2011-12 Game 3: Denver Nuggets 102 Portland Trailblazers 111

Box Score | Highlights

The Nuggets played the first of what will undoubtedly be many ugly games in Portland tonight. It was a messy affair from the start, dominated by fouls, turnovers and questionable shot selection. Ultimately the game came down to a 2-minute stretch in which the tougher, more composed Blazers held it together and came out on top.

What’s disappointing is that this game exposed obvious flaws in this team’s design that are carried over from last season.  Despite again assembling a deep legion of pretty-good players, questions remain about whether not this they took the strides necessary to bust through the first-round ceiling of last year’s squad.

Once again, there’s still plenty of problems with execution on the road. It’s not even surprising considering this is an offensive team with no reliable source of scoring outside of easy transition opportunities. Despite cleaner rotations and better actual effort on defense, the Nuggets couldn’t capitalize on timely stops by executing even the simplest offensive concept on the other end.

Denver’s offense was a disaster tonight. It consisted mostly of one-on-one isolations, ill-advised passing and quick jump shots, plenty of which ended up being long two point attempts. When the Nuggets actually worked a real offense and created opportunities inside for Nene, he went up soft and couldn’t finish. Danilo Gallinari disappeared. Andre Miller reminded us how poor shot selection and questionable half-court decision making limit the real impact of his ability to fill up a stat sheet.

No one gets a pass tonight except Ty Lawson, unquestionably the best player on this team and the only one who didn’t shy away from the moment. He was the best player on the court throughout the entire game on both ends of the floor. Outside of Lawson’s emergence as a game-changing talent, I can’t fool myself into taking away any additional positives for this game.

The Nuggets fought very hard in what ended up being a thrilling game to watch. However if we are made to believe this is a contending team built for the playoffs, the doubt raised by a timid, weak-willed performance in an ugly game somewhat spoils the fun.

Update (11:49 MST) by Jeremy

The Denver Nuggets looked like world beaters in their first two games of the season trouncing a completely discombobulated Dallas Mavericks team and then routing a directionless Utah Jazz squad.  Entering their interdivision showdown with the Portland Trail Blazers I was intrigued to see how Denver would deal with their first true test of the 2011-12 season.

Suffice it to say things went a little less smoothly than they had in games one and two. As Charlie mentioned above this game was an indictment of the starless roster Denver has compiled.

In a close game against a solid foe, Denver was not able to produce points down the stretch.  The two teams were tied at 98 after a Ty Lawson three pointer rolled in with 5:39 remaining.  Denver proceeded to score two points over the next 5:31. A Lawson/Nene pick and roll resulted in a kick out to Fernandez from the corner.  Miss.  Another Lawson/Nene pick and roll ended in a blocked shot by Gerald Wallace.  Andre Miller missed a free throw line jumper after a pick and roll with Nene.  A deflection by Nene lead to two Arron Afflalo free throws on the fast break.  Gallinari left a three short in transition on a shot that Nuggets coaches had to be cringing as he attempted it.  Next Gallo had the ball on the block fiddled around with it, kicked it out to Miller who passed it right back to the Rooster on the wing ending with a contested step back three.  Gallo then once again missed an open three, as wide open as you can be, in transition.  Lawson was then stripped driving to the basket leading to a Raymond Felton three to put the game away with 1:42 remaining.  After a timeout, Afflalo over dribbled before trying to dump the ball to Nene and the ball caromed out of bounds.  Afflalo then missed a contested three.  Lawson was called for charging and then Afflalo closed out the scoring with a transition layup which would have been attributed to defensive indifference if it was baseball.

Denver did not score in their half-court offense in the final 5:39.  That is a red light.  They tried running pick and rolls with Lawson and Nene, Miller and Nene, they tried giving the ball to Afflalo and Gallo.  No one could score and very winnable game drifted away from them.

The only thing Denver did well was force turnovers.  From out of nowhere they have become first class roundball burglars.  In a first half where Denver was completely incapable of hitting an outside shot they were able to go into halftime tied with the Blazers thanks to ten first half steals, five of which came courtesy of Ty Lawson.  Denver would pilfer the rock 16 times with Lawson accumulating eight total.

Not only did Denver do a great job of thievery, they did a relatively good job of hanging onto it themselves coughing the ball up only seven times.  Apart from the discrepancy in turnovers the Trail Blazers dominated nearly every other key stat.  They outshot Denver 51.9% to 40.2%, including 40.0% to 20.0% on threes.  The greatest statistical disparity was on rebounding where Portland retrieved 50 caroms to Denver’s 30.  The easy explanation is that Denver missed 52 shots and Portland only missed 38. The bulk of any team’s rebounds come from their opponents missed shots so it would have been impossible for Denver to match Portland’s rebound total. Taking into account Portland had 18 more turnovers than Denver and that Portland made half of their shots, it stands to reason Denver’s ability to force turnovers robbed them from anywhere from eight to ten defensive rebounds.

Even so, a 20 rebound discrepancy is inexcusable.  To dig further, the average NBA team will collect roughly one out of every four of their missed shots.  As we already mentioned Denver missed 52 shots from the field.  It would then stand to reason we could expect them to have roughly 13 offensive rebounds.  Shockingly Denver only had three.  That computes to a miniscule offensive rebound rate of 6.5%.  That is the worst single game offensive rebound rate since I started tracking Denver’s advanced stats in 2009.  It is only the third time over those two plus seasons that their offensive rebound rate was below ten.  It was not their defensive rebounding that doomed them, but their offensive rebounding.

Denver is undoubtedly a deep team and their depth will serve them well as the season goes on. However, coming off a game in Denver the night before where no starter played more than 25 minutes Denver was clearly fatigued.  A vast majority of their 16 errant three point attempts were short and as we documented above, they could not score down the stretch.  Things do not get any easier for Denver as they enter their first stretch of three games in three days.

– Jeremy

Game 2 Advanced Stats

Pace Factor: 106.3 – The fact they forced this pace on a slow team and still lost is a bad sign
Offensive Efficiency: 95.9 – This isn’t awful considering poor outside shooting, but Denver’s ability to score on a set defense in pretty suspect to me
Defensive Efficiency: 104.4 – When we see an actual bad defensive game, this number will get a lot worse

Additional Game 2 Nuggets:

  • After watching three games of the Nuggets play defense, I’m fairly certain they don’t have what it takes to be an elite defensive team. They lack a true defensive presence in the post and are reliant on poor help from Nene and Chris Andersen. On the perimeter, the rotations are inconsistent and Arron Afflalo is the only standout player. Barring a change in attitude or a breakout performance by someone this looks like a top flight offense and an average defense at best.
  • The Blazers out-rebounded the Nuggets by 20. Only two Nuggets managed to get more than 5 rebounds. Portland only played 8 players in their rotation and ALL of them grabbed at least five rebounds. Denver lacks toughness and a fundamental ability to box out which most other playoff teams have.
  • Al Harrington tried on defense and Arron Afflalo did as well. I haven’t praised Harrington for his improved play thinking it was a fluke. Harrington is giving more effort than Nene and Birdman on defense and deserves credit. Mozgov’s rawness and inexperience are also showing the Nuggets aren’t in a position to rely on him either. I’m not sure why Karl trusted him on Aldridge early this game but it was a total disaster.
  • The Nuggets were not clutch. I can only remember them getting one good shot in crunch time that wasn’t a Ty Lawson score. It was when Lawson fed Nene on a pick and roll right at the base of the rim. Instead of finishing hard and getting fouled he went up soft and had the ball stripped.
  • Andre Miller, with the ball in his hands in a half-court set, still can’t create a good look for the offense when it’s badly needed. Lawson is the better player, and he should have touched the ball every single possession down the stretch. Miller needs to take a back seat to the better point guard on this team and I have doubts he is ready to do that.
  • Gallo routinely finds himself in favorable match-up situations and makes the least of them. He took 5 shots inside of 20-feet and made 3 of them. He shot 10 jumpers at least 20 feet away from the basket and made only one of them. Like I said, Gallo was a no-show and he hasn’t done anything impressive in the first three games of the season.
  • I’d like to start a movement to stop referring to Chris Andersen by his former moniker. Andersen has not blocked a shot this season. He managed only 7 minutes tonight, and George Karl did an admirable job pulling him out of the game after some awful defensive possessions and a careless turnover. If you watch Chris Andersen set screens, box out, chase loose balls and fight for offensive rebounds you are going to notice something  missing – effort. Andersen isn’t giving good effort on either end of the floor and he hasn’t helped the Nuggets in victory or defeat thus far.
  • The Nuggets stopped fouling and turning the ball over in the second half. Unfortunately, the offense was so bad it’s hard to notice they had only 7 turnovers and gathered 16 total steals. It will be hard for the Nuggets to maintain such a high activity level on defense without getting anything out of it. Chalk up the poor shooting to fatigue if you like, but they hardly created good looks in the second half. This is a product of being tested against a good half-court defense and the Nuggets failed the test badly.

Update (12:31 MST) by Kalen

Thursday night was a complete 180-degree turn compared to what Nuggets fans saw in the first two games of the season. After blowing both Utah and Dallas out of the water by forcing turnovers and finishing on the fast-break, the Nuggets struggled to get in any sort of offensive or defensive groove all night against the Blazers. Give Portland credit though, as its defense was outstanding, forcing the Nuggets to shoot 40 percent from the field and 20 percent from beyond the arc. Additionally, the Blazers absolutely dominated the paint by out-blocking the Nuggets 9-2 and out-rebounding them 50-30. Considering those numbers it’s actually a shock the Nuggets lost by only nine points, especially given the game was played in one of the more difficult arenas in the NBA to compete in. Though the first loss of the season is always tough to swallow, Nuggets fans shouldn’t be too discouraged as the Blazers are a solid team likely to finish in the upper echelon out West.

Candid notes:

  • First and foremost, small ball destroyed us in this game. As I mentioned on Twitter, I could care less about the bad shooting night because that’s to be expected from time to time, especially when playing in such a hostile environment like the Rose Garden. What’s inexcusable however is playing Al Harrington and Danilo Gallinari at the power forward spot the entire fourth quarter in a tight game!!! How does this happen!?! I mean, here we are gloating about all the size and rebounding prowess we finally have and yet, George Karl doesn’t even utilize it when we need it most! This type of stuff absolutely drives me bonkers, because while Portland is trotting out Marcus Camby, LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace — some of the better rebounders in the NBA — to play virtually the entire fourth quarter, Karl is countering with Nene, Al Harrington and Danilo Gallinari — none of whom have EVER averaged more than eight rebounds per game in their career and ALL of whom are playing out of position!!! Hell, what’s the point of starting Mozgov if he’s not even going to play in the fourth quarter or when the going gets tough? How is it that Kenneth Faried — a guy who is probably the best rebounder on the team already — doesn’t even see a minute of action in a game where his best skill is of dire need? And why can’t Koufos even get a look when we’re going up against much taller competition? For me, this game came down to coaching and tonight Nate McMillan clearly had the upper hand against George Karl.
  • Even though the Nuggets still forced a bevy of turnovers, their ill-advised, off-the-mark shooting prevented them from taking full advantage of the Blazer’s misfortunes. Denver snatched 16 steals and caused the Blazers to turn the ball over a ghastly 25 times, but simply could not convert on the offensive side of the ball. Another factor contributing to Denver’s inefficiencies however was its overall defense and inability to stop the Blazers from scoring. Sure, they’d land a steal quite frequently throughout the game, but not only would they then fail to convert offensively, but on the very next posestion they’d get lost on a defensive rotation leaving the Blazers wide open for a 3-pointer. This was evident in the fact that the Blazers were only two points shy of putting up 30 points in three different quarters. Tonight, unlike the first two games, Denver simply wasn’t firing on every cylinder, but instead hitting on just a few.
  • Andre Miller and Ty Lawson both out-rebounded Danilo Gallinari. In 35 minutes of action, mostly at the power forward spot, Gallo managed to haul in only two rebounds and shot 4-15 from the field all while compiling the worst plus/minus of any player on the court. Though it’s easy to blame Gallo for such an awful outing, I have hard time doing so when he was asked to consistently guard LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace, who are both power forwards. Yes, Gallinari is 6-10, I understand that, but he’s not a power forward! This is the exact same thing as playing Chuck Hayes at shooting guard just because he’s 6-foot-6, forcing him to go up against (and get burned by) much quicker players like Andre Iguodala and Kobe Bryant!!! For short stretches it can be effective, but to ask Gallinari to play power forward down the stretch against one of the tallest, most athletic front-courts in the NBA is just ridiculous.
  • George Karl realizes that he could potentially send out a lineup of Julyan Stone (6-foot-7), Al Harrington (6-foot-9), Danilo Gallinari (6-foot-10), Nene (6-foot-11) and Timofey Mozgov (7-foot-1), right?
  • Teams like Portland who also have excessive depth could give the Nuggets a lot of trouble this year down the road. Against the Knicks, Lakers or Mavericks, the Nuggets might fare well due to the depth advantage; however, when the Nuggets go up against teams that can match its youth and bench, and then top it with a superior amount of talent, it’s hard to see the Nuggets coming out on top. Let’s just say the Blazers might be on the list of teams the Nuggets do not want to see in the postseason.
  • While the Blazers, like the Nuggets, are also bereft of a “superstar” Jamal Crawford was good enough for tonight. Why this guy wasn’t in higher demand this past summer I have no idea. Being one of only four players to score 50 points for three different teams, Crawford is an absolutely stud offensively and is the exact type of guy the Nuggets desperately need to close out games. Bottom line: Should Crawford have found himself on the other side of the ball tonight, playing with the Nuggets, I have a feeling this game probably would have ended in a different manner.
  • Lastly, can someone say, “Samuel Dalembert”? During the free-agent frenzy that took place recently I declared it would be a good idea to consider signing the 6-foot-11 center to a one or two-year contract even if it meant overpaying by a few million dollars. In a night like tonight, when Karl refused to play either of the Nuggets’ young 7-footers, Dalembert could have come in handy.
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Charlie Yao

Contributor at Roundball Mining Company since 2010. Unhealthily obsessed with Nuggets basketball since 2002. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at the links on the left.
  • jeff

    Agreed, karl needs to change the crunch time lineup.. didnt work in the playoffs, wont work now!

  • Dubz

    Charlie, while I agree with some points I think you’re looking into this loss more than you should be. This team is going to have their growing pains and will need to shore up some areas where improvement is needed. However, they just played the second game of a back to back in Portland against a VERY good team. Portland is a contender this year. To reflect more on your article, I think you’re too quick to dismiss their defensive abilities. I agree that Mozgov needs to figure out what he can consistently bring to this team as a starter for he can’t be taking up empty minutes like this. As for Al, I’m glad you pointed out his effort defensively. He and Ty were the two guys who really showed up tonight. I also agree with the difficulties regarding the relationship between Ty and Miller during crunch time. I love Miller, but he has to play second fiddle to Ty cause Ty is a budding super star. Overall, I’m really not too concerned at all. The effort was there and shots just didn’t fall. It happens. I do wish Nene would finally put these tip toeing around like a fairy performances to rest, he needs to realize he’s a leader on this team now. Finally, I think I’m starting to see a potential void that Faried could fill. Our bigs were falling asleep under the rim tonight and his injection of energy could really change the dynamics under there. Less Mozgov/Bird and more Faried/Koufos sooner than later sounds alright to me. Go Nuggz

    • Nigel

      Right you are, man! Save Mozgov later, Birdman has been inconsistent defensively since being too carried away with the moniker. Also, injuries are no surprise in this shortened season, Chris Andersen will suddenly be hit with the injury bug, which will open the door for Kenneth Faried to do his thing.

  • Dubz

    P.S. Was I the only one noticing Miller guarding Batum for long stretches at a time? Miller guarding SG’s is fine for certain situations but he can’t be guarding guys who are 6 inches taller than him. Karl seemed to go too small tonight with his lineups with Bird at center and Al at PF. Portland can put in huge lineups that shouldn’t be counteracted by a small lineups by the Nuggets. In fact, I’d like to see Al play some SF and for us to go bigger. Just a thought.

    • Charlie

      Very good point, If I may, I say Karl stuck with the lineup so long because of all the trouble trying to muster up any halfway decent offense. Karl always talks about needing “playmakers” on the floor and that unit was getting defensive stops and forcing turnovers.

      That doesn’t mean it was a good decision. My guess is, Birdman has been so bad Karl decided he couldn’t have take the risk of playing him with Aldridge on the floor. Thus, the endless small ball lineup

  • Jeff

    I really wish Faried and Koufos would have gotten minutes. Nene was all down there by himself for much of the night, and the Portland bigs were dominating. I know they are young and could be liabilities but the rotation Karl used really was not working as evident by the rebounding gap. The positive is that we could have won this game if we had hit some shots despite all the problems.

  • Joe

    All of you out there that thought we would be better without J.R. Smith better start praying we get scoring from somewhere fast. Especially from 3pt land! Averages from first three games: 37% – 31% – 20%!!! J.R. Smith career averages from 3pt land: 37% – and 38% as a Nugget!!! With the way are offense is completely dependent on dribble drive penetration and then kicking it out for open 3’s/long 2’s, we need people to start consistently knocking down some shots. Afflalo has been awful, (hopefully it’s just rust, but definitely isn’t looking worth the 43mil) Fernandez is absolute garbage, (he is everything everyone hates about J.R. but with none of the redeeming factors) and Gallinari is inconsistent (basically a lesser version of Melo, takes a lot of shots while making a small percentage of them, but gets to the FT line a decent amount and makes the majority of those. Currently averaging 11 shots a game with only 4 makes, and 5.33 FT’s per game while converting all of those). With no dependable post presences, (Nene will always be inconsistent, that’s just who he is) we have to be able to have guys knock down shots when our dribble drives create open looks. Hopefully someone wakes up and starts nailing some shots, otherwise we can look forward to a mid to low playoff seeding, and a first round knock out again. I’m all for team ball, but you still have to have guys that can knock down the shots consistently, especially when your defense is in the bottom third of the league

    • Charliemyboy

      I’m just not sure. They couldn’t bend their knees tonight due to fatigue. Look at their percentage in the previous two games. If they had won by two, the synopsis would have been different, accentuating the steals as more impact then shooting percentage. And they could have, but took ill-advised shots down the wire. Too tired. And Lakers are looming. Karl has to bite the bullit and play the subs this year. Strengths? Steals in spite of fatigue. Weaknesses? No time to set up effective two man games and lack of effort on rebounds. Solutions? Let the young kids play and block out!

  • Joe

    Also, get used to the awful line-ups everybody. George Karl is a good fundamentals & strategy coach, but is one of the absolute worst coaches I have ever seen when it comes to player rotations & substitutions. It seems like our line-ups are always placed into mismatches by his substitutions, and left that way for far too long. George likes to let things play out, so he won’t quickly take someone out that he just put in, and will frequently wait way too long to use a timeout. Plus he has always played favorites, and doesn’t like to play rookies. So be ready to see more of the same old from coach Karl

  • jeff

    Our defense won’t be bottom 3rd of the league, but i do agree with you joe, gallo hasn’t impressed me, he hasn’t worked on anything it seems like

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

    The one thing I neglected to mention in my discussion of the historically bad offensive rebounding night was how small Karl chose to play. As Dubz mentioned Miller was guarding Batum and at the end of the game Gallo was playing center and Nene was the only Nugget anywhere near the paint on shots. Karl has played some small lineups before, but tonight might have been the smallest team he put on the floor for consistent minutes since he has coached the Nuggets.

  • AussieNuggsFan2

    Dear Kalen, Jeremy, Charlie and whoever else…

    WOW. What a surprise the 3 players I have repeatedly said should be traded/amnestied killed us tonight against Portland.

    GALLO. FERNANDEZ. FAT AL –
    Combined for 1/14 3 point shooting.
    All of them kept taking bad shots despite having bad nights.

    Fernandez showed his true colours. how people can claim he is better than JR Smith is beyond belief. He is just as bad at taking bad shots on bad shooting nights and was also killed defensively, sitting back on Crawford like he was Rajon Rondo. JR Smith was actually more efficient than most last year including players like Gallinari who is apparently the meant to be the saviour.

    Gallo is not going to be a go to guy and must be traded before the deadline to avoid overpaying him this summer.

    I know this might be a slight overreaction from one bad game !BUT! we showed why we were eliminated in the playoffs last year and why we won’t go far with this team. When is comes down to the end of close games our half court offense is non existent.

    George Karl refuses to play the rookies even in blowouts, about 6/7 minutes total for Faried. The two point guard thing looks alright on offense sometimes but terrible on defense and as much as i admire Andre Miller’s skills he is prone to holding the ball for two long. We should explore trade options for him as well. Perhaps using the Laker’s trade exception for Dallas’ first rounder or something.

    I have been pleading for the trade of Gallo and Al Harrington as well as the replacement of GK all offseason and I cant see me changing my mind.

    In my belief it has become very apparent Denver tried to skip a short rebuild to stay competitive in regular season games but are destined to first round exits unless something changes.

    Ty Lawson looks like he could jump up into stardom but not quite a first option on a really good team.

    Time to rethink before the deadline and this killer draft.

    • Joe

      I couldn’t agree with most of your statements more. I don’t know why everyone is so high on Galo, (look at my previous post regarding him as a lesser Melo) Fernandez is a absolute joke, (should get rid of him for absolutely anything we can get) and I don’t think we will ever win a championship with coach Karl.
      I disagree on Miller though. I love having two great options at the PG position. The problem is how Karl is obsessed with using them on the court at the same time. It may have worked when we had Billups, but he is a much bigger a more physical PG so he could actually cover most SG’s, whereas Miller and Lawson definitely can’t.
      I also disagree on Harrington. While I don’t like his quick trigger to throw up just about any shot, at least he hustles/can score/and tries to make things happen. That is a lot more than what can be said about Mozgov/Birdman/and occasionally Nene.

    • Bryan

      So after one game you solution is to blow up the team for draft picks, so we suck this year in the hopes of getting a superstar out of it. A superstar that will alnost certainly want to leave for a bigger market like the rest of them.

      I also think your criticism is too narrowly focused. Nene turned into passive Nene and Afflalo was missing wide open shots. And Andersen was the worst player on the court tonight. Seriously, seeing Camby look 100 times better than him.

      Gallo was able to get by Wallace (who is a good defender) frequently. Him not attacking at the end of the game was frustrating but nobody else was either. He had a rough shooting night but that happens to everyone including our last superstar. Similarly, Miller had many nice plays and was keeping the Nuggets in it early. I think he ran out of gas in the 4th though. Rudy also made some good offensive plays when he attacked. And in fairness most of the 3’s he missed were open and reasonable. JR would shoot from 5 feet behind the arc. The Nuggets doubling the guys in the post was the biggest problem with the D and that wasn’t exclusive to him.

      If Karl doesn’t get over his guard fetish, I’ll join that bandwagon with you though.

      • Joe

        Your missing the points I’m trying to make here. The problem is, the way the team is set up currently, we will likely get bounced by a superior team in the first round for the next few years because we don’t have anybody that we can CONSISTENTLY rely on.
        Nene is going to constantly have these types of games throughout the season. He always has been that way, and just because we gave him big money to stay doesn’t mean he is going to develop into something else.
        Galo is VASTLY overrated. He is a lesser Melo (who was overrated also, but mostly because of his lack of effort and defense). Melo’s averages: 46% FG% & 9FT attempts per game….Galo’s averages: 42% FG% & 4FT attempts per game. We need to trade him will other teams still have value in him because he is one of our better trade chips to try to get something/someone better in the future.
        And as for Fernandez, he has historically be known for throwing up horrible shots/bad defense/and bad decision making. I live in Portland now, and they were thrilled to get rid of him.
        And although J.R. may have chucked some up from 5ft beyond the arc, he still would make a large percentage of even some of those, and would always seem to make the BIG 3’s to get us back in a game, or to put a nail in the coffin of a game. And compared to the improvements he made last year defensively, he is LIGHT YEARS ahead of Fernandez.
        I’m not saying blow things up, but I would look to trade away Galo/Fernandez/& either Mozgov or Koufos to try and bring in some pieces/draft picks once Chandler returns from China.
        Also, how long does Birdman have left on his contract anybody? I would think about using the amnesty on him!

        • Ray

          I’m sorry, but some of the posts here are completely missing the mark.

          First Gallo – He had a bad shooting night, period.. Less efficient than JR are you crazy? If you want to talk about efficiency, at least use the correct stat. Last year, Gallo had a true shooting percentage of .597, which is ELITE. JR’s last two year have been .550 and .510. At least get the stat right, Gallo is one of the most efficient scorers in the league, while JR is just a chucker.

          Rebounding? Perhaps the fact that Denver was so highly out-rebounded had to do with the fact that they were playing transition defense… go back and watch the game, notice how only one big held back on every Portland jumper? That’s basic defense against a running team, San Antonio and Boston do the same thing against Denver.

          And it worked. Denver were +10 in free throw attempts and +14 in points in the paint, all while forcing a ton of turnovers. LA and GW were kept in check.

          The small ball lineup worked almost to perfection. Yes Portland got 7 O boards, but they also gave up a ton of shots in transition–the two go hand in hand. If GK went big, Portland would have absolutely run them out of the building.

          Here’s why Denver lost the game:

          They missed wide open shots! And Portland made theirs! Wow what a revelation! Crazy how a team that performs well below expectations jumpshooting can lose to a team that runs above expectation.

          This was a good loss, everyone calm down.

          • Joe

            I never compared JR to Galo. I said Galo was a overrated, lesser version of Melo. I was strictly comparing JR to Fernandez

          • CCH

            Totally agree with you Ray.
            Get off the end of the world, this team has no closer everybody.
            We missed an insane amount of wide open threes, and missed even MORE layups. Remember this team has only played together 3 weeks. Add in the butterfly’s of playing the first hostile road back to back against a division rival.
            I see no reason for concern at all, in fact I’m pretty happy with the performance albeit sloppy. The me- lo nuggets would of laid over belly up in the first quarter and lost by 20.

          • Joe

            Also, why didn’t you throw out Galo’s Player Efficiency Rating (PER) (15.71 good for 110th in the league) & Estimated Wins Added (EWA) (5.1 good for 98th in the league)……oh yeah, because they are both worse then JR’s PER (16.43 good for 84th) & EWA (5.8 good for 87th). Once again, wasn’t ever trying to compare JR to Galo. Just pointing out that I can use statistics for my arguments too, and they are no less important then your TS%……here’s another one too Galo’s Effective Field Goal % (EFG%) 49% JR’s EFG% 51%

            • Ray

              Wait you’re comparing Gallo to Melo? I would think Melo is a good deal better seeing as New York traded 4 players plus two draft picks for him. Gallo is only overrated if you compare him to Melo head to head.

              JR>Rudy, no denying that. But JR is going to be paid a full MLE whereas Rudy is on a very friendly contract.

              • Joe

                I wasn’t comparing Galo to Melo either, I just said he was a lesser version of Melo (in that they both take a bunch of shots without making a high percentage of them, and they both get to the FT line. Obviously Melo does both of those things at a much higher rate, which is why he is the superstar). And the other statistics I threw out about Galo (PER, EWA, EFG%) are all underwhelming, hence why I feel like he is overrated, and would be more valuable to the Nuggets as a trade piece for a draft pick that MAY or MAY NOT turn out to be a better option, but would at least give the Nuggets a shot at acquiring that missing piece.
                And I would be more then happy to have JR back on this team even at the full MLE. Especially since we could easily amnesty Birdman for cap reasons if needed. And then we could use Rudy and either Moz or KK in a trade to acquire a ready now/more reliable big like a Okafor or someone like that.

          • TheWolfman

            I agree completely here that the reason they lost the game is that they missed open shots in crunch time. They were stuck at 100 pts for nearly 3 minutes (even though they had three steals during said 3 minute stretch).

            The small ball line up gets picked on unnecessarily IMO. The only reason the Nugs were able to get back in that game and fight to the end was the small line-up. The Blazers were destroying the starting line up and George made a good move in going with speed over lanky, uncoordinated Russian humiliation.

  • Bryan

    You mean a team that used a four guard lineup got outrebounded by 20? Afflalo is going to have to do a better job of rebounding if he’s going to be a PF.

    Hopefully, this will be a learning experience for the Nuggets. The Nuggets got back into the game by attacking the basket than inexplicably started chucking 3’s. Wallace had trouble staying in front of Gallo, so he could get in the lane for a bucket or foul pretty much whenever he wanted. And hopefully, Karl will learn that has affinity for guard play has limitations and drawbacks.

    I think you guys are being premature in questioning their playoff viability. It’s only the third game of the season. And in a game in which they couldn’t hit wide open shots, and made several mistakes on defense, playing on the road, they were still in the game until the last minute or so. That should be somewhat encouraging considering the limited offseason. You gotta figure things will get tightened up and guys will get their legs under them and play better. Or, in the case of Andersen, get benched in favor of Kofous.

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

      While it is only the third game of the season, we have seen this formula fail last season in the playoffs in Denver. The point we are driving home is there is no reason to believe this season will be any different.

      • Bryan

        And I don’t think the formula has been figured out yet. There are new players and young players with the potential to develop.

        I would also point out that the season after the Nuggets went to the WCF, they were bounced in the first round by an injury plagued Jazz team. They couldn’t rally around their coach who was in the hospital with cancer. First round playoff exits were the story of the Nuggets during the Melo era. They were also humiliated by the Lakers after bringing in AI to pair with Melo.

        I find it interesting that no one had a problem with the Melo formula despite its perennial failure. And certainly no one would have written them off after one game.

      • Ray

        Are you serious Jeremy? Weren’t the Nuggets within one basket and a bad call from being up 3-1 in the playoffs? People need to understand how variance works and stop listening to announcers who are trying to fill up broadcast time. This team put up 54 pythag, on pace for 60+ post all-star break. I don’t see much failure in that.

        sigh…

        • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

          What is your definition of failure? Mine is not winning a championship. We can talk all we want about one play here or there, those are the plays superstars make consistently and they are also the plays no one on the Nuggets make consistently.

          One thing I have not mentioned though is Portland is built in very much the same way as Denver. Aldridge is a All-Star, but they lost their “closer” when Roy retired. I would expect the Blazers to suffer from some of these same issues, especially in the playoffs.

          • Ray

            So not winning a championship after losing your “superstar” and flipping your squad mid season=failure.

            • Jason

              I agree with you Ray. My definition of failure also is not winning a championship, but I am a realist. We have to build a championship team. Even Miami tried to superstar their way to one last year, but they didn’t quite have the cohesive team they needed to win it all. Maybe this year they do. But the bottom line is that Denver is trying to build a championship team. I firmly believe that. We have to be a little patient as fans and let this team grow and more trades and molding of the team to come about.

    • Joe

      May only be the third game, but these are the SAME problems we had last year in the playoffs, and look like the same problems we will consistently have against the better teams in the NBA this season

  • AussieNuggsFan2

    Also don’t see a logical crunch time lineup on this team. Nene should probably play center but then do you play Gallo at the 4, but who plays the 3. Surely Big Al isnt in our crunch time lineup? Is he?

    • Joe

      Agreed here too. Without K-Mart we don’t have the reliable big to play beside Nene in the crunch (I know K-Mart was extremely limited, but at least he played strong defense, and would box out/rebound). Although I like Harrington as a reserve, I shudder to think of him as a “crunch time player”

      • AAA

        Faried could be that guy in a years time but not sure yet what our best 5 guys are. Harrington is definately are good bench player for 15 or so minutes but that is all. Can’t decide if he should be amnestied, I constantly go back and forth…

  • AAA

    I understand GK’s love for the craftiness of Andre Miller but I don’t understand his love for Gallinari and in particular Rudy Fernandez. They both take bad shots and occassionally get killed on defense. Just because they aren’t as flamboiant as guys who are way more talented like JR Smith they get game time?? JR Smith has better field goal and 3point percentages but George Karl doesn’t like him because he sometimes shows emotion.

    The team tried to ‘cheat’ their way out of the Melo transition and remain contenders in the west but unless we unload guys like Gallo and Rudy we seem destined to first round exits.

    I agree Ty Law could make a huge leap however he will never be more than a second option on a contender.

    • Ray

      JR Smith was a much less efficient player than Gallo. JR’s true shooting the last two years :55% and 51%. Gallo’s last year was 60%, one of the highest in the league. FG% is a completely misleading stat.

      • Joe

        Also, why didn’t you throw out Galo’s Player Efficiency Rating (PER) (15.71 good for 110th in the league) & Estimated Wins Added (EWA) (5.1 good for 98th in the league)……oh yeah, because they are both worse then JR’s PER (16.43 good for 84th) & EWA (5.8 good for 87th). Once again, wasn’t ever trying to compare JR to Galo. Just pointing out that I can use statistics for my arguments too, and they are no less important then your TS%……here’s another one too Galo’s Effective Field Goal % (EFG%) 49% JR’s EFG% 51%

  • SACK GK

    WE HAD 3-4 GUARDS ON THE COURT AT SOME POINTS OF THIS GAME AND WE WONDER WHY WE CAN’T REBOUND. AFFLALO SHOULD BE GETTING 35 MINUTES FOR THE MONEY WE ARE PLAYING AND FARIED SHOULD BE GOOD FOR 10 MINUTES BUT GEORGE KARL IS A STUBBORN MAN WHO AT TIMES SEEMS OUT OF TOUCH AND IN LOVE WITH RUDY FERNANDEZ. IN WHAT WAYS IS HE BETTER THAN JR SMITH. I DON’T WANNA NAME NAMES BUT I THINK IT WAS

    ‘BRYAN’

    WHO SUGGESTED JR WOULD JUST TAKE DEEP THREES, UM, LOOK AT THE STATS, POOR JR IS A VICTIM OF THE PERCEPTION BUILT UP THROUGH FRUSTRATED NUGGET FANS LOOKING TO POINT FINGERS (AND BY THE WAY I’M POINTING MY FINGER AT GEORGE KARL)

    • Bryan

      JR would randomly take extremely deep 3’s, he made some of them too. He would also consistently commit stupid reach in fouls on D. At worst JR for Rudy is a push.

  • Dubz

    Man, I think you guys are bashing some young, talented players way too early. I can’t say I know Fernandez well enough to establish any kind of real opinion yet, but when comparing him to JR I feel like the point is being missed. Obviously we all loved the idea of having him in the Nuggs back pocket in case they needed a scoring flurry, but his short comings were becoming so intolerable. (BTW, I blame GK for Smith’s issues almost as much as I blame Smith himself) Anyway, although JR’s shooting was nice to have, it’s really all he provided for this team. From the small sample size I’ve seen, Fernandez works well within the flow of this offense. He’s taken a few bad shots but nothing to plug your nose at. JR would make me cringe for minutes on end and would completely disrupt the offense (good and bad). As for Gallo, more patience is going to be needed. If there’s one thing I trust GK’s abilities in, it’s tapping into young potential. I truly believe he can become an 18+ pts a game guy soon and can add a lot to the team besides scoring. He had an off night shooting wise, but if you guys can tolerate JR’s infinite amount of off nights, you can tolerate some from him. What else can be asked of this team at the moment considering the hand they were dealt? They got Fernandez and Brewer for a future 2nd round pick and they’re obviously worth a lot more than that. They’re stock piling assets while maintaining a team that can win now. Look at the Jazz, that easily could have been the Nuggs. Give this team some time they may surprise you.

  • Nigel

    This is just a tough loss. Looking at history, winning in Portland really is a tough chore, especially when it is the second of a back-to-back. I think Nene did a good job defensively because Aldridge did have a sub-par game offensively but Nene just can’t play well with all that really tall frontcourt. We did have the size since we have Mozgov and Koufos, but talent-wise the seven-footers just can’t keep up and Chris Andersen’s age finally met him besides his overrated effort to block shots. It’s too early to be concerned about the performance of the Nuggets, and that there is a reason why I’m optimistic about the Nuggets this season with all that depth and a bevy of non-superstars but with all-star potential.

  • Kalen

    Wow guys. Overreacting a bit are we? Let’s put things into perspective here: This was only the third game of the regular season against a very good Blazers team at the Rose Garden which is one of the very best home-court advantages in all of sports. Even with all of the mistakes we made and coming off a back-to-back we still only lost by nine, plus the game virtually went down to the wire.

    This whole “blow up the entire team” talk is so premature it’s not even funny. For now it’s important to not overreact to anything and come February or March (whenever the trade deadline is this year) given more time to analyze our situation, we’ll then determine where we are and what needs to happen in order to perpetuate our success. But man, if we’re gonna re-hash this same conversation every single time we have a loss, I think I might just go crazy.

  • Nigel

    Here are my thoughts why the Nuggets should be contenders this season:

    First, with the tight schedule and the huge depth, guys like willing rebounder Kenneth Faried and willing passer Julyan Stone will find valuable minutes for the team.

    Second, all the acquired players in the Carmelo trade are great acquisitions. That is, INCLUDING Timofey Mozgov. Why? In a road game versus the Lakers where a win is rare, Mozgov neutralized the Laker frontcourt by 6 rebounds off the bench. One thing why he is valued a starter besides promoting Nene to a power forward is that he does not want to be soft defensively (Moz can block shots). He has not yet adjusted to the league yet because of foul trouble, but as the season goes on, he can show why he is a formidable center playing for the Russian national team.

    Third, Ty Lawson has finally sparked the all-star attention the league and i mean the league has caught. And it’s because of the much-improved speed which really defines Denver’s offense. When Ty seems unstoppable, almost any point guard opponent will lose their mind and their game.

  • popex_17

    First of all, nice to have a 3 person recap, good job guys!
    I have mixed feelings regarding this game, but it’s only one game, the second of a b2b nonetheless, so maybe it’s overreacting a little.
    Positives from this game:
    1. Well, I think Ty’s performance was the bright spot for us, I think he had one of his best games as a pro. He played 40 minutes, was really active on defense with his 8 steals, was aggressive going to the basket. I think he played an excellent game.
    2. The Nuggets showing heart and determination by fighting back from an atrocious start.
    3. Nene’s defense on LMA. I think he did a very good job of containing him.
    4. The bevy of turnovers caused by the Nuggets with only 7 of their own (they had 3 with about 4 minutes remaining in the game).

    Negatives:
    1. George Karl’s lineups: how anyone could play Ty Lawson (5’11), Dre (6’2), Rudy (6’6), AAA (6’5) and Big Al (6’9) at the same time on the floor, against a really tall and physical Blazers team is beyond me.
    2. I think he is starting the Moz just to please Nene and play him at the 4 for a few minutes, otherwise I have no idea. The kid is as raw as they come, I am starting to warm-up to the idea of starting Koufos, just to see how that goes (can’t go any worse than this).
    3. The shooting of any Nugget player not named Ty or Lawson. The Nuggets shot 35%, wooow.
    4. The 3 point shooting. Not only they were missing, I am pretty sure I saw a few airballs. Particularly in the first half, many of the 3’s were wide open. At this level, it is inexcusable to miss so many wide open shots.
    5. The last 8 minutes of the 3rd quarter, the Blazers were in the penalty. The refs were whistling almost every contact between the players. FYI, the Nuggets attempted 2 free throws the rest of the way. Inexcusable.
    6. The players formerly known as the Birdman. Maybe he is a fan favorite, but the game was played away from home. GK, please sit him. If my 84 grandma would suit up and show him the ball, from behind the 3 point line, he would fall for it and jump to block her. He has no energy, no bounce (he couldn’t dunk the ball from below the rim) and is the worst pick and roll defender I have ever seen in my life. Additionally, he is one of the worst on-ball defenders on the team. His strength was to block shots and provide instant energy off the bench. He has no blocks this season. He provides no energy. He has to stop playing.
    7. AAA defense on Wes Mathews in the 3rd quarter. The guy had 4 3’s in a 3 minute span, all of them coming with AAA on the floor, presumably guarding him. All of them were wide open. I know he’s rusty, I know he went to double LMA in the post, but it’s not the 1st time Wes has gone off against the Nuggets from 3 point land, so I would imagine he had learned the lesson by now. If it weren’t for that stretch, I think we would have won the game.
    8. The lack of effort on the offensive glass. But with several questionable lineups, it’s understandable why.
    9. Nene’s softness on the offensive end of the floor. While I think he has improved his defense this year (he guarded Dirk really well in the first game, today the same with LMA, two of the best PF’s in the WC + his help defense is really good, he blocked a lot of shots at the rim + a bevy of steals), he is sometimes too soft with the ball on the offensive end. Maybe that is understandable when he is the only guy in the paint, muscling his way between all the physical defenders Portland has.

    I think these are my impressions, overall bad execution in the last 6 minutes were fatal, but not the most important aspect in my opinion. It shouldn’t have gotten to this point in the first place.

    Cheers from Romania.

  • Adam

    I know that it is only one game and I do not think it is even that bad of a loss, but Gallinari is being horribly and unfairly to him, overrated, he is a good player and spot up shooter, he might learn so good moves in the next few years but that is his game and it won’t change.
    George Karl needs to wake the hell up, I know Mozgov had 3 fouls in 3 minutes but he is 7 foot 1, you must use him and also Koufos, in my opinion is so similar to Timofey besides one important skill, HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING! Mozgov always looks lost with no idea where to go, Kosta understands much better and he is just as tall, Play HIM!

    And lastly, I have been thinking and saying this ever since June 24. We don’t need to flunk the season to get a draft pick so we can draft a superstar, we just did it! Jordan Hamilton has superstar talent, Killer Instincts and soooo much versatility. He can and will be a 20+ PPG scorer in the NBA, when either George Karl stops being a insane egotistical old man, or J Ham is in his second season and GK plays him because he is not a rookie or (this one is important) his rookie contract expires and he leaves this city to become a legitimate superstar because he will be sick of being overlooked and undervalued for stupid reasons. PLAY JORDAN HAMILTON!!!!! (no-one else ever seems to say this in the slightest).

    P.S: Give the goddamn Manimal some minutes.

    • Joe

      Definitely agree with J-Ham…..would much rather see him out there then Fernandez

      • Cody

        Really joe? Jordan Hamilton over fernandez? Do you even know what your talking about? Hamilton is not ready for the speed of the NBA,he doesn’t even dress for the games. Gallo is also rusty, It’s also just one game im sure you were a gallo fan before he struggled. Gallo is our purest scorer besides lawson so stop with the “lets trade gallo” talks.

        • Joe

          I would rather see Brewer before Hamilton, but yes, I would take anyone over Fernandez. As i said in one of my other posts, I live in Portland now, and this entire city couldn’t wait to get rid of Fernandez.
          And I have never liked Gallo, I prefer Chandler to Gallo, but he decided to play in China unfortunately. And the only reason I am bringing up trade talk is because I feel like as the team is constructed currently, we are just looking at getting bounced 1st to 2nd round at best of the playoffs. And I think Gallo is our best trade piece at trying to acquire a high draft pick in what is expected to be a incredibly deep and talented draft class.

          • Cody

            So 2 unproven players over a proven player who can shoot the 3 ball? Everyone looked bad last night not just fernandez. Gallo is obviously part of the future going forward, chandler doesn’t want to be here… were going to trade chandler for draft picks. The only thing holding brewer back is his offensive game, hamilton will be a bench player at the very best

            • Joe

              Well, one of the great things in life is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and when it comes to sports and especially your favorite team, you are definitely going to get some varying strong opinions. So we will just agree to disagree kind sir

              • Cody

                Agreed just a little frustrated by this game ya know?

  • FinazzAus

    I stopped reading everyone’s comments half way down. Apart from a few of you, everyone is over rectacting. It was a bad game agreed, we listed agreed, but far out we are bound to lose a few games to bad preformance night when the season is 66 games long. Stop backing the shit out of this team because of an off night.
    We properly won’t win the championship this year but building a strong base of good players and some kind of idenanty is what will make US a deep playoff team in years to came.

    Stop backing them for one bad night

  • Aaron

    I can’t agree that our frontline got outplayed at all. LMA did not dominate any of our bigs, even Birdman, er Anderson. I thought we played great defense.

    Who hurt us was their wings, Wallace, Batum, and Matthews.

    The diagnosis is correct that we still don’t have a good crunch time plan, or go-to-guy. I think it has to be Afflalo or Gallo. Last night it was Gallo, and he couldn’t hit anything.

    But, let’s remember people, Crunch time guys are MADE not anointed. So, Karl is trying to make some of these guys (Gallo) into a guy who can have the onions to score when the heat is on. Let’s give it time.

    Would Jeremy, Charlie, etc. . like to propose a roster move that would have brought in an immediate crunch time scorer?

    Yes, these are some of the problems we had against OKC last year. So, we know what we need to work on. Karl’s small ball lineup was actually working in taking away their athletic advantage. So, before we all go nuts that Al Harrington was playing center, let’s remember that IT WAS WORKING and that’s how we got back in the game.

    This had nothing to do with Karl being scared to play anybody. That was strategic, and he saw it as his best chance tonight. Are you guy really all going to argue with a 900 + win coach on his lineups?? I would have liked to see Koufos in a game like that, just for his energy.

    The one thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet. . that was one of the worst officiated games I’ve ever seen. We had some bad calls go against us in crunch time, and throughout the game. Mosgov’s calls were a travesty. That certainly didn’t help, but we were on the road, so that’s to be expected.

    Let’s see if we can throw in in the ocean in LA. . if we shoot even 42% or so, we win that game last night easily.

    • Jack

      There was no need for LMA to dominate us because we kept doubling him leaving open shooters like Wesley Matthews on the perimeter.

  • Lil Rik

    Our amnesty candidate has quickly gone from Harrington to Anderson. He has 2 years left (after this year) at like $5MM per

  • ny nugs fan

    not to overanalyze this but….

    fernandez was brick city; he singlehandedly
    bricked us to a loss

    nene was soft down low and not in the game

    i wouldve played harrington for fernandez down the
    stretch… if i recall correctly harrington wasnt on the
    floor at the end of game… but there goes another
    fernandez brick

  • Thomas

    Your reviews correctly point out what is wrong with the team on the field, but the obvious reason why this happens isn’t really discussed today.

    GK.

    Can’t win with him, just as simple as that. A coach that is designed to make mediocre to good teams, at most. It almost seems as if he is just trying to save his job by playing it safe – not going for youth or trying to develop the killer starting five during the season so that it can blossom during the playoffs.

    He like certain players and will play them to death. I have nothing personal against Andre Miller, Rudy, Big Al or Birdman, but you can tell that they will play no matter what they do – while others will ride the pine.

    We could win it all with this team and probably one more addition or two later in the season. But not with GK running the show. The two PG experiment was a disaster last year and will be again this year. It will make you respectable, but not much else. Putting Andre next to Ty is to limit Ty’s ability to dictate the tempo and develop into a star. Ty is not a shooting guard – making him one is one of the dumbest things I can imagine. Ty is a floor general.

    Andre is a sub. Rudy is a sub, a good one (but not that great of a shooter).

    If we want to win, we need to rebounding and tough defense. We can only get that with Brewer and Faried, and hopefully someone we can trade for. Faried may suck at the beginning, but it is obvious that he will be an impact player if given minutes to learn. Brewer is much better than I thought – I don’t understand why he gets the shaft and Rudy already gets starter minutes.

    Big Al is an illusion – he will still shoot in the lower 40%s or less. Dude is a chuckler.

    I would trade Gallo while people still see “potential” in him. I don’t see it. Nice complementary player, that’s all. The guy will never shoot in the higher 40%s.

    I would get Wilson Chandler back as soon as they can. He is a starter. A line up of Ty-AAA-Chandler-Nene-Faried is probably the most effective we can put out there at any moment, plus Andre, Brewer, Rudy, Koufos/Moz.

    No chance of title hopes with GK and his lame strategies…

  • chronicnugs

    problem with this team last night and moving forward is the bigs.
    -nene is soft. period. thats three periods
    -KK and Moz are ‘talented’ prospects. not talented like Favors and Kanter mind you, but ‘talented’.
    -Anderson is a effing joke, and has been for years. the only reason this dude hasnt been ridden out of town is because he’s white and he’s painted up like a circus clown. oh and highlands ranch soccer moms can give their 5 year olds douchebag faux hawks come playoff time. that too.
    -im wondering who everyone wanted Faried to guard last night? Aldridge would have hung 50 on him. Camby maybe? im at a loss here fellas.
    -harrington has to be given credit for showing up in shape and putting out some effort. all of us would take 2 good games for one bad one from him. he’s a bench player. still, as someone said above, he’s also a chucker. plain and simple.

    in the end though, the blazers made some wide open 3’s and we missed all of them. we were still in it at the end. despite not making any threes and getting killed on the glass. thats the story of this game. dont bury this team just yet on the heels of a back to back road loss.

    • Jim

      Yep.

      I doubt we beat utah with a shooting night like last night. We were tied late in the fourth and a good Portland team got stops and made shots at home. Sucks but it happens. We’re not going 66-0 I guess.

      The sky isn’t falling but dang, I’m not sure exchanging Anderson minutes for a mix of kouf/faried would have hurt us last night. Anderson and timo both really. The front line needs something. It’s a back to back on the road. Our legs are tired and we aren’t shooting well. Spark, offensive rebounding, size? We could have used just a smidge of that I think.

    • Joe

      Love the Highlands Ranch soccer moms comment lol

  • SmokinNugs

    This was a BAD shooting night, in both the actual shooting skill and the shot selection. The Nuggets LOVE the 3 ball but some nights we need to let it go! 20%? JUST STOP! The Altitude commentators were fairly accurate saying that we got points when we went to the rim. Stop shooting if they’re not falling!

    That being said. Even with “everything else” that went poorly for us, we were very much in that game with a very good Portland team up until the last couple of minutes. To act like this is anything other than a learning hump would be overreacting/reading into this too much. No one wrote off the Lakers after they started 0-2 and they’ve bounced back just fine. Some winnable games are going to be lost by teams this season due to fatigue, it’s just gonna happen. We’re 2-1, who has 2 thumbs and is NOT concerned? THIS GUY!

  • Jason

    I understand all the frustrations from last nights game. It was hard to stomach. That being said, it was ONE game. and although we are starting to see trends – Ty Lawson is amazing, Andersen sucks, Gallo settles, and Afflalo is still out of game shape – I still think it is way too early to be making any definite conclusions.

  • Peter

    I would love to comment on what I have seen, but I haven’t seen any games yet. From reading this site and reading other sites, one thing is still clear to me. I can’t stand George Karl and he needs to go. How can he make a comment like, “the first few weeks of the season will basically be our training camp” and then not play guys like Faried and Kofus at all? Now I understand Faried would have had a bad matchup last night, but I hate his 2 pg lineups and and other quirky lineups just as much as the next guy. Rebounding was bad last night, but the Blazers are just a bad matchup for us in my opinion. The number one concern for me on this team in the crunch time situation. Unless we are ahead by ten or more in the last 5 minutes of the game we simply don’t have a good slow it down offense or reliable shot maker. Having Wilson and Kenyon would help out the defense and rebounding, but it wouldn’t solve our number one problem; crunch time scoring.

  • Nutz

    Wow Charlie, Kalen & Jeremy and some previous posters. You are being overly pessimistic. Look at our roster and see how many new faces we have. Then consider the new players we received in the trade with the Knicks plus Kufos. I’m too lazy to count games played that the new unit last year plus the newer unit this year have played as a squad. You have to understand that it takes time to jell as a unit that CAN run out so many different line-ups. You also have to consider most if not any have ever had the experience of doing that at a professional level including Coach Karl. You can keep your stats and I will keep my faith in my team while being thankful there is a freaking season. Stop your complaints. I was a die hard even when we only won 11 games in an 82 game season. I’m gonna sit back drink a cold one and enjoy every minute of every game. Go Nugs, every last one of them. But……..

    I do agree that C.Andersen looks slow and uninterested at times, maybe Rybo should work with him.

  • Brad H.

    Good grief. 3rd game of season, 1st B2B, no legs, always tough to matchup with Portland. All of a sudden GK sucks, and every aspect of the Nugs game stinks. . . . That’s what good fans do!

    • doktarr

      No kidding, Brad. It looks more ridiculous now, three games later, but it looked ridiculous right then, too.

      All that really needed to be said about this game was:

      1) Portland is one of the worst matchups on paper for the current Nuggets team.
      2) On the road, after playing the night before, the Nuggets still would have won if they hadn’t shot the ball incredibly poorly. This wasn’t great defense, by and large – it was missing open shots.