Denver Nuggets: Inexperience, lack of Nikola Jokic prove costly in Game 1

The Nuggets were limping into the playoffs … until they weren’t

Nikola Jokic managed only 10 points on nine shot attempts, but his 14 rebounds and 14 assists gave him a triple-double in his very first postseason outing, becoming just the fourth player in National Basketball Association history to do so.

The double team was only effective because the Nuggets kept missing wide open shots which only encouraged the Spurs to keep doubling Jokic.

The Spurs play a slow game and if Denver wants to expose San Antonio they'll utilize their youth and run them out the building. "He got a lot of shots for a lot of players, rebounding and also scored a little bit".

Mitchell on moving on after the blowout loss: "Honestly we could have won this game by 90 or lost this game by 90. for us it's just about making adjustments and not overreacting to what happened". So our work is not done with him. Obviously, he had 10 points, [but] he is not always going to score 10 points.

"To be honest, nothing", Jokic said Saturday when asked what the triple-double debut meant.

The Nuggets can not afford to lose game 2 and go down 2-0 to a Gregg Popovich team before heading to San Antonio.

Asked what adjustments he had in mind for Game 2, Malone said simply, "Make shots".

I fully expect to see this team playing the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals led by their MVP Nikola Jokic.

"Both bigs kind of never really got comfortable down there". Give them credit: They did a helluva job.

"Every time he put it down, there was somebody right there". He scored 10 points, collecting 14 rebounds and had 14 assists. "Try to make a play defensively. Early post-ups, getting him the ball in different areas and even in the half-court, maybe he can attack before they come get him". Nikola Jokic had led the Nuggets in most statistical categories in the regular season, so the Spurs made a point to take him away as much as they could.

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"It's one game, and you have to learn from it, but I can't have no assists and five turnovers", Mitchell said. "I have a wedding ring". "I think I'll be ready for it".

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he wasn't looking for Jokic, his All-Star center, to take more shots. Odds were the Nuggets weren't likely to make a game-tying 3-pointer considering they shot just 6-of-28 from deep in the game.

Here are the biggest takeaways from Game 1 of this series.

San Antonio, on the other hand, enters the playoffs on a three-game winning streak.

The young squad should bounce back in game 2 in a series I predict going to 7.

The Timberwolves missed two straight shots and after Millsap tipped Barton's missed 3-pointer to Murray, he calmly drained one from long range to put Denver ahead 96-95. And they know a lot of things will have to be improved for the series' second game on Wednesday - which they were confident would prove to be the case.

Following Game 1, a frustrated Murray spent close to an hour shooting on the Nuggets' practice floor.

"I was just shooting", Murray said. "It just goes back to we've gotta be patient". That was true of one team on Sunday night at Toyota Center.

"We're going to settle down".

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