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Nuggets-Rockets Grades: The starting five is the wrong kind of cool

Andre Simone Avatar
November 14, 2018

After a 109-99 loss to the Houston Rockets, the Denver Nuggets are in the midst of their worst losing streak in two seasons with four losses in a row.

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

Here’s how every Nuggets player faired.

Nikola Jokic (C+) 61.76 — After starting the season off with a bang, posting an average DPR of 75.69 in his first seven games, the Joker is now averaging 63.08 in his last seven, a significant drop-off.

His -14 plus-minus on the night was emblematic of the issues the entire starting unit had containing Clint Capela and the Rockets starters. Neither his offensive rating (105) nor his defensive rating (118) were anything special, in a game where the big man was still just three assists away from a triple-double with a usage rating of 26.9—his sixth highest of the season.

Gary Harris (C) 56.73 — Like Jokic, Harris has been on a downslide, with the matchup against the Rockets marking his third-consecutive game under 60 per DPR, a mark he only hit twice in the first 11. Harris’ best contribution came on his 57-percent effective field goal percentage, giving him an efficient 15 points in 36 minutes. Still, a far cry from what Denver needed to match Houston’s powerful backcourt.

Jamal Murray (C) 56.85 — Murray scored an efficient 15 points himself but didn’t do much else, as even his five assists were met with three turnovers.

Paul Millsap (C-) 52.15 — In only 25 minutes, Millsap had a decent enough offensive game, scoring 13 on 50-percent from the field. His issues came in all other areas, as his impact on the boards was simply lacking and he had his second-worst defensive rating of the year too—which have come in back-to-back games—and a poor game score.

Juancho Hernangomez (C-) 54.49 — Juancho was the only starter with a positive plus-minus and led the team in minutes with 39. His offensive output was limited but he played tough on the boards and shot 50-percent beyond the arc. However, his advanced stats like game score and defensive rating were both low, hurting his grade.

Monte Morris (B-) 66.82 — Morris had his third best DPR of the young season carrying the Nuggets second unit with a team-high 19 points on an impressive 77-percent effective field goal shooting percentage. He also posted a nice three-to-one assist to turnover ratio in a fine offensive game.

A strong performance even if his defensive rating was the worst it’s been this year.

Mason Plumlee (D+) 48.93 — Plumlee brought energy and four assists but was ineffective on the defensive end with a poor rating of 121—the higher the score the worse the ratinghis second-worst of the season.

Offensively, his shooting percentages really hurt his grade, with a 25 percent effective field goal rating, as he was one of four from the field and only hit half his free throws.

Trey Lyles (C) 55.46 — In 12 minutes, Lyles sparked the offense with eight points on an 82-percent true shooting percentage. His -12 plus-minus hurt his grade greatly in an uneven performance outside of his shooting exploits.

Torrey Craig (C) 59.12 — Craig brought a spark to the team in just seven minutes, with a block, 3-pointer, and dunk sequence to start the final quarter. What killed his grade was his two turnovers in limited minutes and an incredibly poor 68 offensive rating.

Malik Beasley (D-) 34.78 — In what has been a breakout season so far, Beasly had his second-worst outing of the year per DPR, posting a -6 plus-minus in as many minutes, scoring zero points in a quiet game with very few positive takeaways.

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