Denver Nuggets Leave Much to Be Desired in Opener

Jon Reid@@JonReidCSMCorrespondent IINovember 1, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  Assistant coach Chuck Person shakes hands with Andre Miller #24 of the Denver Nuggets after Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Halloween night.

It was a night fans of the Denver Nuggets had been anxiously awaiting for months.

Not just for the candy and Halloween parties, but also because it was opening night for their beloved team.

The night, however, didn't exactly go as planned.

While the Nuggets showcased their new and improved defense (they held the Philadelphia 76ers to just 84 points in their own arena), their signature run-and-gun, explosive transition offense was nowhere to be found.

Denver only managed to score 75 points on the night, and the game was well into the second half before anyone reached double digits in the scoring column.

The Nuggets struggled from three point territory, missing their first nine attempts and finishing just 4-18 (good for just 22%).

Turnovers continued to be a problem heading into the regular season, with the Nuggets racking up an embarrassing 20 on the night (they averaged that many over the course of the preseason as well).

The big guns for the Nuggets were also non-existent throughout most of the game.

While Ty Lawson's final line of 16 points, five rebounds and sevens assists may read nicely, the newly re-signed point guard was in foul trouble early and didn't play the aggressive, drive-to-the-basket type offense the Nuggets were hoping for until it was too late.

As for Andre Iguodala, his return to Philadelphia wasn't as successful as he would've liked.

He tallied 11 points, four boards and four assists, but shot just 5-13 from the floor.

On the bright side, he did provide the defense that Denver was hoping he'd bring, snagging two steals, one of which led to an easy dunk at the other end.

The other major flaw to this game for Denver?

Free throw shooting.

The team combined to reach the line just 11 times (a problem in itself), and then proceeded to knock down just five of those 11 shots. Ouch.

Luckily for Nuggets fans, though, there was also plenty of positive parts to the Nuggets' opener.

For one, they rebounded fairly well, winning that battle 54-47 (including a 16-14 edge in offensive rebounds).

The other bright spot for Denver was their bench.

Sure, they didn't really shoot that well, but who did in this game?

Guys like Corey Brewer, Andre Miller and even the rookie Frenchman Evan Fournier all provided the team with energy off the bench.

While Wednesday night's opener may have been a major letdown for Nuggets fans, there were certainly bright spots throughout the game.

Fans just need to remember that this is a fairly young squad and that they will have these sorts of growing pains.

Over the course of an 82 game season, there is no reason to believe this team will continue to struggle as much as they did in Philadelphia.

Now it's on to Orlando on Friday, where the Nuggets will take on the Dwight Howard-less Magic.


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