The New York Knicks are not a good defensive team. As of Monday morning, they rank 24th in the NBA in defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions), and they allow opponents to shoot 42% from three-point range, dead-last in the NBA.
But on Sunday, the Denver Nuggets made the Knicks look like defensive stalwarts with a pitiful second quarter. The Denver Nuggets are not a great offensive team, ranked 21st in offensive rating, but their second-quarter scoring drought may have been the worst offensive display in the NBA this season.
The Nuggets entered the second quarter tied 31-31. At halftime, they were down 39-62. They lost the second quarter 8-31.
Even worse, they nearly went the entire second quarter without a field goal. If not for a buzzer-beating layup by Ty Lawson to end the first half, the Nuggets wouldn’t have made a basket in the entire second quarter.
Take a look at their shot chart in the second quarter:
Head coach Brian Shaw nearly played his entire team in the quarter, desperate for any energy and combination. The box score was ugly:
The Nuggets also had seven turnovers in the quarter, and only shot 6-12 from the free throw line. Against a stingier defence than the Knicks — who also give up the sixth most free throws per game in the NBA — the Nuggets might not have even scored 8 points in the quarter.
Center JaVale McGee had a particularly tough time:
One particularly brutal stretch is illustrated in the play-by-play from 4:40 remaining to Ty Lawson’s buzzer-beating layup.
That’s a total of seven missed field goals, two missed free throws, and two turnovers in less than five minutes.
Then, Lawson saved the day with this layup:
The Nuggets lost the game 109-93 and fell to 2-7 on the season.
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