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Nuggets-Trail Blazers Game 2 Grades: Playoff trends tell the story of Denver's disappointing loss

Andre Simone Avatar
May 2, 2019

That was rough. With a big opportunity to take a firm grasp on the series and go up 2-0 on the Portland Trail Blazers, the Denver Nuggets offense sputtered in a 97-90 loss that felt worse as Jamal Murray and Torrey Craig both took a beating.

We grade every performance from the Nuggets with our Dynamic Player Rating (DPR), which takes 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-) 67.40 — Jokic was one of only two Nuggets players to end the game with a positive plus-minus in 37 minutes, posting a solid 16 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists. While Jokic dominated on the glass, he wasn’t the most efficient tapping those second-chance points back in and registered a rough 41 eFG%. His 101 ORtg was just under his 102 DRtg in a good performance but not the dominant outing Denver needed to pull off the win.

Jamal Murray (C) 59.16 — Banged up and struggling with his shot, Murray wasn’t at his best but battled, still scoring 15 points and snatching up seven rebounds. Murray’s 38 eFG% really hurt as he struggled to make shots from beyond the arc. His 95 ORtg was rough and marks his fourth game with an ORtg under 100 this postseason. All of them have resulted in Nuggets losses. 

Paul Millsap (C+) 64.14 — Millsap pulled his weight with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double in which he dominated the boards, grabbing five offensive rebounds while adding two steals and two blocks. Just like everyone else, his shot wasn’t falling consistently, resulting in a 46 eFG% and 99 ORtg. To his credit, Millsap had a positive Net and 96 DRtg.  

Gary Harris (D+) 47.41 — This was easily Harris’ worst DPR of the postseason, as he scored 12 points in 40 minutes on a horrendous 33 eFG%. Beyond that, all Harris could add was three rebounds and two assists in a minus-8 outing. His ORtg (86) was really ugly and his 111 DRtg wasn’t much better.

Torrey Craig (C) 55.58 — Not only did Craig battle and return to the game after suffering a nose contusion in the first half, but he actually played pretty well in 20 minutes. Craig scored seven points, making one of only six makes Denver had all night from beyond the arc, still grabbed four rebounds and tallied one steal.

Will Barton (C-) 53.67 — This is now the fourth game in a row that Barton’s finished as a minus-2 and like just about everyone else, he struggled to make shots. Barton finished with an ugly 16 eFG% but fought hard to get 11 boards in just 17 minutes and added one block to barely earn a passing grade. 

Malik Beasley (C) 58.98 — Beasley sparked the offense as best he could off the bench, scoring 13 points and staying aggressive, earning eight free throw attempts. The issue was Beasley only made three of those attempts as the Nuggets shot an awful 61% from the charity stripe. Beasley contributed three rebounds, one steal, two assists, and had a positive Net Rating in a strong effort that could’ve led to much better production. 

Monte Morris (D) 44.77 — Despite producing the one other positive plus-minus of the game along with Jokic (+3), Morris had a rough outing as his offense was missing in action. Morris only recorded a 12 eFG% and had an ugly 72 ORtg. He did add six assists to zero turnovers, which put him above an F in an otherwise disappointing performance. 

Mason Plumlee (C) 54.68 — Plumlee had another decent outing with six points, five rebounds, and two blocks in just 12 minutes, dominating the offensive boards with the rest of the Nuggets bigs. He also had his highest USG% of the entire series (23.3). Had Plumlee been more surgical under the hoop instead of his 42 eFG% and not managed three quick fouls, he could’ve had a significantly higher grade. 

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