2011-12 Game 4: Lakers 92, Denver 89

Obviously there’s a lot to be said about this game, but first and foremost: Gallo. Come on man!!! As I recently texted someone, if you’re a 6-10 athletic deer in the open court and the only thing stopping you from making a game-tying layup with a few seconds left in the fourth quarter is a 6-foot Steve Blake, how do you not drop a thunderous dunk over the guy?!? I know it’s easy to sit back from our couches and criticize professional athletes who do things on a daily basis we could only dream about, but a layup!?! I’m pretty sure most people could manage that. Bottom line is in the NBA you simply have to make your dunks, layups and whatever other “gimmes” are offered up by the opposing team. If you can’t, then you should probably kiss your title-contending hopes goodbye.

Because there was so much to cover this afternoon, a traditional recap wouldn’t be apt; therefore, breaking the game down into sections should allow for more insight and detail. Below are the main categories I felt constituted the game accompanied by analysis, statistics and whatever else fits the bill of summarizing Saturday’s action.

General thoughts: First, this game was excellent from start to finish. Though both teams had trouble putting points on the board in the first half, eventually nerves seemed to disappear, which lead to a more free-flowing, back-and-forth contest that went all the way down to the wire.  Once again, the heated “superstar debate” immediately sprung to life across Nuggets Nation when the game concluded as many pointed to Denver’s lack of a “go-to” star being the primary reason for the loss; however, Kobe Bryant was anything but clutch throughout the fourth quarter, often times turning the ball over or taking an ill-advised shot instead of making the right basketball play. Yes, he constantly drew questionable — if not terrible — calls from the refs which in turn allowed him to get to the line and pile up fouls on the Nuggets players, but if people are pointing to Bryant as the reason the Lakers won they’d be sorely mistaken. The Lakers won today because the Nuggets consistently botched routine plays down the stretch. Whether it was missed free throws, layups, dunks or just not executing a specific game-plan, Denver did everything it possibly could to gift-wrap the victory for Los Angeles.

Lakers schemes: Where the Lakers deserve a lot of credit in terms of what it did to secure the win on Saturday, however, is in this category. All day long the Nuggets were forced into a typical half-court set thanks to the Lakers’ excellent commitment to getting back on defense and disallowing the Nuggets to run. When a shot was put up, usually two to three of the Lakers guards or forwards could be seen backpedaling towards the basket and by the time the Nuggets collected a rebound there was simply no room to execute a fast-break set as the lane was already clogged with defenders ready to take a charge or defend one-on-one. This threw off Denver’s No. 1 game plan — and virtual identity — causing the Nuggets to really experiment with awkward half-court “plays” for the first time all year. In the initial quarter when the Nuggets saw this counter attack for the first time, it was clear the team hadn’t practiced much half-court offense as players seemed almost dumbfounded and often times ran about aimlessly until someone forced up a bad shot. But as the game progressed, Denver slowly adjusted and was much more organized by the time the final quarter rolled around.

The other area of Mike Brown’s defense that deserves credit was its ability to prevent Denver from penetrating in the lane. Although the Lakers played man-to-man throughout the game, they were extremely quick in switching when necessary, knowing when to double-team someone and constantly made sure that either Bynum or Gasol was down low to contest a shot, should a member of the Nuggets manage to get to the rim. The level of the Lakers’ success in this category was most visible when it came to Ty Lawson. Not only was Saturday Lawson’s lowest scoring game of the season, but it was also the first time this year that he led the Nuggets in a negative plus-minus at minus 13. Even though he dished out eight assists, Lawson never quite made the impact many thought he would against a Lakers squad with some of the older point guards in the league.

Mozgov: The young Russian center had by far his best game of the season Saturday against the Lakers. When it was all said and done, Mozgov finished with eight points, 10 rebounds, two assists and four blocks in 26 minutes of action. This was perhaps the first time all season that Nuggets fans caught a glimpse of who Mozgov could potentially be a few years down the road. From the get-go, Mozgov was mixing it up down low, playing stingy defense on Andrew Bynum and rejecting two shots against the Lakers’ big men within the first few minutes of the game. He continued this effort throughout the contest and finally asserted himself on the glass the way a 7-foot-1 center truly should.

All that said, Mozgov still has an immense amount of work to do before he can consider himself “polished,” in fact, it’s hard to see Mozgov ever reaching a point where he can truly be relied upon offensively. Though he has a solid jump shot and can occasionally find himself in the right position to finish an ally oop, more often than not Mozgov appears lost on offense and is usually liability rather than an asset. If he wants to continue to improve, Mozgov must learn the art of positioning. Although 10 rebounds seem like a lot — especially when coming from the Nuggets — Mozgov could have had 15 or more if he had just boxed out properly or made his move to the rim a fraction of a second sooner. Watching him today was extremely enjoyable however because, for the first time, Nuggets fans were able to realize just how much room for improvement there still is within “The Moz.”

What’s certain is that Mozgov absolutely has to continue receiving a heavy dose of minutes during games like this, as its the only way he’s going to improve. Giving him five minutes to start the game, then inserting him briefly throughout the match in small increments isn’t solving anything. The growing pains will undoubtedly be front and center for the entire world to see — and they’ll be ugly nonetheless — but eventually he’ll work through them and in time could end up being the Nuggets version of Tyson Chandler if all things go as planned.

Gallinari: The aforementioned missed layup by the Italian Stallion is obviously going to be what everyone is talking about, but what concerns me more is his atrocious shooting percentage through the first four games of the season. This past summer when analyzing Gallinari’s numbers in Europe one thing that continuously caught my attention was his poor shooting percentages. I wrote that if he wanted to take that next step back in the States he would need to somehow find a way to be more efficient on the hardwood, and clearly, he has yet to figure this out.

Saturday, Gallinari went 3-12 from the field and 0-4 from beyond the arc to compile a measly .250 shooting percentage. One of his nine missed shots came with about 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter when the Nuggets were down by two. Al Harrington had just missed a 3-pointer and Nene somehow managed to collect the rebound, upon which he passed the ball back out to the top of the circle where Gallo eventually received it. Instead of then calling a timeout or pausing to organize a play, Gallo inexplicably hoisted up a well-contested 3-pointer from a few feet behind the arc that didn’t even draw rim. Though George Karl too could certainly be blamed for not pausing to call a timeout, what he can’t be blamed for is taking quite possibly the worst shot any Nuggets player has taken so far this season.

If I’m Karl, I’m doing everything I can to get Gallo (and Rudy Fernandez for that matter) to expand his game and become more than just a spot-up shooter. At 6-foot-10, with a beautiful stroke and solid amount of athleticism, there is absolutely no reason Gallo should be hanging around the 3-point line waiting to take jump shots. Where’s the dribble-drive? Where’s the post-up game? Where’s all that ferocious speed we see in the fast-break offense? Put simply: Gallinari has to start attacking the rim more frequently while shooting only when forced or given a wide open look at the basket.

Harrington: What does it say about the Nuggets when Al Harrington is the best player on the team in terms of creating his own offense? This is no slight against Big Al, because quite frankly, he’s been the best, most consistent player on the team so far and is certainly an above-average offensive talent. But Al Harrington isn’t exactly Kobe Bryant either. This epiphany, that the Nuggets maybe aren’t exactly as explosive as they appear, flat out punched me in the face while watching the game today. As I tweeted earlier, I’m loving me some Al Buckets right now. The dude has totally turned his career around this year and is ballin’ in every sense of the word. However, I don’t know how far the Nuggets can go with Big Al as its best offensive output. I think at some point in time, probably as the trade deadline nears, Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke have to start thinking about making a move for someone who can fill it up, because as currently constructed, this team is going to struggle in tight games like the one seen on Saturday.

Lineups/fourth quarter/George Karl: Though Karl didn’t exactly get under my skin the way he did against Portland, he still left me baffled with some of his coaching methods. Once again, versus one of the tallest, if not THE tallest front courts in the game, Karl rolled out Danilo Gallinari and Al Harrington to play power forward to close out the fourth quarter. I understand his reservations about inserting Mozgov into a tight closing-quarter matchup against the Lakers but Mozgov had been playing solid defense on Bynum all game long and was in the game during the middle of the fourth quarter when the Nuggets opened up almost its biggest lead of the game. Why mess with that energy? Why take someone out, especially your center, in the midst of his best game all season long? Though its tough to say what might have happened should Mozgov have remained in the game, I’d be willing to bet he, Nene, Harrington, Afflalo (who also inexplicably wasn’t in the game during crunch time) and Ty Lawson probably would have given the Nuggets the best chance to win.

Also, as mentioned above, Karl missed crucial opportunities to take timeouts during the final few minutes of the game. When added to the fact that Nene missed a wide open dunk, Lawson missed two free throws and of course Gallinari missed a wide open layup, it’s fair to say that the Nuggets put on a world-class choke job Saturday afternoon that even LeBron James would have been proud of.

Perspective: Before everyone heads over the the ESPN Trade Machine and starts posting random scenarios that would likely never work in real life, let’s keep a few things in mind. First, it’s still early. The guys need time to gel. Second, we’re 2-2 after playing three games on the road against some of the West’s elite teams. Finally, players deserve more time to grow before we write them off only four games into the season. Yes, Gallinari has looked awful so far, but who’s to say this won’t change by next week? Afflalo still needs to get into shape, Mozgov will continue to improve and maybe the Manimal finally gets some run and makes the most out of the opportunity by beasting on the glass the way we all know he can. All I’m saying is: relax. Give it some time. Don’t overreact. Two months from now if Gallo is still shooting below .400 percent from the field and Faried still isn’t playing despite our rebounding deficiencies, then it might be time to worry. But after only four games of a 66-game schedule, already calling for a guy’s head might be a bit over the top.

Update (7:57pm MST) by Charlie

Here are the advanced stats for Game 4:

Pace Factor: 96.6 – This swung in the Nuggets favor the second half as the Lakers took a lot of quick jumpers. They should have won this style of game
Offensive Efficiency: 92.1 – Just awful, indicative of a team that can’t get to the line or score in the half-court
Defensive Efficiency: 96.2 – This is decent, and somewhat of a bright spot compared to the first 3 games of the season

Roundball Mining Company is experimenting with a new format of getting recaps up. As part of a True Hoop network movement I wrote a test run of a Rapid Reaction for today’s game, grading the team’s performance and providing quick thoughts on how the game unfolded. These posts are intended to go up right after the game and provide a different perspective. The main thing we are trying to do with Rapid Reaction is get a post up immediately after the game where our readers can have some discussion points. Let us know your thoughts on the format and if you might prefer it going forward.

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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.
  • Aaron

    I really feel like a few of our guys don’t have their legs or their shot yet. Gallo obviously falls into this category. . Afflalo as well. Nene also missed a huge dunk, but I think he had a good game overall.

    Mosgov haters, . . . how do you like Mozzy now???. Of course, this was his kind of game, where the other team has a true center, etc. . But, I liked his energy tonight.

    I think Gallo has lost 2 games for us now. He missed a ton of open shots at the end of the Portland game. The good news is, these are correctable things, and a year ago, he might win both games for us.

    • Jeff

      I think the biggest thing they are lacking is confidence. More mental than physical, but you’re right. Everyone accept Harrington looked afraid in the fourth quarter.

      • Jeff

        except*

    • Lil Rik

      Mozgov was the only starter with a +, he was +3 in 26min
      Nene = -11 in 33 min
      Bynum = +11 in 32 min

  • http://40andnow.com/ cloudio

    I’m giving up on Gallo. He’s good, but I’m afraid he will never be great. His ceiling 4-5th best player on a contending team.
    Worst thing about him: as usually he looked exhausted all 4th quarter. He is too slow and has no stamina. He has no excuse to be so tired, having played in Italy during lockout, but not many minutes. He should be in midseason form, not looking rusty and fatigued.
    All missing shots clearly because he has no legs. He’s smart, but not enough to compensate for lack of athleticism.

    The rest of the team: usual issues closing games. These team is deep, balanced, very well suited for regular season, but his best players are too soft for playoffs

    • bearsbball11

      You’re giving up on Gallo already? He’s only 23 and his lack of athleticism that you talk about isn’t the case at all, he’s extremely athletic considering he’s 6’10

      • http://40andnow.com/ cloudio

        Maybe it’s because I had too big expectations on him. I’m italian, I follow him since his days in Milan and don’t forget was draftet n6 and everybody was very high on him. He’s not living the hype.

        Last year in New York he had clearly confidence issues, because he knew he had to make room for Melo.

        In Denver played well, but didn’t go to the next level.

        Again this year back in Milan he should have been dominating and he played well, he won some games, but again even at lower level in Euroleague couldn’t really make a difference.

        I saw really little progress in the last 2 years.

        • http://40andnow.com/ cloudio

          What I mean is I don’t think he will never be the go-to guy in any Nba team, as many, myself included, predict.

          Not even a second fiddle.

  • Jeff

    Like you said, so much to talk about with this game. My first reaction is that Rudy Fernandez has been a huge disappointment early on this season. His drives go nowhere and he chucks up shots worse than JR. People were saying he is a good replacement for JR Smith but I compare him more to Linas Kleisza, although Fernandez has a bit more playmaking ability.

  • Amel

    I don’t understand why Fernadez is playing but Brewer isn’t. Get rid of Rudy, I’ve been following him since 2 years now and he hasn’t shown any kind of development, and how can people still claim that he’s an upgrade comparing him JR? JR isn’t a good defender but he can shoot the 3-pointer.

    • Amel

      Ironically Rudy had the best +/- rating of all of our players. LMAO

      • Peter

        Honestly, I don’t know why everybody is acting like they expect so much out of Rudy in the first place. He is a 39% shooter for his career, and we got him AND Corey Brewer for just a 2nd round pick. It’s not like we gave up anything to get him, if he gives us anything it’s a bonus. As far as the JR Smith comparisons, laughable. JR might have been the ultimate head scratcher, but his talent AND production way exceeds Rudy’s.

        • Amel

          As I said before, I’ve been following Rudy’s development since nearly 2 years now and I couldn’t see any progress. He still takes the same stupid shots and isn’t good at moving without ball on offense either. So I’d rather give Brewer the minutes Rudy gets because I believe he has the potential to be a great energizer and defender.

    • evan

      JR smith is worlds better then Rudy. He would have gotten at least one bucket down the stretch, all we needed.

      You also forget JR led the team in steals for years.
      That’s pretty good defense if you ask me.

      • Lil Rik

        Evan,

        I really appreciate your viewpoints, but I completely disagree with you on JR. He may knock down shots when he’s hot, but he’s as liable to take an ill-advised shot as he is to make a big one. Plus, the headaches he created outside of the stat sheet are poisonous to the team. He’s an unrestricted free agent and will get a lot more money than he’s worth from another team – time to move on. Fernandez is what we’ve got as a shooter coming off the bench, so lets wait and see what he can bring to the table – one thing for sure is NOT the headache that JR brough George Karl. Respect.

        • evan

          True, we need to move on from JR. But people still continue to compare him with Fernandez. And in my opinion, there is no comparison. Also true, he takes bad shots, often. But that’s better then not taking a shot at all, not creating any offence at all, not sparking anything at all. Aka Fernandez. I’d rather a player who goes down swinging then is passive and gives the ball up. With a passive Power Forward, an Italian small Forward with confidence issues, a center who clearly isn’t there for offence, a shooting guard who is there for D, the Nuggets need more then one guy (Lawson) who is aggressive, and Fernandez isn’t the answer thus far. Jr. most likely won’t be coming back, and we might not need that answer at the shooting guard position, but someone needs to develop into the roll JR has played(Herrington has been so far.) Also, Fernandez is filling this man’s position and that’s why he is taking most of the heat for not being that guy.

          As for the ‘headaches’ I cannot comment on because I know nothing of what goes on behind closed doors, in witch case I will say, If it’s that bad then it’s a good thing he’s gone. Maybe we can find someone like JR with less attitude.

          • evan

            Monta Ellis(spelling) is what I think JR would be with starter minits without the ‘issues’. He is just as, if not more athletic, has a great shot, crazy cross over, etcetc.. He can even pass the ball extrame well, and has played Point for the Nuggets during streaches

            • evan

              ok that submitted before I was done, Anyway he can shoot and pass and stuff. He’s better then what people give him credit for is what I’m saying.

  • Jack

    Finally people are coming around on the TRADE FERNANDEZ AND GALLINARI bandwagon.

    I want JR and Chandler back pleeeeaaaassssse.

    And for gods sake we aren’t gonna win the championship this year so why not have a developing year, giving j ham and faried good minutes and trading away Gallo and Rudy. Get a high pick from us playing the youngsters and maybe get a lower first rounder for gallo (not sure of his trade value)

    Andre Miller is a very handy player but since we aren’t going to win it this year we might as well test his market for he becomes a FA. I really believe there has to be teams willing to give something up for him. Maybe the lakers give us Dallas’ 2012 top 20 protected pick to appease Kobe since they moved out of the triangle offense and probably need a real PG other than blake, fisher, goudeluck or morris

    • Lil Rik

      JR, Chandler and Martin made the BRILLIANT move of signing interminable contracts in China. See ya next year geniuses!

  • Eddie

    This game should not have come down to Gallo’s miss. There were several (2 or 3) times that the Nuggies got a rebound and did not reset to run a play.

    Instead it was a hurried or ill advised long 2 or 3 point shot that missed resulting in a Lakers rebound.

    I am so frustrated seeing this time and time again. I am beginning to think it is a George Karl problem.

    Either the players don’t listen to him or he does not tell his players to establish position and run a set play after a rebound.

    I am also seeing another creeping problem, starting in Portland.

    No one is moving without the ball.

    The first two games had guys flying all over the place, opening space, confusing defenders. The last two games had guys standing, watching the action.

    I am a Karl fan. His record without a superstar, (Kemp, Anthony) may be suspect, but I am too lazy too figger it out.

    I’d rather drink beer and opine.

    Happy New Year, Nuggies Fans!

    And thanks Roundball staff for the best blog and forum in the league.

    (Yeah, I did research this. Most are ad heavy fan sites that don’t invite serious discussion.)

  • ny nugs fan

    fernandez sucks…please put him on end of bench now…please

    • evan

      Agreed. Mozgov sucks too, so does bird. Galo will come around. -lack of concentration imo.

      • Bryan

        Mozgov had 8 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Bynum actually had to work for his points against him. Nene was abused at center and needs to stick to PF. This wasn’t a game Mozgov should be criticized for. I actually think if Karl hadn’t gone to his stupid small ball 2 pg lineup, the nuggets might have won.

        For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Karl would play into the strength of the Lakers. How many times does playing small have to fail before it occurs to him there can sometimes be value in having size on the floor?

        I also think Gallo is wilting under the pressure of being the man. Hopefully, he can get his head right. If not, maybe Chandler can come here and May and be the man.

    • aussienuggzfan

      I agree why does he get 20-30 minutes a game. George Karl takes his love for certain players way to far. I want a younger coach with a passion to develop young guys like J Ham and Faried.

      And this stupid 2 PG thing may work against dallas because of their smaller guards but not against Kobe for gods sake.

  • Buffalo soldier

    2 chokes down the stretch in 2 road games for a young team.

    Better to get this issue dealt with early.

    Rudy disappointing but I’m not yet ready to give up on him.

    • Bryan

      I totally agree. They’ll either get it sorted out or they’ll fall on their faces. And the writers of this site will probably get what they want. A high draft pick and potential superstar that can lead us to perennial 1st round playoff exits before leaving for a bigger market. Like the last one. I’m hoping for the former.

  • aussienuggzfan

    FERNANDEZ SUCKS (he always has if you ever watched a Portland game)

    GALLINARI IS A THIRD OR FOURTH OPTION ON A GOOD TEAM AT BEST

    GEORGE KARL IS OUT OF TOUCH

    I would rather see Denver trade Gallo and Fernandez and bring back Chandler and yes even JR Smith, develop the rookies by giving them minutes and also play mozgov and koufos 20 minutes a game each to see what we have in them at least, if they suck they suck if they don’t they don’t, then at least we know what we need to target next offseason.

    Everything people hated about Melo, Gallo does the same things such as ball hogging and average defense but at least melo made big time shots.

    The only way foward for Denver is Jeremy Lamb, Harrison Barnes, Quincy Miller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Perry Jones, Andre Roberson (might not come out this year but does go to Colorado so chances of ditching us in 8 years could be diminished) or Andre Drummond

    • Bryan

      I’m a big CU fan but I think Roberson needs another year. I also think you’re dreaming if you think JR Smith is coming back here. He doesn’t want to be here and Karl doesn’t want him. Similarly, I think it’s foolish to put your hopes in a college kid. All of the guys you listed could turn out to be busts. When Gallo was drafted I remember Knicks fans thinking they had the 2nd coming of Larry Bird. That hasn’t panned out so far. Plus, George Karl hates playing rookies. So we’d be moaning about Karl not playing him all season.

      If we go into rebuild mode Karl will have be let go, I think.

      • aussienuggzfan

        sorry my bad for not mentioning i want a change of coach who is more patient and likes youngsters

  • Dubz

    I have to say I’m actually fairly pleased with this game considering the circumstances. 3 point shooting WILL NOT be an issue with this team down the road. We’re just seeing a few players who aren’t quite in game shape yet, especially for a GK offense that runs all day. I’m glad Mozgov showed some life, but I was even more pleased with the budding chemistry between him and Nene. It’s starting to look like they’re getting more comfortable playing together. Gallo is a little harder to put my finger on. I’ve been a HUGE Wilson Chandler fan for years and he could fill a major void on this team. If Gallo doesn’t show some solid improvement, I’d consider trading him and re-signing Chandler for sure. This is just a thought, Gallo could shrug off his struggles and play great for all I know. As for Big Al, I was a major supporter of him coming to Denver. I gave up on him last year after he was looking indifferent and overweight, but he looks like a new man this year. For everyone asking if Harrington is a guy we can play in crunch time, I think the answer is a resounding yes. Anyway, GK can be one stubborn coach and his lineups make me cringe at times, but he’ll get this team pointing in the right direction. Less Birdman (or no) and more Afflalo is definitely something he needs to look into. This team will be fine I’d like to see him go a tad bit deeper into the bench as well with all the running this team does. Go Nuggz

    • aussienuggzfan

      I disagree a bit with a few things you said but definately agree Chandler has a really high ceiling and should feel out trade options for Gallo. I think Chandler has melo type skills on offense but less of a ball hog (obviously when i say type skills i mean they look similar not that he will ever reach melos level since he is probably the best or second best scorer in the league) but he is way better on defense, i was impressed by his ability to semi slow down durant in the playoffs.

      And birdman should be probably be amnestied but at least afflalo should be getting 32-37 minutes a night at least until chandler or heaven forbid JR Smith returns (which we should do but we won’t cause GK is too stubborn)

    • Charlie

      I do agree on that point. I believe the Nuggets will shoot threes at a much better clip going forward. I expect Afflalo to hit his 40% mark on the year with Fernandez, Lawson, and Gallo trending towards their averages too.

      The only thing that worries me is getting to the line consistently and being able to score in the half-court. Luckily, we won’t be playing the Blazers and the Lakers every game so the Nuggets will have plenty of chances to run this year.

  • Marc

    Kalen, I usually enjoy your pieces but this article is flat-out not thought through. We’re four games into the season and your already crowning Al Harrington our best offensive talent? You think we need a trade to get MORE offense?
    -NEWS FLASH-
    We have the best rated offense in the league, ty lawson, aaron afflalo, nene and gallinari are all capable of creating offense. Not making shots and not creating shots is a completely different thing. We lost this game because of ONE thing- poor execution in the fourth. We outplayed the lakers and deserved to win the game if we made ANY of our free throws or lay-ups.
    We have great talent and (despite your clear enmity towards coach Karl) great coaching. The only thing we need is experience which we get from PLAYING TOGETHER MORE.
    Let’s try playing for more then 4 games before jumping to this ridiculous trade talk

  • aussienuggzfan

    I wish we had of explored trading for MarShon Brooks because along with Norris Cole and Kenny Faired i think they will be the biggest steals of the draft.

  • Charlie

    Guys, just updated this post to let you know about the new rapid reactions we hope to post going forward. Go to the front page to view the post below this one and let us know if you like the format and if it’s something we should continue doing.

  • aussienuggzfan

    ok sorry Kalen but what about this:

    DENVER GET:
    SG Monta Ellis
    PG Charles Jenkins

    GOLDEN STATE GET:
    SF Danillo Gallinari
    C Kosta Koufos
    C Birdman

    Maybe some second round picks involved

    • aussienuggzfan

      Gives us scoring burst and a proven clutch performer for a cheap price salary wise

      GS get bigger inside and on the perimeter. Brandon Rush and Klay Thompson would fill void at the off guard position.

    • Amel

      Ellis is a great shooter but his basketball IQ isn’t the best one. And I’m not sure if he’d like to re-sign with Denver.

    • Bryan

      No offense but that’s a horrible trade. The Nuggets aren’t paying Afflalo to be a bench player. And who starts at SF for the Nuggets, Brewer? That trade would result in the nuggets being worse because of the rotations. Golden State would also never do that. Plus, I literally shudder at the thought of Karl getting another pg.

      • aussienuggzfan

        jenkins could be replaced by anyone in the trade he is isnt important and affalo could still play 30 mins a night if he trade dre to lakers for dallas 2012 top 20 protected pick. then ellis could play some point guard.

        And Brewer probably start but we also have j ham and would open the door to chandler returning to a starting role in march. Plus there are SFs a plenty in the upcoming draft.

        Obviously this wouldn’t be an isolated trade, others could follow

    • gk4prez

      More small ball?

  • aussienuggzfan

    WAIT I GOT ONE!

    DENVER GETS:
    Marshon Brooks
    Damion James
    Anthony Morrow
    2nd round picks

    NJ GETS:
    Gallo
    Rudy
    Carroll

    • gk4prez

      If you are going to trade Gallo for a package like that, you better be getting a 1st back.

  • Peter

    First of all, Happy New Year!!! And thanks to Jeremy, Kalen and Charlie for all the work you guys do for this blog. It was a disappointing ending to the game for my Nuggets, but I still have hope that we can turn it around as there are many things we can improve on. Even though he played ok today, AAA just didn’t look right to me. Once he gets a few more games under his belt I expect him to be back to the same level of player he was last year. I also thought Moz played better than I though he would. Everybody else played about as expected except Ty, just had an off night.

  • steve

    obviously it’s early and i dont want to do anything crazy but alter lineups. We are having the same issues as last year. Cant finish games. WHY do we keep missing FT’s in clutch oppurtunities? Blown dunks and layups all over the place in the past 2 games. We cant score in the half set when it matters.

    If karl keeps the same lineups at the end of games and we keep losing, im gonna be pissed and start calling for his head. I love the guy but why keep putting the same 5 or 6 guys out there when they cant get the job done in close games. You need to at least experiment with using Mozgov at C to rebound. Possibly giving Hamilton a shot rather than Rudy to see if he can hit a meaningful basket. Playing Faried instead of Bird. I give him the next 20 games.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

    First of all, Happy New Year everyone. We really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read RMC.

    We had a massive windstorm on Friday night and I lost my Dish connection until someone cancome fix it Tuesday. Fortunately my mom and dad recorded the replay of the game and I just finished watching it.

    I agree with the comments that the offense was incredibly stagnant. I have no explanation for it. This team’s strength on offense is supposed to be their movement and unselfishness. Against LA they basically took turns running isos. Absolutely inexplicable.

    My biggest complaint is Karl’s decision to play Gallo in place of Afflalo at the end of the game. Gallo has been abysmal all year. He was guarding Kobe and missed two huge shots down the stretch. If Karl was worried about size then remove Andre who cannot shoot and is not a great defender. Gallo has been ice cold and Afflalo has been the only Nugget to display a capability of hitting a big shot.

    The early season incompetence of The Rooster is baffling. He played in Italy during the lockout and should be ready to go.

    If Denver cannot handle the Lakers in Denver today it will be a big red light. Denver is younger, deeper and playing at home. They need to win this game and I expect them to do so.

  • Evan

    Exactly Afflalo not being in the game baffled me. He’s the only player who has made a big time shot. Everyone else proved again that they are not clutch.

  • aussienuggzfan

    Trade for Demarcus Cousins? Thoughts

    • Amel

      He’s the best Center prospect in the league right now! How should we get him?! No way Sac-Town will trade him.

      • aussienuggzfan

        um they just suspended him for a game because he requested a trade. Its all over the news..

        • Amel

          His agent just denied this rumour…

          • aussienuggzfan

            thats what agents do. When did you ever hear Carmelo straight up demand a trade to the medias face, he never did even though he said it to everyone else

            • aussienuggzfan

              Plus the team admitted he demanded a trade which rarely happens as it can diminish trade value slightly.

              Obviously we would have to include danillo gallinari and maybe andre miller to get the deal done. Not sure what they are looking fore in a trade though

              • Amel

                I’ve just read the team’s statement, my bad, sry. But I’m not sure if he’d make our team better because imo he seems to be a Nene type of player, just WAY MORE talented than Nene. What we are looking for is a defensive minded center. Also, he is known for being immature.

  • aussienuggzfan

    then you trade nene for j smoove for the defense lol then you have two of the most talented immature players in the league together in the front court. From a pure skill set standpoint they actually fit together though.

    i can see it now…
    C Cousins
    PF J smoove
    SF J Ham
    SG Affalo
    PG Lawson

    then we would be a lottery team and we get harrison barnes in the draft and then we win mulitple championships….