After the Denver Nuggets were blown out by the Golden State Warriors 127-108 Saturday night, many of the players on the squad were quick to flock out of the locker room. Media stood around for minutes with the space as quiet as an empty gym. Players that gave interviews were dull and disinterested, except for one: swingman Will Barton.

Barton was one of the last players in the locker room and was willing to talk the media, per usual.

Many people labeled Saturday’s contest as a “scheduled loss” due to Denver’s recent stretch of schedule and being that the Warriors are one of the most dominant teams of all-time.

Somewhat discouraged from the loss, Barton gave his honest take and was not making any excuses for the end game.

“You know, everyone plays the same amount of games,” Barton said of the Nuggets playing their sixth game in nine nights Saturday. “Sometimes you get back-to-backs, so a lot of game in a lot of nights. So, we just got to bring the effort, man. We got the world champs in here, so that can’t be an excuse.”

The Nuggets managed to post a six-point lead late in the second-quarter; however, wound up losing it en route to a 67 point second half from Golden State.

When the pressure built up in the second half, Denver crumbled, something that been a constant issue over the course of the past three seasons. The Nuggets inability to rise to the occasion has been a significant weakness and will be a barrier for them as they continue to hunt for their first playoff appearance 2012-13 season.

“They just blitzed us, and we didn’t respond,” Barton said of the second-half. “We got to be ready to play. Like I said, from the beginning, especially against a team like that you can’t keep expecting for guys like that to make runs and get down a lot and think you are going to pull off another 21-3 run, that’s not going to happen. They are the champs for a reason, and we got to be ready to play.”

It seems like the Nuggets gave up once the second sequence rolled around. Denver looked flat and lacked life on the court, except for the Thrill who posted a team-high 21 points in addition to five assists and eight boards.

“Just to stay with it, and effort, really,” Barton when asked what the team can learn from the loss. “I just feel like there was a couple times they got easy breakaways, fast break points where we didn’t get back, we didn’t communicate and hustle. You know, against a team like that, that talented and that good, you got to keep flying around and making plays and helping the helper and just try and be there for your teammates because they are a very talented team.”

The Nuggets have been dysfunctional at times this year, mainly, it seems, due to lack of communication and drive to win. Barton echo’s effort at it’s finest and wants to win every day at all costs. In this, he is setting an example that the team would be wise to mimic: grind.

“I try to tell myself in games like this tomorrow we got a day off so just muster up all the energy you got and, go out there and give it all you got and then tomorrow you got the day off,” he said. “It’s NBA basketball. Everyone goes through those problems, so we can’t make those type of excuses.”

Barton is bringing charisma the rest of the team needs to buy into. The Nuggets are at their best when they play in synchronization, moving the ball around the court and playing tenacious defense. Saturday’s loss was a microcosm of some of Denver’s leading issues.

Despite the circumstances, Barton hustled for all 34 minutes he played and set a tone the rest of the team needs to emulate.

For more on Barton and the Nuggets struggles, check out this segment from The Morning Blitz.

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