How entertaining was this squad? Heart attack kids left it all on the floor every game but it seemed clear that Lebron and Co. had them outclassed. Nothing to hang your head on, Lebron, AD and Co. looks to have the league outclassed this playoffs.
So without further adieu let's get into our grading of Nugget individuals for this series. Damn was that an entertaining run.
Nikola Jokic. A-
Big man balled out. Was a point of emphasis for the entire Laker squad as they tried to frustrate him. Showed an array of post moves that even shook AD the times they matched up on the block, or wing for that matter. Showed a willingness to get physical when challenged. Passing, and playmaking off the charts. If you didn't watch big man play you missed out. Also showed a lot of heart, and competitive fire. Vocally stepped up.
Caught foul trouble and room for improvement on the defensive end, which docked him a few percentage points.
Jamal Murray. A-
A and A1 yeah? Him and Jokic. The chemistry was sick. Kid Kitchener was a threat at all times. Showed great playmaking this series, and again clutch shooting. Whoo that game 4? Jordanesque switch-a-roo, under Lebron, other side of the rim, english?! Just the creme de la creme of that game alone! Heart of a champion. Still making plays visibly hurt in Game 5 to the final buzzer. Nuff Respect.
Defense must improve. Going home.
Jerami Grant. B+
Da fxck? Where did this quantum leap, complete player come from? Guarding Lebron and AD? That was already enough to earn you nothing lower than a B for the defensive end alone! From 3 and D rep, to offensive sparkplug. Jeremi's play was a revelation and had the Nuggets close to stealing a handful of games. Tough baskets amongst the trees, dunks, dude was ballin'!
If the Nuggets don't resign dude, this would be a travesty. Homie played himself into payday. Do not flop. Docked him a few for turning it on a hunna 3 games into the series. Also for all of homie's effort, at the end of the day, he did not come close to 'stopping' Lebron or AD.
Paul Millsap. B-
Brought some much needed toughness overall to the squad. Wasn't gonna let Howard and Co. play bullyball with the young stars.
Role diminishing with this youth movement squad. Didn't score much.
Gary Harris. C
Look I love me a Michigan St. Spartan aight. I have always struggled to see Gary's lunch pail D. Seems every game his rep is associated with it.
Shot was a diminishing return this series. Did little to affect winning.
Michael Porter Jr. B+
Yo part of this grading system is based on how well players performed in their roles and exceeded them. Young yout is already proving to be an explosive 3rd option with an even higher ceiling. Aggressive looking for his shot was tasteful and not out of flow. Somebody else gotta shoot! Also didn't get caught up in the '3rd option' competition that Kyle Kuzma clearly took personal. Won that match up by a mile.
Defensive lapsing, a work in progress on that end. What is dude 6'10"?!
Mason Plumlee. C
Look for all the hate I have for Dukies, Mason has earned a lot of my respect, but his head left him for the majority of minutes on the floor. Dude showed up in Game 5 but it was too late. I felt he blew the cover on AD's game winner. Dude you just ran behind Lebron and called switch? Damn. Compounded that with some horrendous minutes the following game.
Would have given dude a failing grade but for the redemption he put forth in Game 5.
Monte Morris. B
A great backup guard option. Often trusted to finish games I recall? Tough and competitive with timely buckets.
Like most of the Nuggets squad I'm gonna say the defensive end needs work.
PJ Dozier. B
Who? Homie got minutes in like 2 games but boy did he come in to bring it! My hazy recollection seems to remember him challenging Lebron for at least one of his buckets. Dude is an impressive size, looks like he could bang with some of the Leonard's of the league. Eye opener. This Nuggets squad is DEEP. You were drafted or somehow previously in the mix with the Celtics? WTF. Anyways keepin' a lookout.
Missed FT's. Was not a liability on D. Small sample size.
Torrey Craig. C-
Seemingly lost his spot in the rotation this series.
Michael Malone. B
Look only for this series ok. Deep substition patterns were fruitful. Felt he could have subbed for Jamal in Game 5 in the 4th, with him clearly hurt at least for a spell to see in anyone was more capable in those critical minutes.
Had no real answer for Lebron but who does.
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