Fan reaction

For the second time in three days the Denver Nuggets have had a preseason game that both Altitude and NBA TV have neglected to air. This inexcusable programing has prevented me from analyzing the team in depth before the start of the regular season although this may not be the case for many of you. Whether the loyal readers of Roundball Mining Company have streamed Thursday’s night game against the Phoenix Suns online or actually attended the game in Arizona I encourage everyone who managed to watch the contest to leave your notes and observation in the comments section for your fellow fans to enjoy.

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • https://twitter.com/#!/C_Stock20 C_Stock20

    Harrington didn’t even play and Faried still hardly played… It seems like he deserved some more minutes after last game. Karl “The Rookie Hater” lives on.

    • Adam

      Karl the rookie hater? That is a bit much for only two pre season games. Nene didn’t play, neither did lawson. I think Karl is looking at what he has, and not taking any chances of hurting any of our stars. Faried will get his playing time, don’t worry about that.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/C_Stock20 C_Stock20

        Lawson and Nene didn’t play because they’re already solid NBA players, Faried hasn’t even played in an NBA game yet…

        • ??

          And they were mildly hurt

    • SmokinNugs

      I think Karl saw what he needed to see from Faried in the 1st game. No question this game was exploring the depth of the bench and we won even bigger than the first game!

    • monkiboy777

      Karl needs to see the rest of the players because of a shortened training camp he has only 2 preseason games to cut down his roster.

  • SmokinNugs

    Just finished streaming the game and I really liked the way the team looked! Granted much of the game I was like “who is that?” but that aside a very solid TEAM performance.

    Things that struck me:
    – Andre is pass first, I like that from a new guy
    – Danilo takes a LOT of shots
    – We’re rebounding WAY better this year than we ever have
    – Afflalo better step his game up, he did not earn his $$ tonight
    – Stone ran point pretty effectively despite being a GIANT!
    – either the Suns are REALLY bad or the Nuggets are going to be REALLY good

    • monkiboy777

      AAA hasnt been practicing so still a bit rusty he’ll come around just needs a little time to get back into it.

  • http://roundballminingcompany.com Cory

    Didnt watch whole game, only caught the fourth quarter. My analysis though through stats and a little watching is we looked smooth on defense and offense. I completely trust Dre to do his thing night in and night out so don’t get confused when you look at stats and see why our big men do not have a lot of rebound Dre gettin’ em haha. But on the negative side but positive still Gallo got 23 and went 6-17. Good amount of points for contribution but too many missses. We need that clutch player in crunch time and he has the sweetest J, he needs to be able to get his own shot and make it.

  • Dakota

    Didn’t see all of the game, did see a little though.

    My main thought from the game though: Koufos and Mozgov had some major foul issues, we better get that shored up pretty quickly if we want Nene at PF full time.

    • SmokinNugs

      Koufus fouled out with less than 3 min left and he was doing work before it happened. Moz and Afflalo were the foul concerns in my eyes

      • Dakota

        He was very sloppy at the beginning of the game though. He had a really nice stretch towards the end that I watched before he fouled out, but a lot of his fouls were just bad basketball.

        Moz is a HUGE concern IMO. Not worried about Afflalo, this was his first game since the playoffs last year, the rust was expected.

      • http://roundballminingcompany.com Cory

        atleast ft % was waaayyy better lol

  • TJ

    Streamed it online. I know it was preseason so i take all of this with a grain of salt.
    The whole game was basically garbage time. Lawson, Nene, Harrington, and Fernandez didn’t even play. Which is understandable since the coaching staff probably wanted to see how all the rookies would play. Even Faried hardly played.
    Gallinari and Miller play significant minutes and dominated the competition (not that it was much competition against lesser competition during garbage time). Gallo looked unstoppable in the lane, either scoring, getting fouled, or both.
    Afflalo and Moz got some good minutes too. Neither looked stellar. I was particularly disappointed in AAA. After getting that big contract he went out and did nothing on the floor. He even got himself in a bit of foul trouble. But i do understand that he hasn’t had a whole training camp to prepare. Moz doesn’t look like starting center material yet. I hope the Nuggets keep Nene at the C at least to start the year.
    Bird played solid minutes and looked good.
    But for most of the game it was the Brewer and Carroll show. Both looked decent in the game but I’m not so sure they would look anywhere hear as close to as good as they did tonight if they were playing real NBA starters for a good team.
    Stone played well and showed great passing touch. He deserves a spot on the roster.
    Hamilton and Higgins played garbage time garbage time. And while i like both as players, they are not ready for the NBA game.

    Overall though, the Nuggets simply proved that their depth this year is going to help them contend. Very impressed by this team and I am stoked for the regular season to start!

    • Be Ray

      looks like we agree about a lot.

      I do want to point out that Carroll and Brewer are auditioning for bench roles, though. I know they wouldn’t stack up against good starters, but I’m happier with them now than I was before watching today’s game. Definitely quality depth.

  • Be Ray

    George Karl rested Ty, Nene, Al, and Rudy.

    Cory Higgins and Jordan Hamilton got a few scrap minutes, and Ruffin never made an appearance.

    Andre Miller had a nice game with 9 pts, 10 ast and 7 rebounds. He didn’t have a great shooting day, but this guy still has game. Looks like he’s ready to go.

    Gallinari, a little to my confusion, played 34 minutes. That seems like a lot for a preseason game with 17 guys on your roster. He had 23 points on bad (6-17) shooting, but he’s a foul-drawing machine. His slashing drives to the rim manufactured a lot of points, going 9-9 on free throws. I’m sure Karl loves this. He’s going to be our first scoring option, it seems. He did look pretty gassed by the end of his minutes, maybe he needed conditioning?

    Gotta say I was most impressed with Corey Brewer. He was aggressive offensively, shooting well inside and out. Finished with 20 points.

    DeMarre Carroll played above my expectations too. He was a frisky, disruptive defender. Moved the ball well on offense, and has some surprising moves when he takes it to the rack. Wasn’t a great finisher, but drew some fouls.

    Faried got 11 minutes, 5 of which were in mop-up. I hate this. He still hustled for boards and played hungry. What am I missing?

    The unit with Stone at PG, Brewer at SG, Carroll at SF, Gallinari at PF and Bird at C put the game away. They went on a tear in the third that carried almost all the way to the end of the game. Pretty thrilled that our benchers (save for Gallo) can do that.

    Stone was active for 20 minutes but it won’t show up in the stat sheet much. He’s an interesting player but I don’t see his fit on the team.

    Koufos got a long look today and didn’t disappoint. He bagged 15 and 11. Birdman looked surprisingly aggressive offensively in his limited touches. I love the twin Centers look and I’m guessing we’ll see a lot of it this year since we’ve got four good centers and limited PFs. Don’t get me wrong, I love Faried but Karl is keeping the leash very, very short right now.

    It seems to be an easy cut to get to 15 if we lost Ruffin and Higgins, though I’m sad to see the Buff go without a real chance. But did he have one anyway?

    Those are my impressions. It was mostly a sloppy game with 35 total turnovers and 67 personal fouls. But, looking at the teams with a wide lens showed the Nuggets to be faster, stronger, and more athletic. I’m starting to really believe in the strength of the team laying in the depth. This team will wear you down, period.

    • Aaron

      Honestly, I’d Rather See Al Harrington Go..I Think We Should Cut Ruffin No Thoughts About It. But Keep Higgins. I Mean We Know What Al Harrington Is And Will Be, Higgins But Not Turn Out To Be Any Good But I Think He Has A Chance, And Also Another Reason To Cut Harrington Is He Has A Fat Contract Which I Dont Think He Has Lived Up To. Another Is We Need To See What The MANIMAL Is All About.

      • jake

        Aaron, while you have an interesting comment… a capital on every word? Not english, please correct.

        • evan

          That doesn’t matter at all…

  • Omar

    sad to say but higgins will probably be cut even though i think carrol should be cut. ruffin is as good as gone.

    • Matt

      They only have to cut 2, so one of those three are going to make it and be called the Thetizvillie (or however you spell his name) of this team aka the last dude on the bench.

    • Jason

      I know you probably like Higgins because he is a CU product, and I was rooting for the kid also. And I think he might have NBA talent, but he is not quite ready.

      Carroll on the other hand looked great!! He plays very good D and actually showed a decent offensive game. I think he should be a keeper!

      I think Higgins and Ruffin get cut, and we roll with the remaining 15, with both Stone and Carroll making the team on non-guaranteed contracts, with the possibility of being cut depending on what happens this year with Chandler.

  • jeff

    Brewer scored 20, he played great! Gallo struggled with his 3 point shot but got to the line effectivley, andre did his thing 10 assists i think? mozgoz and koufos were solid sometimes.. afflalo struggled but what did you expect? defense was great… our bench will be great!

  • Matt

    This team absolutely impressed me tonight. I was impressed enough with the game on Tuesday when Fernandez, Lawson, Harrington and Nene played. But tonight they didn’t have any of the aforementioned players and still absolutely put the rout on the Suns starters. I really think that this team is way deeper then we though, and if you already thought they were really deep then they are now even deeper.

    The thing that really got to me tonight was the defense and the passing. We already knew defense would be a huge strength, and tonight proved that. But the interior passing was absolutely exquisite. We already knew that Miller was a great passer, but tonight we saw excellent passes by everybody, including Mozgov and Kufos. If this game (and if you didn’t see it, the box score) doesn’t get you excited for the first game on the 26th then I do not know what will.

  • FinazzAus

    Been throwing around a few trade options for Denver. I came up with this one. Any thoughs? I know howard is a long shot but here it is
    Denver gives up:
    S&T chandler
    Knicks $11mill exception
    Knicks 1st round
    Miller expiring contract
    Own 1st round

    Orlando give up:
    Howard 
    Maths would prob work to add turk if they wanted to.

    • FinazzAus

      If the are wanting to re build this is good for Orlando, shred help of money and get picks and a good young player. I also think chandler would sign that deal. Howard not so sure

      • FinazzAus

        Maybe even flip mozgov or koufor for secound rounder to create space for us.

        • dynamo.joe

          Said it before and I’ll say it again. What Dwight wants only matters after the season. If the Nuggs are willing to give that up to take a shot this season, then they can get D12 and hope a ring/finals appearance is enough to convince him to stay.

          With Lopez having surgery Nets have nothing to trade.

          As for the Lakers, Howard should be thinking “is it better to sign with the Lakers as a free agent and play with Pau/Kobe/Bynum or gut the team and play with 40 year old Kobe and the D-League all-stars”? I know what choice I would make.

          Those factors plus the depth of the Nuggets give them a window. A window with a steep price, but a window nonetheless.

  • jim

    streamed it. suns really suck and they played badly – so, some nice defense tonight, i thought, the nuggets made a bad team look bad. you want that.

    kouf looked good. lots of fouls but good d. stone’s line doesn’t look good but he played well — i think he’s a keeper, too. carroll and brewer both looked really good tonight compared with Tuesday. dre was excellent, actually. totally in control the whole time. bird was bird.

    danno was perfectly melo. 6-17, 9-9 from the line, 20+ points in 30+ minutes.

    • jim

      oh, and manimal…it’s like a renaldo balkman groundhog day. we can’t give THAT guy 15-20 per night?! seems like for every defensive lapse, there is a lot of upside. but i’m sure i’m missing something…

      • dynamo.joe

        The two above post pretty well summarized what I saw last night.

        Carroll looked bettter. Maybe game 1 = opening night jitters?

        I think the Nuggets are going to be explosive offensively, and if the bigs are gonna give 12-15 fouls a night, they will need to be.

        Merry Christmas everybody!

  • Steve

    I think Coach Karl’s decision to not play Lawson and Nene and barely play Faried was understanding the team is in somewhat of a fragile state at the moment, or at least that there are enough questions about this team not to take unecessary risks. As stated in the blogs here and many comments Nene’s return/Ability to replace him if he left would determine whether we would be a strong playoff contender or a team that should go into full rebuilding mode. I think a majority of our success depends on the play of Nene and Lawson with Faried and Gallo being the “ex-factors.” I don’t think the playing time or line-ups should be read into much tonight and instead should be seen as a sign that currently Karl believes this team has Top-4 seed potential but a significant injury to Nene or Lawson could drop it to a bottom 4 seed or no playoffs at all. Don’t think its because he’s a “rookie-hater” or anything.

    • Bryan

      Faried’s lack of playing time had nothing to do with Karl resting him. It had to do with his poor play. Hakeem Warrick looked all world when Faried was guarding him. Faried also doesn’t appear to have any offensive game save for open court and put back dunks.

      Faried is an explosive athlete and has cool dunks but you can’t be an offensive and defensive liability and expect to get serious minutes. Not if you a want a winning team.

      I also think Brewer pretty nuch ensured Hamilton won’t get much playing time.

      I’m not a fan of Karl’s dogmatic hatred of rookies but they didn’t do anything to justify playing (Faried really hurt himself last night) while other guys showed more.

      It’s awesome that we’re so deep though since the coaches will be able to work on Faried’s game and teach him the game without having him get schooled by mediocre players every game.

      • Jason

        I endorse this post! Faried will have to earn good PT through strong defensive effort, not just energy. He cannot be a liability on the court. And Karl wanted to see what he had in Carroll, and Carroll played better.

  • Jerry

    Jeremy Wagner and this whole site is a joke.

    • DH

      … and yet, here you are, at this site. Have a good day, Jerry. Try to relax. Merry Christmas.

    • Chad

      You, sir, are the joke. Go troll elsewhere.

  • Jerry

    I an just saying who cares what these tools have to say. You’re just like them. I am relaxed. Just being honest. Merry Christmas to you too buddy.

    • DH

      And I’m just saying that you seem to care what the tools have to say, because you’re at the site and commenting on what you have read. And I’m not sure how you would think you know what I’m “just like”. Have we met? I don’t know why you have such animosity towards a site that allows people to talk and share opinions on a subject that interests them, but it seems a little strange to me. As for Jeremy, I greatly appreciate him and his site. He obviously puts a lot of time, effort, research, and thought into it. With that said, I’m starting to feel bad about wasting space on his site with this pointless discussion, so this is the end of it. Again, I will say Merry Christmas (I was being sincere) and that goes for Jeremy, Charlie, Kalen, and all of the sites visitors. Happy Holidays everyone.

      • danuggz4ever

        MERRY CHRISTMAS DH, KALEN, JEREMY, CHARLIE AND ALL OF THE NUGGETS NATION. and of you dont like this site dont read it I know that it is one of the best sites that I read and you should please just move on if you don’t like it. Kalen, Jeremy and Charlie all do a great job on this site with openning the floor to the fans. They allow us to read their opinions and give our in a friendly disscussion. So go somewhere else if you don’t like it. Again Happy Holidays everyone.

  • Jim

    Speaking of tool…cool game data here from last night:
    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20111222&game=DENPHO

  • Gary

    Here’s a shout out to our Nuggs!
    Fans love knowing who is who! Those of us that have stayed with you through thick and then love feeling a connection to the team. Best way to do that is let us see players prior to the season. I couldn’t steam the games but really wanted to see Thursdays game my Internet went offline and now I have to wait a week to see you play.
    If you want our support, support us by letting us evaluate the talent in our own minds. It develops a better connection. The box score says nothing. I have been with you since you played with a red white and blue ball. In fact I still have one. I don’t watch college ball, so I am not sure about your new talent. Would have loved to have seen it.

  • Jason

    I watched the entire game via online streaming…except for a few minutes during the 4th quarter. Here are my observations

    1. It was great to see this team battle, and downright dominate in the 4th quarter even though we were playing without some of our best players. Again, our depth is going to be a huge advantage this year.

    2. Brewer was impressive. The knock on him was that he couldn’t shoot. He shot extremely well and actually showed some moves, hitting a turnaround jumper even once. He scored 20!! Being that the most impressive thing with his game is his D, and his offense is not a liability of the Dahntay Jones mold, I think he should be a solid wing backup.

    3. Gallo led the team in scoring with 23. He was impressive driving the ball as usual. I did think he took a few too many outside shots when he wasn’t hot, but I like this kids potential. He didn’t play his best and still scored 23!

    4. Koufos looked darn good. Blocked two shots, rebounded well, and showed some athleticism inside. I think he is a keeper. Mozgov looked good also, and the debate will be who to start. I still think you go with Mozgov as he has more international game experience, but we finally have two 7 footers! WOW…this deep is deep.

    5. Miller was a great pickup. I think he is better for this team than Ray Felton would have been, and I am happy to see him back in a Nugs uni. He is an amazing passer.

    6. Many were wondering why Faried only played 15 minutes. I think it was primarily because this team only had 2 preseason games, and they had other guys to evaluate. I think Karl knows what he has in Faried. He didn’t know what he had with Carroll, hence the reason why Carroll ended up playing way more in this one than Faried. And Carroll impressed! He looked solid and to me, he should make the team. He plays good D and showed that he was not a total liability on offense. Faried has some work to do, but I fully expect him to get better. He is an amazing rebounder, but his D still needs some polishing. And he also needs to work on his offensive game so that Nugs don’t play 4 on 5 with him in the game. It will be a work in progress with Faried this year, so don’t be disappointed if he doesn’t play a ton…and quite frankly I wouldn’t blame Karl.

    7. Stone looked better in game 1, but he still looked good in this one. I think both Stone and Carroll should make the team…Higgins and Ruffin should be cut.

    8. AAA looked rusty, but that is not surprising. I think it might take him a few weeks into the season before he looks great, but then again, I think there is going to be a lot of sloppy play around the NBA the first few weeks.

  • KW

    I streamed it so I didn’t get a super good look BUT did anyone else see either Moz or KK chase a loose ball right before the half?

    It looked like they were trying to avoid and over and back but the result was a Suns player grabbing the ball, scoring and drawing a foul.

    Was it Moz or Koufos? It was turrrible.

  • Rog

    Congrats to J Stone, looks like he’s on the 15 man roster.

  • Chris

    I wanna see Cory Brewer get a lot of playing time but I don’t see that happening with AAA and Rudy Fernandez at SG. Do we kick him out and play him as a backup forward?

    • Jason

      He can easily play SF as well. He is 6’8″ or 6’9″

  • Andrew

    As a Buff, I am feeling bad for Cory Higgins getting waive today, though it seemed inevitable with him and Ruffin. Do the Nuggets have to let go of anyone else at this point?

    Anyway, keep up the good work, Kalen, Jeremy and Charlie, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

    • http://roundballminingcompany.com Kalen

      Besides Higgins and Ruffin, no. The Nuggets now have 15 guys on the roster including Carroll, Stone and Brewer. As Amel pointed out, ChuChu’s rights should belong to Denver but it’s hard to say what exactly his role with the team will be going forward. At only 20 years of age he’s still got a ways to go before he reaches his peak, but who knows what that really means.

  • Charlie

    Merry Christmas guys, really appreciate all the kind words and all the dedicated readers who are a huge part of our blog. I missed the first half of the game and I appreciate all of the analysis from those who were able to see the game and report back. It’s going to be a really fun year in Nuggets basketball guys… stay tuned

  • Amel

    What’s happening with Maduabum? Will we play him in the D-League? He’s on our current roster (16 guys still on the roster!), but will we send him to Idaho?

    • http://roundballminingcompany.com Kalen

      I have no idea what the deal is with Chu Chu. I can’t find anything on the Internet about him and when I asked him on Twitter where he was playing this year he didn’t answer. I would suspect he’d be in the D-League this year, especially with how full our roster is, but you never know.

    • Charlie

      Chu Chu is an unsigned draft pick. Nuggets hold his rights, but aren’t under any obligation to give him a contract. Had they signed him for camp he would occupy a roster spot and they would lose his rights if they decide to cut him.

      Chu could play overseas or in the D-league. He’s young and not quite ready to join an NBA outfit yet. I’d count on seeing him in summer league next season. Remember he was the 58th pick and it’s sort of a longshot he’ll even pan out.

  • http://espn.com Chris

    The nuggets will cut more people when Wilson comes back and if they decide to resign kenyon

  • http://espn.com Chris

    The nuggets still need an explosive Scorer

    • Amel

      Maybe Fernandez can become one. Otherwise I would like to see us trading for Nick Young

  • MileHighFan

    Sorry. I should have listed this sooner. Busy holidays… I’ve placed pictures from the games on: http://www.milehighfan.com/downloads/ Simple zip format. Of course, free. Go Nuggets!