The Nuggets are off to a 1-5 start to the season, tied with the Lakers for last in the West and only slightly better than the 0-7 Sixers.
And it’s beginning to weigh on the team’s players.
Although the group was encouraged by aspects of its performance during a 16-point loss to the Blazers on Sunday, Kenneth Faried verbalized the collective mood in the locker room.
“Guys are sick and tired of coming into the locker room depressed and sad after a game,” said Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried.
Denver’s 116-100 loss Sunday at Portland was particularly hard to swallow because it could be argued the Nuggets played their best game of the season. Ty Lawson played his best all-around game — from point production to aggressiveness to running the team and limiting turnovers. Arron Afflalo scored a season-high 18 points and made a season-best 57 percent of his shots. …
“We play on our home court Wednesday and we’ve got to come out and get a win,” Faried said. “This is our home crowd. We don’t want them to start booing us, getting mad at us. So we’ve got to do it for them. If not for ourselves, then for them.”
The Nuggets host those same Blazers on Wednesday, but at least will be getting them on the second night of a back-to-back after Portland hosts Charlotte on Tuesday. And, from an NBA travel perspective, those situations set up very favorably for the Nuggets, considering the additional distance the team needs to travel from the airport to downtown, as well as the famous altitude difference visiting players must adjust to when playing in the mile-high city.
It makes sense to target this game as one that’s winnable for the Nuggets, even against a very good Blazers team.
As for the slow start, it must be especially difficult for Faried, considering the way he played with a star-studded USA Basketball team over the summer that went unbeaten on the way to earning gold in international play at the FIBA World Cup.