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Charles Smith Basketball Youth Spencer

George Karl is tired of listening from critics how the Denver Nuggets’ reserves are not producing results. In the first two of the first round series of the playoffs against San Antonio, the Nuggets reserves have just scored 13 points.

However, Karl is not at worried about the reserves. He is, in fact, trying to create more minutes for J R Smith, the 3 point specialist. But, each time Smith steps into the game, the Spurs get to work on him, especially Manu Ginobili.

Smith has not been able to contribute because of his poor defense. He is 0 for 5 on 3 pointers in the post season after having a career high 149 in the regular season. Smith knows that he is not playing well in any area of the game and he thinks that he starts playing more defense, it should change the tide in his favor.

Unfortunately for Smith, each time he subs, Gregg Popovich, San Antonio coach, directs his offense to work on him.

In the regular season, the Nuggets averaged 28.7 points a game off the bench. Smith is confident that Linas Kleiza, Eduardo Najera and he can provide the required spark in the series. The three are the only players in the Nuggets to sub in off the bench in the first two games of the series. So far in the postseason, the three have a combined 4 for 21 from the field. In contrast the Spurs’ bench has contributed 66 points in the two games so far.

With the series now shifting to Denver, the Nuggets will be a little tentative. They have struggled this season at the Pepsi Center. In the regular season, they went 23-18 which is the seventh worst home record in the history of the team.

The Nuggets not only have to content with playing at home but also trying to get more offense out of the bench, which many think is their biggest challenge.

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