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Nuggets-Trail Blazers Game 7 Grades: Diagnosing Denver's season-ending loss

Andre Simone Avatar
May 13, 2019

Just like that one of the most magical Nuggets seasons in franchise history ended abruptly, as the Trail Blazers climbed out of a 17-point deficit to beat Denver 100-96 in Game 7.

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+) 79.19 — Jokic upped his production in a major way this postseason, going from an already impressive 75.96 average DPR in the regular season to an 81.30 average in the postseason and an 82.64 in the Portland series. By all measures, Jokic was outstanding the entire playoffs, and even if he was far from perfect in Game 7, he still played his heart out.  Jokic still ended the game with 29 points and 13 rebounds while adding four key blocks. What was surprising was how Jokic only finished with only two assists and as many turnovers, easily his lowest total of the entire playoffs. The lack of assists and a lackluster 42 eFG% hurt his grade in a valiant performance in 42 minutes.

Jamal Murray (C) 59.42 — Murray just didn’t have it in this one despite playing 38 minutes and making a key bucket in the dying moments while also nailing a few clutch free-throws late. His shot was missing in action as he went 4 of 18 from the field for 17 points. More costly was Murray getting blocked on a fast break layup that would’ve put Denver down by only two. To his credit, Murray stayed turnover free and was able to dish out five assists while pulling down six rebounds. His GmSC was actually slightly higher than Jokic’s (21 to 20.9).

Paul Millsap (C-) 52.91 — Fouling out in 32 minutes, Millsap only shot 23% from the field and didn’t have his best game by any means, as he scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. What saved him were his three blocks, a plus-3 plus-minus and an acceptable 103 DRtg. By comparison, Murray had a 132 DRtg. Still, Millsap’s impact offensively was completely lacking as he posted a 77 ORtg, his second-worst of the postseason. 

Gary Harris (C) 58.47 — Quietly, Harris had an efficient game scoring 15 points on a 63 eFG% while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists. Had Harris’ shot from long distance been more reliable, he could’ve been the key to grinding the win out.

Torrey Craig (C) 57.65 — Craig switched back and forth from Damian Lillard to C.J. McCollum and managed a decent performance in 33 minutes, grabbing eight rebounds. Like most of the starters, his shot wasn’t falling as he finished with a 40 eFG%. A passing grade was certainly warranted but not much more than the C he earned. 

Will Barton (D+) 48.47 — Barton’s impact was sorely lacking as he only scored eight points on a 44 eFG% for a minus-9 plus-minus. Aside from the 4 OT performance in Portland, Barton just didn’t have it this entire postseason as his DPR went down to 53.18 after he averaged 56.12 during a down regular season. 

Monte Morris (C) 55.21  In just 10 minutes, Morris scored five points but only shot 33% from the field. His 22 USG% and 110 ORtg to 97 DRtg were all solid too. Outside of his struggles scoring, Morris was fairly efficient in limited minutes but didn’t deserve anything above a C.

Mason Plumlee (D+) 48.49 — While Zach Collins was crucial for the Blazers in the final two games of the series, Plumlee wasn’t able to provide the same impact off the bench, with Game 7 proving to be particularly disappointing as the veteran big man only managed four points on a 33 eFG%. While Plumlee did add six rebounds and two blocks, his minus-7 plus-minus, and 91 ORtg really hurt his grade. Plumlee also wracked up three fouls in just 19 minutes and wasn’t able to leave his mark in Game 7 or the entire series. 

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