The Nuggets once again gave up more than 30 in the first quarter. They are just not playing the game as if they are playing to win, but more like merely to compete. The defensive rotation is slow and the weak side boards are atrocious. Need hard evidence? Tyson Chandler had four offensive rebounds, six rebounds total in the first quarter alone. Not to mention numerous good looks at the cup due to Kirk Heinrich penetrating and dishing off. The Bulls also dominated the second chance points stat column 15 to 0. Taking nothing away from Chandler, but the Nuggets did have two seven footers starting this game and should have been able clear the ball.
The second quarter had little more to offer of much difference. Without defensive stops, which lead to fast break opportunities, the Nuggets get caught in a funk offensively that is hard to break out of. The Nuggets need to run. They are currently the sixth best scoring team in the league, and without fast-break scoring opportunities the team dynamic suffers.
After half, the Nuggets once again put up a lack luster effort being outscored 22 to 28 in the third quarter and down 15 going into the fourth. To their credit, the Nuggets did fight back and make it interesting down the stretch. But the problem with this trend is it is in the realm of desperation. If the Nuggets could play like they are down twenty all the time, even when they are up, they could finish teams instead of being in dogfights down to the last five possessions.