The Utah Jazz came into Pepsi Center on Thursday night on the tail end of a back-to-back, having lost at home the night prior to Portland. The game, by all accounts, set up perfectly for the Nuggets who were coming off a day’s rest and a win in Los Angeles over the Lakers.

Before the game, head coach Michael Malone told Josh Dover and Adam Kinney of BSN Denver Sports Desk on Mile High Sports AM 1340 that the Nuggets would push the tempo of the game. Utah prefers a defensive, half-court game and Malone was preaching high pace to combat it.

But, as Dover and Kinney observed, that didn’t happen. The Nuggets failed to control the tempo and played lackluster defense as well as settling for jump shots and showing no aggression on the boards.

In the game, no Nuggets scored more than 18 points and only three players were in double-figures. Will Barton and Randy Foye put in 12 and 11, respectively, and Danilo Gallinari led the team. Denver collected just 10 rebounds to 14 turnovers and were just 5-for-20 from three-point range, getting three from Foye and one apiece from Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris.

It was a game in which Denver absolutely should have tried to run Utah out of the gym but didn’t, which has Dover and Kinney doubting what kind of progress the Nuggets can make this year if they aren’t putting in a good effort this early in the season.

“I have more faith in Michael Malone than Patrick Roy,” Dover said on Friday. But the latest let down has him wondering which team is struggling more. The Avalanche, who also lost on Thursday, fell to 4-8-1 and are the only team in the Central Division without double-digit points.

Listen to the full debate, as well as some Vernon Davis talk, about whether or not the Nuggets are worse off than the Avs in the podcast below…

Catch BSN Denver Sports Desk every weekday from 9a-11a on Mile High Sports AM 1340 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of what’s new and what’s next in Colorado sports.