By Christopher Dempsey, Nuggets Insider
LAS VEGAS – The areas of correction were easy to spot for Nuggets summer league coach Micah Nori after the team’s loss to Houston in its first game. Just as easy was tailoring practice to fix those issues, which they did on Saturday afternoon.
The Nuggets hit the court today for their second summer league game, against Minnesota (4:30 p.m., ESPN2), in search of their first victory.
Looking back at the first game, Nori said “it’s kind of like we thought, early on jitters. Had some good looks, better looks than what I thought, so we missed some open looks early on. The thing that killed us was transition defense and the turnovers.”
So, the Nuggets honed-in on those two areas during practice. The numbers they want to get reduced are these: The Rockets had 28 points off of 21 Nuggets turnovers. And, the Rockets had 18 fast break points. Yet through all of that, the Nuggets still only lost by three points.
“When were able to get back and set our half-court defense, we were much better,” Nori said.
This is also the second game for a number of players that went through their first summer league experience on Friday night. Nori said he could see young players settling down after halftime in that first game, and expects that to continue now that everyone has a game under their belts.
“I think jitters had a lot to do with it,” Nori said. “And you’ll see us much more composed.”
One of the players looking forward to getting back out on the court is second-round draft pick, point guard Monte Morris.
“I try to relate everything back to my first everything – my first varsity basketball game as a freshman, my first game in college as a freshman,” Morris said. “So, this was my first game here at this level. So, I’ve just got to calm down and just play basketball and have fun.”
Despite scoring 29 points in his first outing, shooting guard Malik Beasley took to Twitter on Saturday to express his feelings going into the second game: “Game day tomorrow…got to be better” he wrote. Beasley was 12-of-30 from the field on Friday night, and will get the ball a lot again today.
“They know what they did,” said Nori of the team. “We watched some film, watch some individual film with them and hopefully you’ll be able to see the results and we’ll be a little bit better (today).”
SANT-ROOS INJURED. Forward Howard Sant-Roos is not expected to play in today’s game to a fractured left cheekbone, suffered during Friday’s game. He’ll be out until he gets a mask to protect his face. “I was going up for a rebound and caught an elbow,” Sant-Roos said. “I didn’t know who it was. I’ll be able to play if I get a mask, but it’s the weekend, we’re away from Denver, it’s kind of difficult right now to get a mask.”
Christopher Dempsey: firstname.lastname@example.org or @chrisadempsey on Twitter