DENVER — The Denver Nuggets are dealing with an unfamiliar problem in 2018: Scoring the basketball efficiently.
The Nuggets were the top-ranked offense in basketball in 2016-17 after they handed the keys to Nikola Jokic. This season, they haven't been quite as dominant on that end but still entered the new year ranked eighth in offensive efficiency. Ever since the calendar flipped, however, Denver's offense has operated in fits and starts instead of humming along.
The Nuggets are averaging 102.7 points per 100 possessions in the seven games they've played in January, a mark that ranks 24th in the NBA. They've been especially awful in the first quarters of those games, scoring just 93.3 points per 100 possessions — fourth-worst in the league.
On Monday, Nuggets coach Michael Malone was asked if there was any connection between his team's recent scoring woes and the Jokic-Mason Plumlee supersized starting lineup. Malone refused to blame the Jokic-Plumlee combination but hinted that a lineup change could be coming on Tuesday against a Dallas Mavericks team that plays plenty of small ball.