Rapid Reaction: Nuggets vs. Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers 90 Final
Recap | Box Score
99 Denver Nuggets
Nene, C
4-7 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -1
It was a little funny seeing him stare down his teammates and almost scream out for help whenever Bynum or Pau made a move on him. Nene was solid but not much of a factor in the win to be honest. The Lakers bigs easily pushed him around down low while he continues to put up poor rebounding performances. As I said before, the move to power forward is not paying off for Nene and I am confused why he had to throw such a fit about playing center – where he is better.
Danilo Gallinari, F
7-16 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 20 PTS | +11
The Rooster still can’t find his touch from distance, but he did shoot 6-9 on non 3-point attempts. Gallo also recorded five steals and was a key factor in the fourth quarter run that sealed the victory. It wasn’t a perfect game from Gallinari, but he played his best when it mattered.
Timofey Mozgov, C
0-0 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -14
Mozgov racked up five fouls in 13 minutes and clearly let the officiating get into his head. He spent most of the night trying to get a call and once again struggled denying Bynum position. Timo showed a few flashes defensively but he needs to learn to fight for position and contribute on the glass like a starting center should.
Arron Afflalo, SG
2-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -10
He’s contributing defensively like you’d expect, but it’s been a rough road getting Afflalo involved on the offensive end. He looks tentative, dribbles too much and jumps away from contact rather than finishing through it. The Nuggets need to get him some shots and work him into the offense more.
Ty Lawson, PG
5-11 FG | 7-8 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 17 PTS | +18
Everything was there for Lawson tonight. The Nuggets came alive with him on the floor and were consistently able to speed up the game and run on the tired Lakers. He scored, he got 10 assists despite poor shooting from teammates and his defense was the key to the fourth quarter run that sealed the win. His presence makes Andre Miller extraneous late in games and the Nuggets need the ball in their best player’s hands every big possession.
Al Harrington, PF
3-7 FG | 6-6 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +15
Once again, Harrington was all the Nuggets had going the first half of this game. As I tweeted earlier things could be looking grim if Al were to cool off before the offense got itself sorted. Luckily, Ty Lawson stepped up in the second half and Al Buckets wasn’t asked to carry the Nuggets again. Harrington continues to contribute in all areas of the game and grabbed a team-high 11 boards. I would have liked to see more Afflalo in the fourth quarter but you can’t deny Harrington is playing well right now.
Chris Andersen, C
5-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +17
After playing a combined 12 minutes in the past two contests, Birdman bounced back with his best game of the season. His conditioning and leaping ability still aren’t there, but he continues to give a better effort on the floor and finally saw some results. His defense remains wildly inconsistent, but Bird was solid tonight. He scored with efficiency, rebounded well and recorded his first blocked shot of the season.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Rebounding matters. For the first time in two games the Nuggets hold up their end on the boards and match their opponent’s total. They continue to struggle on the offensive glass, grabbing only five despite missing 38 shots.
  2. Pace is the key to victory. The Nuggets were only able to pull away thanks to Ty Lawson pushing the tempo. The half-court offense remains a mess and unless they want to play Lawson 40-plus minutes a night, the Nuggets must get better in the half-court game.
  3. Getting to the line equals wins. It’s as simple as that. The shooting struggles continue yet Denver stayed alive by attacking the Lakers big men and forcing the issue at the rim. Thirty seven free throw attempts is a season high and the Nuggets made a respectable 31 of them.
  4. The bench is missing something. As much as I hate the constant dwelling on the departure of JR Smith, the Nuggets are missing his explosiveness and energy off the bench. The offense is bogged down and slow with Andre Miller. Rudy Fernandez is little more than a passer and spot up shooter. The Nuggets couldn’t take advantage of Kobe resting and part of what kept them in the game is the fact the Lakers lack bench scoring as well.
  5. The defense is promising. Kobe had an off night shooting the ball, but the Lakers as a team shot less than 40 percent. This was a rare feat for past Nuggets teams and they have shown an ability to compete in low scoring affairs. The Nuggets continue to communicate and improve their team defense despite foul trouble. Strangely, their offense is letting them down in their 2 losses.

Game 5 Advanced Stats

Pace Factor: 99.4 – Similar to last night’s game which favors the Nuggets much more than L.A.
Offensive Efficiency: 99.6 – A very solid improvement over last night’s 92, but low for a home game
Defensive Efficiency: 93.5 – Since the Carmelo trade, the Nuggets are a a completely new team when it comes to defense

[UPDATE by Kalen]

Candid notes:

— Before and after the game George Karl talked about how fans shouldn’t overreact to anything in the beginning of the season. He talked about the difficult stretches of schedules and how a team can only ultimately be judged at the end of the year. Of course, he laced these speeches with his usual acceptance of mediocrity stating how the team would likely go .500 for the entire month of January, but other than that Karl made great points. On Saturday most Nuggets fans thought, for whatever reason, that losing to the Lakers on the road was the end of the world. One day later, the Nuggets are sitting at 3-2 after executing properly down the stretch of another close game, unlike the previous night. The Nuggets have now played five games of the 2011-12 season, three of which have come on the road against the last two teams to win the NBA title. After facing a difficult stretch of the schedule the Nuggets will now go on to play four of the next five games at home against the Bucks, Kings, Hornets and Nets, all of whom either had a losing record last season or likely will this season. Credit Karl for this refreshing dose of perspective, which isn’t administered as often as it should be.

— Funny how the whole “superstar” thing works. After losing to the Lakers it’s all anybody can focus on, yet one night later Kobe Bryant essentially handed the victory to the Nuggets on a silver platter by shooting 28 times and only making six of those shots. Kobe also accounted for nearly half of L.A.’s turnovers alone and notched double what his closest teammate managed. It’s fair to say Kobe pretty much lost the Lakers the game tonight with his selfishness, which unfortunately happens from time to time with these types of guys (see: Westbrook, Russell).

— It’s interesting watching the contrasting styles between the Nuggets and Lakers. While L.A. focuses more on the half-court set and working the ball down low into the key for Bynum and Pau to operate with, Denver generally remains a team that revolves around the curve of the 3-point line, seldom making it a top priority to get its bigs the ball down low. Sure, we can always blame Nene for not being more aggressive, but something has to be said about how he fits into the fast-paced run-and-gun style of the Nuggets offense that takes its fair share of 3-pointers.

— The ref’s willingness to blow the whistle when Kobe Bryant has the ball in his hands is close to disgusting. At one point in Sunday’s game the Black Mamba received a call where I couldn’t even pinpoint the reason a whistle might be blown for. This aspect of the NBA flat out sucks — I have no other way to put it.

— Even though the Nuggets won, it should be noted that it happened on the Lakers’ terms yet again. Credit L.A. for playing disciplined, defensive-minded basketball which slowed Denver down to a crawl at times, but its the Nuggets responsibility to prevent this. The Nuggets must do whatever it possibly can to ensure the speed of the game remains almost frenetic, as that alone is Denver’s best offensive weapon. So while the Lakers have Kobe; the Nuggets have youth, speed and altitude (aka, the Holy Trinity of Nuggets basketball).

— There must be a correlation between Birdman’s hairdo and his level of play. After virtually resurrecting the mohawk the first year and a half of returning to the NBA, Andersen has questionably switched over to a greased-back mop top complete with a handle-bar mustache and has since seen his on-court production decline just about as much as his style. But against the Lakers on Sunday, Birdman played superb. In only 20 minutes of action he posted 12 points, nine rebounds, a block and a steal which accounted for his near team-best plus-17 on the plus-minus scale. This was by far Birdman’s best game of the season and one that brought back memories of frequent outbursts Nuggets fans saw back when Birdman’s hair gel was actually put to good use.

— Denver, in general, has taken entirely way too many 3-point shots to start off the season. It’s one thing if they’re falling, but the way the Nuggets have been shooting from outside lately should warrant launching one from behind the 3-point line taboo unless someone is almost wide open. Perhaps this is most evident in the fact that Andre Miller has already made more 3-pointers through five games this year than he did all last season with the Blazers. Bottom line: When you drive good things happen. You get the opposing team’s big men in foul trouble, you get to the line and you make easy buckets that build your confidence and open up the court for other teammates to then operate through. Let’s hope George Karl makes this a priority here soon.

— The Nuggets closed on a 11-0 run to seal the victory. Gallinari had a game-high 20 points, which was the most he’s scored so far this season, and finally looked like the player most Nuggets fans expected since coming from New York. Gallinari still has an enormous amount of untapped potential and absolutely must assert himself as a cornerstone of Denver’s offense in order for the Nuggets to perpetuate its success. The other young up-and-comer, Ty Lawson, is doing his job; now it’s up to Gallo to fulfill his duty as one of Denver’s key cogs moving forward.

  • Jeff

    I’ll hand out a few grades while you guys work on yours…

    Birdman: A+! I had given up on him, it would be awesome if this is not a fluke and he can have at least a few more games like this.
    Lawson: A- Made the right plays and was much more effective using his speed compared to last night.
    Gallinari: B Still struggling with his shot but redeemed himself in crunch time.
    Fernandez: D Turns the ball over and can’t hit anything, still. I wish Brewer were playing instead.
    Nene: C+ Was not aggressive or tough enough, but he hit his freethrows and got some good rebounds.
    Harrington: A- It’s a joy watching Harrington play hard and rebound (pun intended) from last year.
    Miller: B+ Was not as effective when he was running the point compared to Lawson, but he hit some big shots and his passing on the break is awesome.
    Mozgov: C+ He’s learning and although he picks up a lot of fouls he has shown improvement.
    Afflalo: C+ Sad to see him not finishing games due to whatever is going on, not finding his shot or not being in shape, whatever it is.

    • Klules

      Spot on grades IMO. It was good to see us win one in crunch time but Lakers had alot to do with this win as well.

      We continue to get killed inside. I guess they had to keep Kobe happy with opportunities but Pau and Bynum were dominant inside (GK’s complaints about six seconds in the paint notwithstanding) and created many easy baskets.

      Our rebounding needs to improve – we have no force there aside the occasional Bird pulldown.

      That said, great team effort and I believe we’ll see improvement as the season moves on.

  • aussienuggzfan

    I fear this game will make us forget about our problems because they only guy who won this game was KOBE BRYANT. taking terrible shot after terrible shot.

    Concerning how poor Nene looks against good interior defense.

    I also still wont and never will believe in the effectiveness of Gallo unless some sort of miracle occurs.

    I want Wilson Chandler back. He has so much more to offer than Gallinari. I also yearn for the unfairly critcised JR Smith.

    I have had enough of GK. Loves Gallo too much. Plays two PGs too much which is hampering Lawsons development as Miller dominates the ball. Also how is Afflalo not apart of our crunch time lineup?!??!!?

    Also think we should see how much Sacramento like Danilo because there aren’t many opportunities to trade for guys with the talent of Cousins…

    • Jeff

      I would hate to see the Nuggets trade for Cousins. The last thing we need is a guy with a bad attitude on a young team.

    • gk4prez

      It sounds like you need to switch favorite teams.

    • magster

      Considering we closed the game on an 11-0 run, it’s hard to question GK’s closing lineup last night.

  • Cody

    Aussienuggzfan, Gallo is a better player than chandler! JR is a cancer and his time has come and he won’t be returning. You obviously don’t watch too many games to see that the 2 pg lineup is effective.. finally we aren’t trading gallo you have to be one of the more stupid fans ive seen on this board

    • aussienuggzfan

      I’m pretty sure I watch every game of the Denver Nuggets including at least another 3 or 4 other games around the league so I think I know what I’m talking about. Apart from 3 point shooting and 2 inches of height Gallinari has nothing on Chandler. Defense, ball handling, athleticism and as many scouts would and have agreed with me, Chandler’s ceiling is much higher than Gallinari. He even had better 3 point shooting percentage last year.

      Um and have you watched our the 2 PG lineup kills us on defense?? Maybe you should watch some games…

      I never said we would trade Gallinari I said we should. I would bet everything I have to bet Nuggets never make the Western Conference Finals with Gallinari starting at SF.

      And I know JR Smith isn’t coming back because of his ego clash with GK. He isn’t a cancer, he and GK just don’t get along.

      Cody, you must be the most dillusional (and stupid) fans I’ve seen on this board

    • FinazzAus

      Harsh words Cody. Didn’t your momma ever tell you if you don’t anything nice to say then make sure you say it Nicely. Show some respect to other options weather you agree or not.

  • Aaron

    This is why the schedule this season is made for this team. Frankly, we wore the Lakers out. We will do that to some of the veteran teams (ala San Antonio, Dallas, etc. . ). We will get 5-6 “schedule” wins this year due to our depth, style of play, and home court advantage. We did a bit better in crunch time, Afflalo hit a big shot late. I think he needs to be in there at the end instead of Miller, or Gallo.

    Before everyone gets up in arms about our small lineup at the end. . remember that Gallo is 6-10 and Harrington is 6-8. It’s ok to take a few defensive posessions with those guys. They couldn’t guard us on the other end. Gasol couldn’t guard Harrington or Gallo.

  • Aaron

    So, wait everyone. . . The Lakers “blew” this game, and we didn’t win it? If we say that, we need to give yesterday’s loss the same diagnosis, since we more than “blew” that game. The Lakers didn’t do alot to win yesterday except collect favorable calls. We should’ve won that one by as many points as this one. Let’s be even handed in the “who won/lost” the game judgements.

  • Ernie

    Three thoughts:

    1) Does this team practice 3 pointers? It seems like they shoot 15% every game if that. If the team could shoot they would be 5-0. If this continues they won’t win on the road at all. Fernandez, Gallo and AAA have all been pretty awful from 3. Almost makes me long for JR.

    2) Going from Felton to Andre Miller as the backup PG has slowed the team and made the 2nd unit less effective. Late last year this team pushed constantly and just wore opponents down. Miller has played well and efficiently, but they would benefit from having a younger faster option that pushed the pace.

    3) I like that they give Moz a chance but wish the backup was Koufos. Bynam needs a big body to bang back at him and Koufos for all his problems loves to box out and rebound on the offensive glass. We have two 7 footers that hustle and foul hard, I wish they would take advantage of that. Bird is too thin to handle the load.

    • http://www.twitter.com/denverthugget James

      The 2 point guard system is actually working MUCH BETTER than Lawson alone.

      http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/two-point-guards-are-better-than-one-in-denver/

      • http://roundballminingcompany.com Kalen

        Wow, nice find James. That is a fantastic read.

      • Tommy4daNuggz4ever

        Well if this 2 PG set up is working why are we not playing J Stone he is suppose to be an assit king and he is big and fast he could work great and with playing time his shot could improve faster and it couldn’t be worse than rudy has ben doing. And great read thanks for putting it up for us

      • Ernie

        I didn’t question the 2 point guard lineup, I questioned whether Miller is the right guy. What that data didn’t show is the effectiveness of Miller Vs a younger and faster Felton last season.

  • Bryan

    Don’t understand your criticism of Nene at PF since he’s still playing a lot of center. For instance, when Mozgov got into foul trouble early and Harrington came in, Nene was at center. Bynum abused him and he got into foul trouble. Not sure how you can clamor for him at center when he clearly lacks the size to compete with the elite centers.

    • Charlie

      Nene’s putting up much better numbers in the small lineups where he plays Center. It’s true that he’s being asked to play there and doesn’t have a choice, but can you blame the Nuggets for that?

      Nene still starts the game and the 3rd quarter at Center, it just hasn’t translated to much success yet. The plus/minus for the starting lineup backs this up in all four games. As a power forward he just hasn’t fared well in terms of production.

      • Bryan

        Mozgov got into early foul trouble in two of the five games. Leading to Nene playing a lot of center. Also, two of the five games were against the Lakers whose size negates the advantage of Nene at PF (whose PF is a 7 footer). I just don’t understand how you could see Nene get dominated by Bynum and want him to be the center. If you’ll recall Melo reportedly wanted a big to help compete with the nuggets. And Nuggets fans hoped to get Marc Gasol for years. When Mozgov gets better on offense and the Nuggets take advantage of him being open, it should open things up for Nene more.

        • Kalen

          I agree Bryan. I don’t think its evident in the box score as much, but Nene does appear to be a different player at power forward. Against centers like Bynum he’s just too small, both on offense and defense. But against power forwards, he’s usually the bigger and faster player which gives him (A) more confidence and (B) an opportunity to exploit that matchup frequently. I’d love to see how Nene plays alongside a bona fide center, or at least just alongside Mozgov when he’s fully developed.

  • Tommy4daNuggz4ever

    What do you all think about trading rudy and a big for cousins I know everyone thinking his attitude is bad. but he has alot more ability and is still young him and Nene could be dangerous. He has a lot of energy and potential and Nene could mentor him to control his energy the right direction. He has the capibility to score and Rebound which we need and he can play more minutes if anything he has more experience than most of our bigs right now.

    How about this for a starting lineup
    Ty
    AAA
    Gallo
    Nene
    Cousins

    With Timmy learning better and still get good minutes.
    let’s here it remember this is just an idea I don’t know how much I like it but it could work

    • Tommy4daNuggz4ever

      I am not saying they should trade anyone that has been playing what about people that are just rusting over in our bench or we could call it a cellar.lol but I really think we need a defensive big for games against teams that have big players and cousins could be useful

    • aussienuggzfan

      if we want to keep our 1st rounder which we do, i think we should/ would have to trade Gallinari to get deal done.

      Teams would outbid Koufos +Rudy by a longshot.

      Still like the idea of cousins though unless we are going to trade our first round pick

      • Tommy4daNuggz4ever

        I personally dont want to see Gallo or Timmy or a first rounder in the trade that and they have SFs anyways. And Moz has shown potential that we will need later once he gets some fundamentals down. Gallo can’t go he is starting to get his rythm a little more every game so far. I haven’t given up on him in a month or so if he is play bad then I will give up but he is going to be a good piece for our team I think. I could see carrol be in it. I am not sold on rudy even last year with Portland he makes too many mistakes and has an ugly shot. And if we are using KK’s talent which I believe he has we can live with him in the trade. And I think that Karl would be a Coach that can control the outbursts from Cousins. I think he would be a great asset for defense and our running game. Plus his aggressive play will be a great addition in games againt the lakers and portland as well as OkC for size and speed. Having a front court rotation of Nene, Mozzy, Bird, and DMC would be a energetic one not to mention putting Gallo and Big Al at SF. Plus we would have Faried and Brewer for a third SF PF rotation as well. It would give Jstone and JHam some burn at the 1 and 2 spots as well and keep our size with improvements. Just some thought but I am excited to see the team either way with or without a trade it has been fun watching them so far.

    • Dave

      I think its an awesome. I was trolling this message board hoping somebody would suggest such a trade. We have assets they need and finally a locker room (no more thuggets) that can handle him. Cousins is probably more of a sure thing than our first rounder if we do well this season, which is what were playing for right? Dont be afriad to pull the trigger boys. With this guys “attitude” problem this guys is gonna be a steal

  • FinazzAus

    It to early to be throwing trade ideas around just because players have lost there shots in the last three game. Gallo, Afflolo and to some extent fanandez will all find there range as the season carries on. Clearly the sooner the better. But there is some merit to say we are still able to take some wins not shooting well, so imagin when two (or all three) find there shots.

    The half court offense looks really really unstructed. the lakers did very well over the last two game identifying that stopping Lawson dribble/drive or dribble drive and dish is the key to our offense. Now all teams will shut his drive down (to his credit he found a way to be affective with is assists)

    A true solid centre is what the nuggets need (IMO) I’m not saying vanish moz to the end of the bench because I can see something in him. But we have no option on D for the post up game as Bynum and gasol played. Or we can’t play that ourselves in our own offense. Just means we lose another avenue to goal.

    And final because there has been no FARIED talk yet in this recap. I’m struggling to see how he will EVER fit into this team. His to small to guard a center or a true PF. Not the best shooter and from what ive heard cant create his own shots. His rebounding and defense are his asset. But the way the nuggets play and run the court he won’t be getting too many O boards with our style of play, his only going to play if GK know he can fit in with our system.

  • JRSMITH4PREZ

    DEMARCUS COUSINS ! DEMARCUS COUSINS !

    TRADE GALLO AND GET DEMARCUS COUSINS!

    COUSINS WOULD BE HAPPY BECAUSE HE WOULD BECOME A GO TO GUY AVERAGING 20 AND 12.

    WE WOULD HAVE ONE OF IF NOT THE MOST IMPOSING FRONT LINE IN THE LEAGUE!!!

    BREWER AND HAMILTON COULD SPLIT TIME AT SF AND THEN POSSIBLY ADRESSED IN THE DRAFT WITH GUYS LIKE KIDD-GILCHRIST, MILLER, JONES, JOSEPH AND MIDDLETON FLOATING AROUND

    2012-13 NBA CHAMPIONS – DENVER NUGGETS!

    • JRSMITH4PREZ

      DID YOU SAY DEMARCUS COUSINS???????!!!!!???!!!?!!!?!?????!!!?

      • FinazzAus

        Haha who we’re you talking about?????

        Him a GK would clash quicker and bigger then him a JR. He would bring this bad attitude and the other players would get the shits on real quick. Cousins will be the next AI bouncing around the league because he is a good player and teams want to take a risk but then soon realize his never gonna change.

      • evan

        love the name rofl

  • http://www.twitter.com/DenverThugget James

    1. Kobe didn’t just hand the game to the Nuggets. He played poorly because he was guarded well. Gallo, AAA and even Dre deserve respect for that. He was bodied up and had a hand in his face all night. I was really impressed by Gallo’s D on him in particular. I hadn’t seen him do that before.

    2. In response to the 2 point guard criticisms; I don’t see it. When we play small we get hurt by bigs. We’re not getting killed by Shooting Guards. Miller is only 2 or 3 inches shorter than AAA. Miller is clearly able to defend those players. I think the two have played well together, and the numbers agree. (In discernible categories like differentials) The two definitely have different skill sets that compliment each other and they a re both great at pushing the ball in their own ways (with the dribble or via the pass).

    3. I’ve really enjoyed the coverage. Keep up the great work guys!

  • gk4prez

    I think you guys are grading Afflalo poorly, he did a superb job on Kobe last night. In fact, Afflalo and Gallo forced the beanhog into playing one of if not the worst game in his career.

    This was only the 5th game of the season. Don’t you think it is a little early to be wanting to trade player A for player B? I think it is. Yes, the 3pt shots aren’t falling, but take a look at other boxscores from around the league and you will see that several teams are having the same problem. The first 8 games of this season are basically preseason games.

  • gk4prez

    I looked up the stats on some of the other all star caliber pg’s around the league, and Lawsome is out performing most of them 5 games into the season.

    Lawsome: 18.6 ppg, .557 fg%, .375 3pt%, 5.4 apg, 2.8 stlpg, 2.2 topg

    DWill: 16.4 ppg, .354 fg%, .320 3pt%, 5.6 apg, 1.6 stlpg, 4.8 topg

    DRose: 19.8 ppg, .471 fg%, .381 3pt%, 8.6 apg, 0.6 stlpg, 4.0 topg

    CP3: 15.5 ppg, .490 fg%, .364 3pt%, 9.8 apg, 2.5 stlpg, 2.5 topg

    Rondo: 18.6 ppg, .567 fg%, .429 3pt%, 10.0 apg, 1.4 stlpg, 4.2 topg

    Westbrick: 16.0 ppg, .375 fg%, .125 3pt%, 5.2 apg, 2.0 stlpg, 5.4 topg

    Steph C: 15.3 ppg, .462 fg%, .267 3pt%, 6.0 apg, 2.7 stlpg, 4.7 topg

    It is still early but the early indicators show that Lawsome is outplaying most of the players who will likely be picked ahead of him as an all-star this year.

    • http://roundballminingcompany.com Kalen

      Thing that stands out most about Lawson is is shooting percentages and turnover rate. You simply gotta love a point guard that doesn’t take bad shots and doesn’t turn the ball over. That’s the type of guy who gives you the best shot to win.

  • steve

    first off, great win for Denver. Gets their confidence back up after 2 straight road losses. Now we enter a stretch in the schedule where we should win the next 5 games or so.

    Secondly, it’s not fair to grade Nene at PF compared to C. Obviously Harrington is playing at a high level right now when he comes into PF and Nene moves to C. Al helps Nene out alot on the offensive end because teams have to actually guard him. Having Mozgov at C is no help right now for Nene at PF. Just imagine if we had a solid C that can protect Nene on both ends of the floor some. Nene doesnt need alot of help but he does need some. He has always been a bad matchup for both bynum and gasol. Bynum is just too big and physical for him while gasol can shoot anywhere on the court and has a couple inches on him. Nene can dominate alot of players in the league but LA has 2 he has trouble with.

    As far as trading for DMC…honestly, i say go for it if GK is up for it. Cousins is a rare talent. Even with the baggage he has it’s still worth it. We have the pieces to make this happen. It would take Gallo though. Gallo and Mozgov for DMC would probably work. Then we can resign Chandler and he can be our starting SF in March. Obviously Al Harrington, brewer and Hamilton will lock down SF till then. Just imagine DMC and Nene. I like Gallo and think he COULD be something special but not like DMC could be. We are a young team with alot of pieces. Nothing wrong with taking a risk. GO Nugs!

  • Robert

    Great Recap. With regards to JR, you folks SHOULD be missing him. Doesn’t anybody here buy Pelton’s prospectus?

    Question: Will you be doing a cumulative season GPA based on the grades for the players? That would be cool. They do it for game grades over at Canal Street Chronicles.

    • http://roundballminingcompany.com Kalen

      I was actually thinking about doing that. Since you brought it up that pretty much confirms it though… should be a great way of analyzing how well each player performed by the end of the year. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Jeff

    Question:

    Does Gallinari cherry pick/not go for rebounds or does he just run out really fast on the break? I don’t remember exactly where he’s positioned and then all of a sudden he’s getting full court outlet passes, happens like 3 times a game. Maybe it’s a designed play the Nuggets use.

    • Peter

      Answer: Gallo is extremely slow and is a classic example of a cherry picker!!!

  • ny nugs fan

    i dozed off during the game, but at some point i thought i came to and thought i woke up to fernandez chucking up another (brick) 3 pointer; not really sure if it was a bad dream or i was really awake… just know i was sweating profusely when it all happend

    i was awake thought most of the 4th when he wasn’t on the floor and we actually closed out the game

    • steve

      lol. Rudy is nothing like JR. not sure why ppl keep thinking he’s a similar mold.

  • http://espn.com Chris

    Pleas bring back J.R, Rudy isn’t very good.

  • FinazzAus

    Fanandez isn’t a great player, probly not even a good player. He has good game here and there and give some much need energy off the bench (more so now that bird has lost some bite to his game)
    But what we need to remember is that JR will never come back even if we wanted him too. And the most important thing we need to remember is that week gave up 1 secound round pick for him and brewer. I can understand if we had give up some real assets to get him. But that isn’t the case.
    And I think his minutes will slowly drop once we find some identity in our offense.

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Charlie

      I strongly agree. I brought up JR because I did not think the bench would drop-off too sharply with JR gone. Some of the bench’s mojo seems to be missing to me as the Nugs have needed the starters in there to make things happen (Lawson, Nene and Gallo). Last year, Karl occasionally went to an all-bench unit plus Afflalo which could dominate lesser teams’ second units.

      JR is gone, not coming back and ultimately the Nuggets bench will figure it out. They just need a little more time to find out which lineups are gonna work

  • JRSMITH4PREZ

    Bring back JR Smith and Wilson Chandler and trade these hacky euros (FERNANDEZ + GALLINARI)

    Trade Idea:

    DENVER GETS:
    SF Terrence Williams
    C Hasheem Thabeet
    PF Jeff Adrien

    HOUSTON GETS:
    SG Rudy Fernandez
    C Kosta Koufos
    C Birdman

    Terrence Williams has more talent in his little toe than Gallinari. He would get a chance at big minutes and eventually make Gallo expendable.

    Hasheem Thabeet has way more upside than Koufos but is perhaps slightly behind in development.

    Jeff Adrien is a reasonably athletic and raw big body who would be a project player.

    Would give Houston a center rotation of Dalermbert, Bird and Koufos and move Hill back to his more natural 4 spot.

    Rudy Fernandez….

    I know everyone will poo poo this trade because you guys wouldn’t want to disrupt the minutes of the chose one, our lord and saviour, Danillo Gallinari……

  • kitkat

    ty should pass the ball more though. gallo is more of an efficient player (seen all the games when he was with the knicks). his 3pts should come soon. felton at that time was making too many shots than gallo. i remember reporters would ask d’antoni why not give the ball to gallo because he was good at crunch time. gallo has more talent than chandler. gallo only played few minutes in about 20 plus games because of back surgery. chandler was poor towards the end of last season especially in the playoffs.

  • kitkat

    gallo only played few minutes in about 20 plus games because of back surgery in his rookie year. this would only be about his third year. chandler also had always an injury towards the end of the regular season when he was a knick.