A game removed from finally capturing some national attention by putting on one of the best shooting performances in NBA history, momentum was on the side of the Denver Nuggets. Not only was it one of the best wins in recent memory, but, it happened against one of the best teams ever assembled: the Golden State Warriors. With a significant win under their belt, all that was needed was an exclamation point at the halfway mark to shift from a rocky start of the year, to “let’s see how good we could be.”

On Wednesday, in their final game before All-Star break, the Nuggets were looking to build on Monday’s big win. This time however, the odds were not in their favor, as they fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves 112- 99.

Here are three observations:

1. Injuries an excuse?

Once again, injuries were a major theme for Denver. It seems that every game there is a large chunk of the team missing. With all of those injuries, it is rather difficult for Coach Malone and also the players. How can they either get in a rhythm or build any type of chemistry and continuity with there being so many moving pieces in the rotation? Denver was again without Darrell Arthur, Kenneth Faried, Emmanuel Mudiay, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, causing there to be an awkward combination of lineups.

The Nuggets shall hopefully use this break to get healthy.

2. Jokic vs. Towns

Heading into the game, all eyes were on the matchup between Nikola Jokic and Karl-Anthony Towns, and with good reason. Jokic has been on a tear as of late, even gathering some national awareness with his triple-double in the win against the Golden State Warriors. While he didn’t have a terrible game, putting up 15 points and 14 rebounds, he did go a surprising 6-of-19 from the field and often times looked as if he was forcing the issue against KAT.

As far as statistics go, Towns stole the show.

While neither were efficient, Towns (8-of-19 from the field) filled up the box score. He went for 24 points and recorded 19 rebounds. He looked to be the better of the two, at least for one night. The hook shot, the up-and-under, even a three-pointer was on full display. showing those who watched the game that he was one of the promising young bigs in the NBA.

Hopefully, Jokic vs. Towns will be a great matchup for many years.

3. Mason Plumlee in his first game

With Mason Plumlee making his Nuggets debut the question was, how much less time will actually get playing as a backup to Nikola Jokic?

Well, Malone surprised us. Not only did Plumlee play a whopping 33 minutes, but he started the game alongside Jokic. His performance was a mixed bag. There were times that he looked as if he could be the missing piece for Denver; setting screens and being aggressive on the boards. But at other times, he looked as if he was new to the offense (he was), wasn’t used to playing alongside another big as talented as Nikola Jokic, which in turn, forced him to crowd the paint. He also looked as if he wasn’t accustomed to playing at this altitude, appearing winded. It was an okay first appearance. Hopefully, with time, Plumlee will get more accustomed to his new teammates and surroundings, and prove to be a great acquisition for the Nuggets.