Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 110, Sacramento Kings 83 [UPDATED]

Sacramento Kings 83 FinalRecap | Box Score 110 Denver Nuggets
Kosta Koufos, C 4-6 FG | 2-6 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +3 Koufos netted the first double-double of his career and did so in only 24 minutes. Though he’s still turnover and foul prone, Koufos has showed a lot of progression in only two starts thus far. In Wednesday’s game he also completed the first isolation basket of any big man on the Nuggets outside of Nene when he demanded the ball in the post, performed a drop step and followed it up with a left-handed hook shot.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +11 Be honest, is there a possibility Gallinari reads this blog? No? Fair enough. But it does seem weird how the following day after I grill him for this poor 3-point shooting and implore him to drive to the basket more he does just that, not taking a single 3-point shot all game long. Wednesday’s Gallinari is the one we need to see more often: less shooting, more driving and distributing. Though his European upbringing and appearance may suggest a soft, shooter-driven style, in reality Gallinari is more Andre Iguodala than he is Peja Stojacovic.
Timofey Mozgov, C 4-6 FG | 3-5 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | +6 This was one of Mozgov’s better games of the season. He finally ran the court with purpose and finished a few strong dunks as a result. Additionally, Mozgov’s soft hands were on clear display as he dished out three beautiful assists and converted a nice finger-roll basket which led to his first “and-one” of the season. That said, Mozgov is still out of control half the time. On more than one occasion he clumsily toppled over his opponent, picking up quick, unnecessary fouls that forced George Karl to resort to his bench sooner than he may have liked.
Arron Afflalo, SG 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -5 After six games Afflalo still hasn’t found his groove, however shooting 5-8 from the field and scoring 11 points in only 20 minutes of action is perfectly acceptable until he manages to figure things out.
Ty Lawson, PG 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 8 PTS | +13 Lawson didn’t score the way he has been lately, but then again, he didn’t need to. His five rebounds, six assists and three steals were accumulated while playing solid defense and controlling the pace of the game with precision. Lawson currently ranks first among NBA point guards in steals, second in field goal percentage and third in points per game and field goals made despite ranking only 15th in minutes per game!!!
Al Harrington, PF 7-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +31 What’s left to say about Big Al that hasn’t already been said before? Dude continues to be an absolute revelation while committing hardly any ill-advised plays. This is now Al’s third straight “A” of the season — by far the best GPA of any Nugget this year.
Andre Miller, PG 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 8 PTS | +22 Miller is as rock solid as they come. He has yet to lay an egg and plays within himself every minute of every game. He’s the perfect counterpart to Lawson and someone the Nuggets will continue to rely on down the stretch. He also ranks second in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio behind only, the always efficient, Jose Calderon.
Chris Andersen, C 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +19 This was Birdman’s best game of the year, bar none! From the get-go he was challenging every shot within his range and altering countless attempts in the process. He also played the passing lane extremely well and had active hands to go along with it, evident by his three steals. Put simply: This is the Birdman we signed to a hefty contact just a few years back and the one we need to see on a more consistent basis.
Corey Brewer, SF 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | +12 Brewer again played great, all things considered. He’s not the best shooter, but his three steals and one block in only 18 minutes are what really shines. Could the Nuggets have finally found a potential Durant “stopper”? Only time will tell.
DeMarre Carroll, F 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -2 Carroll didn’t see that many minutes but was efficient with the time he was given. Although he did commit a few bad turnovers, this is to be expected from a guy who hardly ever sees the floor.
Rudy Fernandez, SG 4-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 12 PTS | +22 Tonight was Fernandez’s coming out party. He played the best ball he’s played all year and finally eased up on the 3-pointers. His mid-range jump shot was silky smooth and something he should absolutely should consider expanding on using in the future. Clearly the key for Rudy is to not designate himself as a one-dimensional, 3-point shooter. Much like Gallinari, if he can focus on driving, taking advantage of his above average handle and utilizing his court vision, he’ll improve vastly and once again be placed among the upper echelon of bench players in the NBA.
Kenneth Faried, F 2-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +3 If you haven’t heard by now, Kenneth Faried was not only trending worldwide on Twitter after his performance Wednesday, but he also landed the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays… for the third time since being drafted by the Nuggets, no less. Faried entered the fourth quarter at the 10 minute mark and logged what was by far the most exciting, promising, energetic 10 minutes any Nugget has produced in a really long time — maybe ever. His now infamous ally-oop dunk sent shock waves across the Pepsi Center and his three blocks were the epitome of athleticism. More importantly, Faried finally tore down rebounds the way he did in college. After this performance it’s hard to see Faried riding pine like he has been.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Sacramento Queens: Let’s just put is this way, in no way did the Kings look regal on Wednesday. Poor shooting, bad decision-making, no ball  movment — it was all there. Give the Nuggets credit for playing solid defense if you want, but it was really the Kings poor play that secured the victory for Denver.
  2. The Arc Enemy: Finally the Nuggets drove the ball inside and the results showed. Denver shot its highest field goal percentage of the year against the Kings, and conversely, its lowest number of 3-pointers. Let’s just hope this becomes a staple of the Nuggets’ offense rather than an ephemeral fad.
  3. Koufos vs. Mozgov: Yes, this was a “Things We Saw” from the last recap, but it’s likely not often these two will start next to one another and receive roughly the same amount of playing time too. Koufos again thoroughly outplayed Mozgov and didn’t commit as many glaring fouls either. In addition, Koufos landed a double-double in only his second start — something Mozgov has yet to accumulate all season even though he’s started every game — and showed flashes of a relatively polished post game, which Mozgov is not even close to achieving. At this point, it’s clear: Mozgov is simply the more flashy, popular “stiff,” while Koufos is the one of substance, flying under the radar, doing all the dirty work.
  4. ¡Que bueno!: It was great seeing Rudy finally attacking the basket instead of sitting behind the arc jacking up contested threes. His passing skills, evident by his eight assists on the night, are way above average for a shooting guard and something that could greatly benefit the team. He also displayed a very fundamentally sound jump shot for the first time all year, which did not fail him all three times he chose to use it. Maybe we should add Rudy to the “Players that Need More Time to Develop” list.
  5. #Manimal: As already touched on above, Faried was killer tonight. His athleticism was on full display and made every other player on the court seem like a pure civilian. Keep in mind, this is the NBA were talking about here. The most athletic human beings on planet Earth play in this league and yet somehow Faried made them look like just that — humans. I know his fundamentals are a little rusty and he can be caught out of position from time to time, but the way he was blocking shots and destroying the rim was pure, raw, in-your-face nastiness that simply cannot be ignored or brushed to the side any longer simply because he’s a “rookie.” After the game Faried stated, “Hopefully tonight proves I can play if coach puts more faith in me,” which is exactly what it will come down to. Seeing how Karl handles this situation going forward is going to be interesting, but one thing’s for sure: After Wednesday’s performance, his time on the bench just seems even more unnecessary.
  • evan

    Good report again, I enjoy reading every post after the game. Farried played well, but don’t over react, still garbage time against a garbage team in a back to back. I’m sure he won’t get much playing time. His athleticism though, wooah. Also, I like the nick-name the Nuggets players gave him better then Manimal: Bounce.

    P.S.
    If it’s not too inconvenient, it would be a lot more convenient for us, or for me anyway, if you put the minits played in the state line in the grade. If not no biggy, you normally mention it in the description anyway.

    • Kalen

      We actually had a couple of guys design this Rapid Reaction post so it’s really their deal that TrueHoop is using. I’ll inquire about it though, because I agree, it would be nice.

    • Lil Rik

      maybe everyone will now stop jocking GK so much for not playing rookies.. He’s giving Faried plenty of chance to show what he can do – even if it’s only in garbage minutes. He’s getting the kid on the floor when the opportunity arises…

  • Daniel

    Ahhhh. Good stuff. Great, well rounded team win. It makes me smile seeing 31 assists. I know it was the Kings, but this is the type of team the Melo era team would struggle against.

    I think tonight Denver’s 11th 12th and 13th guys proved they are worthy of some playing time. Was great seeing the manimal doing what we all knew he was capable of. That block, that dunk, those rebounds, the two ft’s at the end to deliver the tacos!

    Hopefully Nene can get back to 100% but until then the twin towers playing pretty well together. Not many teams can say they have two solid 7 footers, but the nuggets definately do. Mozzy and kk looked good tonight, running the floor, grabbing rebounds and also passing the ball well.

    Stoked about my nuggets right now. Thanks rmc for the insight.

  • SmokinNugs

    I only caught bits and pieces of the game because I was working but I liked what I saw. First off, Manimal lived up to the hype. I look forward to seeing him play a little more in the future. 4 blocked shots in less than 10 minutes is nice off the bench, not to mention a spirit breaking alley-oop, 4 rebounds, and 7 points. Rudy was looking more like the Rudy of old. I think he’ll settle into a rhythm and do what he did in Portland which is JR production without JR decision making. Final thought, I like running both 7 footers when we can. There was a particular play where one of the Kings players drove towards the basket and Moz and KK both spun towards him with their hands up and were a WALL. They can do a lot of things Nene hasn’t/will never do. Nice win Nugs!

    • zanzabar

      Good to see someone recognize what Rudy can bring to the table. I’ve seen too many negative comments around regarding his work this season, but I see what could become a very positive addition going down the stretch.

  • Beefyswats

    I was at the game. Nuggets looked stellar again, A’s all around in my opinion.

    The crowd reaction to the Faried dunk was a massive, drawn out “Ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”, especially after the replay.

    First game of the year for me, what a great one to be at.

  • http://40andnow.com/ cloudio

    Great game from Rudy, his court vision and passing skills are very good.

    I agree with Evan Farried played well, but don’t over react, still garbage time against a garbage team in a back to back. He has to prove he deserve minutes when it really matter, especially with Nenè back: you can’t put him at 5, as power forward he his behind Nenè, and a hot big Al, not counting small lineups with Gallo at 4.

  • Jeff

    DeMarre Carroll hasn’t missed a shot yet. Of course he’s only played like, 10 minutes, but I’d keep an eye on him. That midrange jumper looks solid.
    I thought Afflalo played really well. His defense was great and he got into the paint. He looked quick. I definitely would not give him a C-.

    • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

      The game was great to watch. I liked that we were looking to go to the big guys early and they responded by converting and playing good overall basketball.

      Faried was definately a lot more confident and more the player everyone expects compared to his first appearance. He was a lot more attentive on defense as shown by his rebounds and the blocks, whereas his first game he was sort of wondering and a bit awestruck by the “I’m in the NBA” I think.

      I would not get carried away thinking this is going to get Faried more minutes, it has been stated a couple of times already about being garbage time against a lesser opponent on a back to back.
      I think most, if not all of us fans would love to see more of him but the fact remains that he is still very raw and I don’t think George is ready to rely on him in tough situations.
      However he was about 100 times better than his first appearance and showed that he is learning and has gotten over the “nerves” from the first game.

      Is it just me or do the Nuggets have a bad shooting aura going on at the moment? Not only are we shooting poorly from mid-long range but it seems that all the teams we have played so far are being affected too.
      I know it is a hectic schedule for the season and people are tired or haven’t found their shooting touch yet but even the Kings had been shooting a lot better from long range prior to this game.

      • Kalen

        Go look at the shootings stats for not only teams, but players too. It’s crazy. The lockout has really lowered the level of efficiency in the NBA so far, no to mention numerous other statistics.

        As for Faried, yeah it was “garbage time” but look at who he was playing against. Cousins, Outlaw and Thompson were all guys who saw time throughout the game and are not “garbage time” players. More than anything though, it was about the eye test. In garbage time, that’s what matters and judging by Faried’s incredible dunk and blocks, he passed. What he brings to the table the Nuggets simply don’t have right now. I understand he’s a rookie, but my goodness, he can NOT be much worse than Mozgov when it comes to making bad decisions/mistakes.

    • Lil Rik

      Our team is deep if we’re talking about how well Demare Carroll is doing. I’m not worried about AAA one bit – he’s just warmin’ up…..

  • CCH

    Birdman was getting abused by cousins. His man D is still atrocious.

  • CCH

    But can’t complain, lovin this team. If they wouldn’t of been clowning around in the 2nd and 4th quarter we could’ve won by 50.

  • Frontrange

    Even Bird’s best game really only deserves a C . . .much happier with Faried, Koufos, Mozgod and Harrington in his place. Faried may not have as much experience as Bird but he can make up for the being in the wrong place with pure out-of-the world quick hops – sort of like a 21 year old Bird.

    I hope I’m wrong (i.e. that he get better), but I assume by the end of the season Bird will be the 9-10 man off the bench.

    • Charlie

      There’s been a few times this year I’ve seriously questioned whether Birdman’s career is over. He’s off to a slow start and in some games it’s really been that bad. He showed improvement tonight in addition to putting up solid numbers so I think the grade is more than fair. However, if we don’t see him deliver at least a little bit of consistency look for the grades to reflect that big time.

      In all honestly I don’t expect Birdman to be a game changing force anymore. I just want hustle, defense and a reliable big who can produce off the bench and not look like the worst guy on the court. I think Bird still has that in him and it’s a little too early to write him off just yet

      • Lil Rik

        Don’t you remember in junior high or high school when you actually started to realize that you can’t go for every head fake. I keep asking myself how this guy can’t ever stay on his feet until the guy he’s guarding leaves his. However, he’s also getting time on the court because he has a decent mid-range jumper and can knock down free throws – “good” offensive skills for a bench guy of his size.

      • Frontrange

        I think you should re-read your post . . ’cause you just said that Bird’s A game is a C grade – “I just want (him to) . . .not look like the worst guy on the court.”

        We are in agreement on the Bird. Hope he is better than that, though.

  • dynamo.joe

    Kinda sucks that K2 gets the double double and all anyone wants to talk about is Faried.

    That said….FARIED!!!!! #1 in sports center top plays tonight and proclaimed “best NBA play of the season, sa far”.

    Anyway you look at it, that’s pretty cool.

    Like the others, I don’t think it translates into a lot more minutes, but maybe the degree of blowout that GK will insert him into has been lowered from 20 to 15 points.

    I’m so excited by the nuggets this season I’ve begun to root for completely irrational developments: 1) throwing out a whitewash of Moz/K2/Bird/Gallo/Rudy, 2) going big with Moz/K2/Nene/Bird/Gallo (you must be THIS tall to enter this ride), and 3) Stone gets recalled and GK gets his 5 guard dreamteam. I’m not saying any of these are good ideas, I just wanna see what happens.

    • bayesk

      Yes!! Three great but unlikely lineups. I was daydreaming about the whitewash myself during the third quarter..

  • Brad H.

    Good assessments, Kalen. You’re a bit hard on Moz though. One of the better running 7-footers in the league. I love the way he broke to the hoop tonight and closed some nice assists with authoritative dunks. The Timo-Kosta WALL is for real. And who suggested that Brewer might be our Durant stopper this year? That ain’t gonna happen. What will happen this year though is Moz, Koufos, Faried, Bird and Nene are going to make it very difficult for OKC and many other teams to score close to the basket.

  • Fong

    Nice to see everybody get some minutes tonight. Got me thinking though, what ever happen to Chukwudiebere Maduabum aka Chu Chu?

    • Kalen

      He’s not even in the D-League anymore. Not sure where he’s at now, can’t find anything on the Internet about him. Only person that knows is probably Masai.

    • Charlie

      He’s an unsigned draft pick. Not sure where he’s playing or what he’s doing but Denver keeps his rights. I would count on seeing him next year in the summer league and its possibly invited to training camp

  • JRSMITH4PREZ

    I would really like to see more of Faired, Carroll and Brewer off the bench hopefully they can be given some more minutes as the schedule gets tougher physically. I think they should cut back on Fernandez’s minutes to facilitate this.

    • Lil Rik

      I would really like to see JR Smith run for president in China. Shake things up a bit over there. Maybe some of the Asian imports will start coming over tatted up with “young money” plastered in mandarin chinese. I like it

  • ny nugs fan

    i like my nugs but i still blve that right now they’d get smoked by okc

    they really need nene to get in shape and i’m still thinking chandler, if they could get him, would give them the additional real scoring threat they need to compete with the best teams down the stretch

    just my opinion tho

    • Lil Rik

      maybe they would get smoked, but maybe durant and westbrook will go cold and shoot 6-30 each and westbrook will have a conniption fit. OKC is good, but I believe they can be beatren. we’ve got almost 60 games left until playoff time and I have a feeling the nugs will become very cohesive by then

  • Jrsmithisnumber1

    Both Mozgov and Koufus impressed me tonight. They played good defense at the basket for the most part. There wasn’t really one stand out player just an all -around good team win.
    Also what’s with Koufus again being Sub of the game when he started again???

  • Ma$on

    I love all my nugs, but not all of them are going to get play time every night. There is something to be said about gaining experience through playing time, and I think we will see throughout the season that everyone will get meaningful mins, but not every night. For team cohesion, Gk needs to not only make his bench players prove their worth, but also respect our vets by giving them starters time. I mean, how often do we want Ty or nene sitting on the bench? Personally, I’d want them on the floor as much as possible. And then there are a plethora of vet role plays we need to respect to keep them playing top ball. We just have such a deep team- it’s very exciting. I make this point because it just doesn’t make sense to have manimal on the court too much yet… He has proven he can make the big plays but has he proven he has the fundamentals to cover his role in the thick of a game? Not so sure. Getting the boring aspects of defense down will ensure he’s a star. And how do you pound those fundamentals into ones head? Making them earn their play time. Trust me- I’m sure faried is no slouch in practice right now- he’s working his ass off. Personally, I’m excited by this weapon we have on the bench- I foresee many a 4th quarter where the other team is gassed and we bring in a fresh manimal to go to feast. So try not to get too worked up by him not playing much- I read this blog and know y’allz love to come up with reasons to hate gk, but I think he knows what he’s doing with this one.

  • SmokinNugs

    Caught the 1st Quarter re-air last night before I went to bed and had an additional comment. Rudy can pass! He had a couple REALLY nice passes in Q1 not to mention he’s the one that oop’d Faried in the 4th. I always identified Rudy as a shooter but he’s got some Rubioesque passing skills. Spain knows how to share the rock!

    • Aaron

      Ikr! Rudy Almost Looks Better Then Lawson (In The Passing Way) Seems Like Denver Always Finds The Guys That Never Really Got To Show Their True Talent But When They Come Here They Shine…Corey Brewer Is An Example Same With Koufus, Gallinari And Rudy. But Ya Rudy Could Almost Start At PG If We Didn’t Have Lawson Haha.
      GO NUGGETZ!!!!

  • Gary

    I think we’ve established our identity now and have elite talent to run this type of offense when we can control the tempo.. Having said that, GK needs to start expanding the playbook and installing half court offensive fundamentals. Come play-offs, the game will slow down and we don’t wanna keep getting bit by the same bug over and over. This one’s on GK and his scheme. IMO we have enough young and athletic talent, who can adapt to a different style of O when needed and properly taught. This remains the last big Q against the big boys. Running transition ball will always form the core, but we can’t get methodically dismantled by the “so-called” big dogs when they take this away or match it.

    • http://www.chazkemp.com Chaz

      I agree, Gary that GK will have to expand his playbook and I believe he’s planning on it. The biggest problem he, and everyone else around the league is facing, is very little practice time. Instituting a lot of new things during the season is going to be next to impossible.

      I believe that GK indicated that they will continue to try to expand a little on the dribble drive offense that they have going right now. They have the foundation down and now they will try to add more to it.

  • Sanokumo

    Strange things I found in my espn nuggets reading this morning. Denver is #4 in Mark Stiens Power rankings.
    Denver is #2 in the western conference standings, and is tied with the most wins, best home record and conference record, we don’t have the best road record but only ONE team in the western conference has a winning road record?!,
    Denver has the best the best points for and the third best points against to have the best differential in conference. And they are on the longest win streak.
    I know its early but its just some positive things we haven’t seen for… well ever.

  • chronicnugs

    Despite Brewers obvious shortcomings and Rudy’s frustrating tendencies… both these guys for a second rounder? How good does this deal look now?

    • Peter

      I think Dallas just doesn’t care about this season and is trying to free up payroll.

  • ronsprings

    Kenneth Faried’s performance gave me flashbacks to David Thompson. I attended several games at McNichols in the 70′s and Skywalker really pumped the crowd with some out-of-this-world moves. I see the same thing in Faried.

  • Jason

    Koufos outplayed Mozgov, but it wasn’t by such a gap as you propose Kalen. Mozgov had one of his finest games last night. He is an above average passer, has strength and agility, and runs the floor well. I will say Koufos is more polished on offense, and appears to be the better rebounder, but both players played good.

    Also, don’t get so carried away by Faried. Its one game, in scrub time, against a terrible opponent. I do think Karl owes it to himself to try and scrap together some minutes for Manimal during actual big boy play to see what he can do. But where do the minutes come from? I think in time these things have a way of working themselves out.

  • Aurress20

    Stopped watching at the end of the 3rd. Boy am I disappointed. #Manimal.

    Thanks for another great blog guys. Love the new format!

  • Randy

    Totally unrelated to this game, but check out some great insights on a major weakness in the OKC attack at the link below. Interesting that Brooks, whose offense also seems heavy on creation out of simple pick and rolls, doesn’t really have the personnel to make them work.

    http://hoopspeak.com/2012/01/thunder-pick-and-roll-sputtering-settling-for-jumpers/

  • Andrew

    If I recall correctly, Kmart and JR are unrestricted FAs and Chandler is a restricted FA. Assuming that is right, I am guessing the Nuggs are not even accepting JR’s call anymore (Fernandez plays way better defense, is a better passer and apparently listens when Karl tells him to stop shooting the 3 and drive). Also, after this last game, seeing how effectively the Nuggets are in thwarting scorers down low with their 7 footers, I am wondering if the Nuggs are even entertaining bringing Kmart back. He’s just too expensive, has bad knees, etc. Anyone think the Nuggets have any thoughts on bringing back either of them? I think they will take that saved salary and run.

    • Jason

      The ship has sailed on JR and KMart. I still think there is a decent chance we bring back Chandler. I will miss JR, and his crazy skills. But I don’t blame Denver’s FO for moving on. As for KMart, no way. I always thought he was a bit overrated on D anyways.

  • Henry aka KFH

    Love the new Rapid Reaction feature here. My own quick take on Fernandez’s game tonight included his tremendous passing for assists. The guy is more than just a (potential) heat-up-fast shooter off the bench; he can run the point and make others better with those great eyes for the game.

  • Sam Adhikari

    Kinda disappointed at Afflalo’s slow start. He was no where to be found in crunch time against Lakers.

    I think a part of the reason he’s struggling is because the defenses are paying attention to him. Last year, all the attention was on Melo, Nene and Billups, and all Afflalo did was hit wide open 3′s. This year, the defenses are doing a better job of playing 1 on 1 vs everybody, because, frankly, no one is that good to be double teamed on this Nuggets roster.

    • Charlie

      I think he’s taking worse shots and forcing a little bit at the rim where he’s trying to be a better finisher. Granted, Afflalo has been good at the rim and made a high percentage, but I’m not sure the Nuggets need him dribbling so much and driving the ball into traffic.

      Afflalo shot a lot of one dribble pull ups last year and almost exclusively attempted set shots that were open. He rarely ever handled the ball and didn’t expect to get many shots which I think made him a more confident player. AAA seems eager to prove he’s a finisher now who can create a shot and I’m not sure that’s the best thing for the Nuggets

  • Ernie

    Is anyone else disappointed that they said on the telecast that it would take a few weeks for Afflalo and Nene to get into playing shape? These guys just signed big deals and they aren’t even in shape? I can’t imagine the 2 weeks the rest of the team had for preseason would matter in that regard. I’ve always appreciated how hard AAA worked to get better, so very frustrated if this is the source of his poor play so far.

    Also I like the Westphal was fired following this game. The Kings did not resemble a team with any leadership.

    • steve

      Ernie, it’s not always about being fit. It’s also about being game fit. they only came in a couple days before the 1st game so didnt have the practices that the other guys had.

      As far as the game, it was awesome to watch even if it was the kings. THis team is FUN FUN FUN to watch. They play hard every night which you didnt always see when melo was there.

      I want Faried to see more time, but at whos expense? it’s either Birdmans or KK. Al is playing way to well to lose any minutes. Karl loves birdman it seems. KK has earned the time as well. Just not sure we will see Faried much until an injury occurs.

      • Ernie

        I understand that idea of game shape for football since it is hard to replicate playing that violent a sport for 60 minutes. But basketball you can play pretty easily. There were plenty of LA games this summer (with NBA players) where Afflalo is from so if he didn’t get enough reps in it’s on him.

        • Ernie

          Meant “offseason”, not summer

          • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

            AAA didn’t want to play during the offseason as he didn’t want to risk an injury when he was trying to sign a huge contract.
            Fair call from a business sense but now the Nuggets have to ride it out while he gets into “game shape”.

            • Ernie

              If that’s true he could have protected himself by buying insurance. The college players that stay another year (both football and basketball) do this all the time. The agent would probably have forwarded the money.

  • Jim

    It’s what, ironical? The worst thing right now we nuggets fans keep bitching about is getting faried more minutes even with no Kenyon and chandler while the headlines out of new york have melo saying “it can’t get worse than this” at 2-4 with losses to Toronto and Charlotte. Pretty sweet being a nuggets fan right now.

    • Jeff

      True, and it’s also sweet because we know this team is even capable of better play. Key players like Gallinari, Afflalo, Nene and Fernandez seem to be underperforming. They’ve had the toughest schedule so far in the league and still came out with a good record. While Melo said it can’t get any worse, we can say “it can get better!.”

      • Ernie

        How have they had the toughest schedule? 7 games with 4 at home and only Portland and Lakers with a winning record.

        • Jeff

          True, I guess not the toughest in the league, although somebody from ESPN wrote that, I think it was in the power rankings.

      • bayesk

        Ernie’s right:
        http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2012.html
        Nuggs 10th in SOS, Blazers have had the toughest schedule.

  • ny nugs fan

    i’m a big gallo fan, i take his bad with the good any day; the guy is crafty and gets to the line, makes his free throws and is tough as hell to guard espec on the perimeter… he can spot you up or take you to the cup (nice)

    i also thought he did a bang up job guarding gerald wallace in that portland game; wallace is a top player in the league so he gets some credit for that

    • Daniel

      I agree with you, love gallo. He also played pretty solid defense on kobe that second game. He’s so long and tough to shoot over and he is deceptively quick for a big guy.