The Nuggets had a great chance to, at a minimum, send their game Thursday against the Wizards to overtime. On the last possession of regulation, they had numbers and space for a wide-open, game-tying layup.
Instead, Denver settled for a transition 3-point try by Facundo Campazzo for the win that missed badly. Denver lost 112-110.
The Nuggets took a 3 because:
— Jamal Murray picked up his dribble early on a 3-on-1 break and then had to pick from one of three Nuggets who had drifted to the 3-point line. (Monte Morris was a trailer.)
— One of those Nuggets behind the arc, an unguarded Michael Porter Jr., could have cut to the basket, but didn’t.
Murray first tweeted that the play was on him and said that he should have shot:
My fault Nuggets nation.. on to the next one.. STICK WITH US!!
— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) February 26, 2021
And then he followed up with an alternate angle of the setup for the final play.
But Denver coach Mike Malone put it on Murray and Porter:
Michael Malone on the end of the game:
“We had a layup. It’s a three-on-one break. All Michael Porter has to do is cut to the basket. All Jamal Murray has to do is push the ball and attack. But we didn’t get that…wasted opportunity there.”#Nuggets #MileHighBasketball
— Michael Spencer (@MichaelCBS4) February 26, 2021
Twitter coaches had blame for both, as well:
if they were real analytic nerds they wouldn’t take a 3 over a layup. MPJ just mad a dumb play. Nothing to do with analytics.
— sam🦅 (@sambrazy) February 26, 2021
After watching this a few times I blame MPJ here, campazzo and Morris filled lanes correctly as trailing guards, mpj should have made himself available as an inside target while everyone stuck out
— LTPicks (@LT_Picks) February 26, 2021
If the Nuggets were only playing for the win in that instance, then they at least got an open look for Campazzo. But Washington’s defense was badly beaten and a wide-open 2 was there for the taking. But Denver turned that down, and so now it’s taking Ls in the standings, on social media and from Charles Barkley:
We just had five minutes of the NBA on TNT crew talking about that blown fast break from the Nuggets.
It ended with Barkley saying, “They all were dumber than rocks.”
— Matt Schubert (@MattDSchubert) February 26, 2021