs that are lacking context, our beat reporters are offering their scout’s grade.

Nikola Jokic (B-) 64.56 — The Joker ended his night two boards shy of a triple-double, dishing out another insane 13 assists, taking his season average to 7.8 on the year, good for eighth best in the NBA. Outside of his boards and dimes his numbers were average, as he scored 12 points and registered a 42 percent eFG%. Neither his offensive or defensive ratings stood out, although he did lead all Nuggets players in plus-minus with a +10.

Jamal Murray (B+) 76.89 — Murray led all scorers with 31 points but went cold in the fourth quarter and the start of overtime. Denver’s lead guard was aggressive going to the rack making some nifty layups and a monster slam. Though he missed the game-winner at the end of regulation, he eventually made some big shots in overtime, scoring seven of Denver’s 12 points in the extra period to put the Nuggets ahead for good.

Murray also contributed eight dimes and had a high usage rate of 32-percent which helped his score despite his 44 percent eFG%.

Paul Millsap (B-) 65.78 — Millsap had an efficient 18 points and eight boards and finished with a 70 percent eFG%. His defensive numbers weren’t great in a game that lacked defense, but his ORtg was his fourth best of the season.

Juancho Hernangomez (C+) 62.53 — Speaking of efficient scoring, Juancho did his thing finishing around the rim and making open jumpers in a 14-point night. He shot tallied an absurd 87 percent eFG% and had an ORtg of 164. He added four boards, two assists, and a steal. His score was lowered by three fouls and a DRtg of 117.

Torrey Craig (C) 59.46 — Craig was perfect from the field, scoring five points and adding four boards. His stats in the dirty areas of the game, like defense and rebounding, were a bit underwhelming in a 0 plus-minus night.

Malik Beasley (C-) 54.50 — Beasly tied Jokic with a +10 outing in a game where he shot 66 percent eFG%  scoring eight points. His game was a bit one dimensional as he had only one assist and four boards in 30 minutes.

Scout’s Grade (A) — Beasley’s forcing Michael Malone’s hand into more minutes and Denver’s coach is getting rewarded with consistent play from his reserve two-guard. He probably wishes he was in the starting lineup with Gary Harris sidelined but the chemistry that the Nuggets’ second unit has with one another is too valuable to mess up. He was great again in Orlando.

Monte Morris (B-) 64.86 — In just 20 minutes Morris made all but one shot and a free throw to score a quick 13 points and end the game with a +5. He had a fairly high USG% of 20 and added three assists to only one turnover. A useful game off the bench.

Scout’s Grade (A) — After an off night in Toronto, Morris was up to his usual tricks in Orlando. He was aggressive on offense and shot a clean 6-7 from the field. Morris only logged 20 minutes but did his work quickly and efficiently when he was in the game.

Mason Plumlee (B-) 67.71 — Plumlee struggled from the stripe but also scored 11 points and was perfect from the field while adding seven boards and four more assists, all adding up to a positive night despite -3 plus-minus as youngster Mo Bamba gave him a bit of trouble defending out to the three-point line.

Trey Lyles (C) 57.15 — Lyles was yet another double-digit scorer off the bench, and Denver needed all of his points including his monster slam down the lane in the first half. The backup forward had a 61-percent TS% and a 28-percent USG% which were both quite high. His score was lowered due to a lack of impact beyond his scoring.

Scout’s Grade (B+) — Lyles was an integral piece of the late-third and early-fourth quarter run that Denver’s bench went on to put some separation between themselves and the Magic. He’s coming around after some off nights to begin the road trip.


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