Grading Every Key Denver Nuggets Player Heading into NBA All-Star Break

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Grading Every Key Denver Nuggets Player Heading into NBA All-Star Break
Bart Young/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets are the streakiest team in the NBA. That won't go well in the latest grades as each player rests over All-Star weekend.

After the Nuggets earned an impressive victory at the Golden State Warriors on ESPN, momentum was immediately building. They started pushing the tempo, attacking early and outscoring opponents.

But since then, Denver has lost nine of its last 13. Plus, if not for Randy Foye bailing his team out against the Los Angeles Clippers with a contested buzzer-beating three-pointer, the Nuggets' only February victory would be against the Milwaukee Bucks.

To be fair, some of that has to do with the ACL tear to Nate Robinson and the rib fracture to Ty Lawson. Denver's season has been filled with several injuries, which makes it tough on a team with a first-year head coach in Brian Shaw, who was planning on changing some areas schematically.

Nonetheless, the effort has been inconsistent, and the 24-27 Nuggets look like one of the worst defensive teams in the league at times. After the loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver PostShaw mentioned their defense is a big issue:

From the beginning, we weren't stopping anybody on the defensive end. And then that was compounded on the offensive end by not making shots. Their defense has a lot to do with that. But with that being said, our defense has been a problem for us all year long, and until we start getting mad and taking more pride in our individual matchups, it's going to be a long, long year for us.

Consequently, most of the Denver players won't be receiving the highest grades, especially the ones who were expected to improve this season. There are three areas of criteria for these evaluations:

  1. Statistics
  2. Non-statistical elements (e.g., defense, energy, diversity, leadership, improvement)
  3. How both areas translate to wins

Note: All Statistics via Basketball-Reference.com unless noted otherwise.

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