Nuggets most to blame for shocking Game 6 loss to Timberwolves

Tony Nguyen | Denver Nuggets
May 17, 2024

The Denver Nuggets just looked lost and clueless during their tough Game 6 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Offensively, Chris Finch employed the proper switch-heavy coverages to prevent the Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray two-man game from popping off. On defense, not a single person could stop one of Anthony Edwards, Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, and the rest. To say that this game was a beatdown is no longer just an understatement at this point, it’ll just be a lie. This tough game in the NBA Playoffs series was a massacre.

Nuggets have a lot of holes on defense

It was not hard to see that Chris Finch owned this chess battle against Mike Malone. The Timberwolves would get hit by a jab from the Nuggets and they’d respond with a haymaker combo that ended with an uppercut. These types of sequences describe why the scoreline is 115 to 70.

On offense, everyone showed up. Anthony Edwards led the way by sinking 47.1% of his field goals and only missing one out of his eight free throws for 27 points. The most impressive part was he also kept the scoring outburst infectious through his insane passing acumen.

Whenever Jamal Murray or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got assigned to Anthony Edwards, it was over. Timberwolves fans expected a bucket for their team immediately when they saw the Nuggets’ man-to-man schemes. Both Nuggets guards were extremely famished because the Timberwolves’ superstar ran them out of the gym by going through screens and having sudden bursts of speed which left the Nuggets to bite the dust.

When Anthony Edwards was not the scoring option, everyone else on the Timberwolves’ roster was ready to finish the possession off. This is why not a single member of Chris Finch’s starter got less than eight points in this matchup. The same went for their bench.

With Murray playing 32 minutes, he kept getting attacked by the Timberwolves’ bench. In total, five members of the squad notched double-digit scoring numbers. Three others were also just one bucket away from making that list of eight players.

Who’s to blame in this Nuggets’ loss?

May 16, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) defends Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) in the first quarter during game six of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
© Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It’s clearly not Nikola Jokic. While the Most Valuable Player did only knock down nine out of his 19 field goals, his production of 22 points still led the Nuggets. He just needed to improve on his outside stroke. This is because not a single one of his shots from way out saw the bottom of the net.

The same cannot be said for Jamal Murray. He practically shot the Nuggets out of contention in this NBA Playoffs game. It unfortunately happened whenever they were gaining some sort of momentum too. This game ended with the Blue Arrow only scoring 10 points. He did it on a horrid 22.2% clip from all three levels of scoring. His five assists did try to get them some force back but the two turnovers he committed cost them a potential run.

Other than the Nuggets’ star guard, their supporting cast was only not much help. Only three players got to double-digits while their shots only went in 30% of the time. Game 7 should be a different story or this could mean a historic collapse for the defending champions.