Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 123, New Jersey Nets 115

New Jersey Nets 115 Final
Recap | Box Score
123 Denver Nuggets
Nene, C 30 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-4 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 9 PTS | -2
Nene had a hard time in the second half. Early on he was collecting boards and making aggressive moves towards the basket but after sitting for an extended period of time he started committing turnovers like they were going out of style. Still, nine rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals are invaluable numbers coming from your starting center.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 32 MIN | 7-11 FG | 6-6 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 22 PTS | +5
Gallinari was on pace to having a career night, scoring 17 points in the first half, though his production nearly came to a halt in the final two quarters of the game. Nevertheless, it was refreshing seeing him drive the lane while making solid basketball plays all over the court. Gallinari has now played extremely well since he ceased firing off countless 3-pointers early on in the season. His game is truly becoming diversified before our eyes.
Timofey Mozgov, C 13 MIN | 2-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -3
Mozgov didn’t play much of a role against the Nets but he didn’t make any glaring mistakes either, which is undoubtedly the most important aspect of analyzing his game these days. If he can continue limiting his “rookie mistakes” he might eventually be able to make a positive impact on the game rather than just running around the court with his hands flailing in the air.
Andre Miller, PG 38 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 12 AST | 12 PTS | +8
Miller did just about everything you could want and more from your backup point guard (even though he really isn’t one) when given the opportunity to start. He did take another ill-advised 3-pointer but his 12 points and 12 assists made everyone forget. Miller also did a great job of soothing the pace of the game when the Nets threatened to forge a comeback.
Arron Afflalo, SG 30 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | -4
Finally, after playing playing one-sixth of the entire 66-game season, Afflalo performed the way his new salary suggests he should. The value of his deadly 3-point shooting simply cannot be overstated, especially in tight games. As always, an aggressive Afflalo is an effective Afflalo. Though some of his drives to the hole were lackluster, there’s no doubt that specific offensive mentality contributed to his season high-tying 19 points. Let’s hope the real Arron Afflalo has finally stood up.
Al Harrington, PF 29 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +9
Harrington has no doubt cooled since his sizzling hot start, but his production has not drastically wavered to this point. Although you’d like to see more rebounds and a few more points, shooting above .500 percent for the fifth time in the last six games is always welcomed.
Chris Andersen, C 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +10
Chris “Birdman” Andersen might have officially earned himself the “Box of Chocolates Inconsistent Player of the Year” award through only 11 games. Against the Nets he was the old “Birdman” who Nuggets fans have come to know as a spark plug who thrives off superb help-defense and high-energy plays. It’s anyone’s guess as to which Birdman will show up on any given night, but Wednesday it was clear: Birdman still has wings.
Corey Brewer, SF 16 MIN | 7-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | +1
Brewer did not fail in impressing yet again. He scored more points than he logged minutes and missed only one shot. His three 3-pointers greatly assisted the Nuggets in avoiding a furious Nets run and his defense was just as effective as it has been all year. Karl recently stated that Brewer should be seeing more minutes and tonight he proved why.
Rudy Fernandez, SG 28 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 8 AST | 15 PTS | +10
Fernandez had by far his best game as a Denver Nugget Wednesday against the Nets. His shot was falling, he was extremely energetic, but most importantly he played the best defense he’s played all year — evident by his four steals on the night. If Fernandez can play like this every game, the Nuggets will be a totally different team.
Julyan Stone, G 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 PTS | +6
Stone made his season debut and though he only received six minutes of playing time, it was still six minutes of precisely-executed basketball with no turnovers and three assists. Stone looked as if he’d been an active part of the rotation all year long and played tight one-on-one defense against one of the NBA’s best point guards. Should Ty Lawson or Andre Miller suffer injuries in the future, Nuggets fans should feel at ease knowing Stone is ready to contribute immediately.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The sky isn’t exactly falling: Just two days after Nuggets Nation was distraught over a tough loss at home and ready to blow up the entire team in order to maybe draft another Melo who consistently lost in the first round of the playoffs anyways, it appears the “Panic Waters” have calmed. However, unless Denver wins against the Super Friends on Friday, it’s likely only a matter of days before the ESPN Trade Machine gets overly-abuse by Nuggets fans across the globe.
  2. “D-“(insert picture of fence here): Although the Nuggets torched the abysmal Nets on offense, it should be noted that they still allowed New Jersey to “net” an entirely inexcusable 115 points themselves. The Nuggets’ perimeter defense remains an unorganized mess and was again on full display this evening. At some point defense will have to become a priority in order for Denver to fully reach its potential this season.
  3. I need a prescription for Discipline please: Everyone, including the players, loves Denver’s fast-paced offense that often leads to high-flying dunks and flashy assists, but it’s clear that at times the urge to ignite this fire can totally overtake the Nuggets’ vision to the point that executing even the simplest of plays becomes difficult. It’s imperative that going forward the Nuggets stay disciplined and allow the fast-break offense to create itself through tough defense and tough defense alone.
  4. The Rudy Brewery: Both Fernandez and Brewer were likely born to be electric, crowd-pleasing players off the bench, they just don’t quite know it yet. But once these two settle into their roles and get more comfortable within the offense they could potentially be one of the most exciting second-tier duos in the entire league, if not the most exciting. Let’s just hope this comes to fruition sooner rather than later.
  5. “Scrub O’ the Night:” A couple of games ago it was Danny Green, then it was Marco Belinelli and Wednesday it was none other than Jordan Farmar. What this says about Denver’s defense, I’m not exactly sure, although I’d venture to say the poor rotations that could leave every last player in the NBA open might have something to do with it.

Game 11 Advanced Stats (and thoughts by Charlie)

Pace Factor: 97.7 – This should be about normal pace by the end of the year
Offensive Efficiency:   125.8 – A big-time improvement over the Hornets debacle
Defensive Efficiency: 117.7 – Warning: the Nets aren’t a hapless offensive team but they’re no powerhouse either. It still hurts to repeatedly see numbers like this after such a strong start to the season

  • As Kalen mentioned Nene’s night was certainly was a tale of two halves. Since moving to Power Forward Nene is drifting further and further away from the basket and as a result his shot selection and offensive rhythm are off. The Nuggets looked to jump start their offense early and the plan was to get Nene better position and let him touch the ball every offensive possession. Nene’s point-guard like vision resulted in crisp passes and easy buckets early, but he later struggled despite being guarded by Humphries, Shelden Williams, and Johan Petro most of the night. Too many careless turnovers and disagreements with the officiating led to a frustrating second-half and put a damper on an overall solid night. His shot selection was better and he did make an effort to be aggressive in matchups where he has a clear advantage. Make no mistake, Nene just has to be mentally tougher and stick with it on tough nights like tonight and he’ll be fine.
  • Corey Brewer settled into a nice role backing up Gallo. As Jeremy suggested this is a great role for Brewer and perhaps he’ll carve out a more consistent spot in the rotation if he continues to produce. Miller returning to the bench will change things, but I firmly believe there is room for Brewer who has been surprisingly effective in short bursts.
  • As hard as we are on the Nuggets defense, how bad was New Jersey? Marshon Brooks, Anthony Morrow and Shelden Willaims looked hopeless out there and Deron Williams was so frustrated by the end of the game he decided to get himself ejected.  The Nuggets simply had to pass and take care of the ball to win this one going away, even with the Nets having a career shooting night from deep with twenty three point makes. Unfortunately the Nuggets didn’t take care of the ball and the final score was a bit closer than it should have been.
  • Karl praised Stone and Faried after the game, saying the rookies would be NBA players and that both would eventually get their shot. Although Karl does not have the greatest track record with rookies, he’s keeping them motivated and I continue to believe both will eventually grow into solid contributors through patience and hard work.
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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.
  • http://www.twitter.com/DenverThugget James

    I have to agree with these grades. What’s with Nene? He’s two different players. We need to start referring to him as Nene BB (Before bench) and Nene AB (After Bench). He becomes less aggressive and more turn over prone after his butt hits the pine.

    • Junior

      We must remember Nene is playing hurt. But he should deliver above his career numbers.

  • Desean

    Julyan stone should have got 15 minutes in a game where it never really got that close. He looks the goods, could be a good back up next year if Andre miller doesn’t resign. Plays defense, uses his length, pass first, smart with the ball.

    • Aaron

      Stones A Rookie, Karl Hates Rookies. That’s Why. Lets Hope Miller Doesnt Resign Or Gets Traded Cuz When Hes In, The Offense Is Slow And Miller Likes To Go 1 On 1 ALOT. My Point Is Miller Makes This Team Worse. Hes A Really Good Player But isn’t With The Nuggets, Because He Plays A Completely Different Style Of Basketball Then Denver Likes Too.

      But Ayyyy Great Win Tonight!

      Go Nuggetz!

  • Alex

    I really liked what I saw out of Stone tonight, he passes the ball well and finds the open guy while and won’t go all 1 on 1 like Andre Miller. Also with what Stone adds on the defensive end is a big plus, especially with his size. Second I really love what Corey Brewer is doing, I get excited whenever I see him in the game and I think he will provide the most energy off of the bench. Last of all I want to see Faried get some minutes already, I don’t see how after what he offered against Sac how Karl won’t put him in the game.

    Another great Nuggets win!!!
    Super excited for friday!!!

  • Adam

    Miller has made the Nuggets way better in the past, present, and will so in the future. Without Miller tonight, the game would have been very different.

  • Jeff

    I like Miller. But I must say, I think Stone could be perfect for George Karl’s 2 point guard small ball lineup, if he gets his jump shot happenin.

  • Jeff

    Sorry to double post but I have one more thing to say. I think Nene just needs to realize he should be playing center, at least on this team. Let’s have a starting lineup of Nene, Harrington, Gallinari, Afflalo and Lawson. This could give Koufos and Faried more minutes off the bench backing up Nene and Harrington.

  • Desean

    Faried should be starting next to nene, he would thrive in a lineup with 4 other capable scorers

    Harrington should carry the bench scoring

    Moz and mostly kouf back up nene

    Brewer should get more minutes than Rudy

    And stone should be getting some minutes especially in garbage time

    Please trade that old ball hog Andre miller, hes good but not for this team

    But ey GK is a stubborn man

    • Desean

      Nene needs to realize that capable big guys his size are rare and needs to suck it up and play center for the forseeable future until we draft Andre Drummond fool

      • stevesf47

        we will need to be in the top 7 to get Drummond. dont think that will happen.

        Another good win for nugs…just want them to fix their 3 pt D. Geesh, giving up 20 3s was insane. Most teams with when they shoot that well.

        Anyways, Andre came out and said he thinks he should start in the league and probably doesnt see himself back in Denver. What about trading him for Jarrett Jack? Jack makes 1.5 mill less than dre but is signed for 1 more year thru 2013. I think he would be a nice backup to ty who wont completely change the pace like Dre does. IDK, just a thought. I think New Orleans would do it since they would get the player off the books. Also, their young team could use a vet outside of Okafor.

        • Desean

          Interesting thoughts since jack is perfect for 2pg lineups as he showed last year with Paul

        • Desean

          I meant trade up for Drummond which would never happen it is just a dream of mine that’s all

        • Aaron

          Trade Miller For A First Round Pick.

          Then Trade The First Round Pick From Miller And The Pick We Got From The Knicks And If We Have To Trade This Years Pick To Get A Top 5 Pick To Get Drummond.

      • Bryan

        Am I the only one who remembers Kaman getting painfully easy baskets against Nene a couple nights ago? A guy who is actually 6’9 should not be your center if you want to contend for a championship. Especially, not when there are guys like Bynum and D12 out there.

  • Desean
    • Desean

      He should lose a lot of supporters with these comments. He comes of as arrogant like he actually thinks he is better than Lawson and it is also pretty cowardly to come out in the media like this instead of talking to Gk or Masai . He neeeds to be traded

    • Trevor

      He sounds like Miller hates playing for the Nugs more than I hate him! GTFO? Rudy for back up PG.

      • Trevor

        *It

    • Aaron

      I love Andre but i don’t understand why he’s unhappy, he plays about the same minutes as Ty (Ty 33, Andre 29)he just dosen’t start, and let’s not forget he is in the game during the crucial moments of the game. I would like to see him resign with the nuggets.

  • stevesf47

    exactly, read my thoughts right above.

    • Desean

      Sorry man I didn’t see your post

      • stevesf47

        no problem man. we are just on the same page! :) Andre has always been like this. I wasnt a big fan of the felton trade to begin with but figured felton would be a cancer since he wanted out. i dont think dre will have that effect since he’s a vet and doesnt want to tarnish his image at age 35 or so. I just think we could make a move with him and bring someone in that fits our philosophy which i think jack does. He can push the tempo off the bench rather than slow it down like dre does. He actually guards SG’s better than PG’s due to his height (6’4) and lack of lateral quickness so would fit decently when both him and ty are on floor. Average 3 pt shooter but better than dre.

        • Ernie

          You would think at 35 Miller wouldn’t care about pre-game introductions and would welcome less minutes as a way to lengthen his career. I always forget the egos here. Disappointing because championship teams need to be unselfish for minutes, especially the old guys.

  • Ernie

    I thought Stone played a little scared. Brought the ball up and then handed it off and got out of the way most of the time. I was hoping for more playmaking but I guess it was just his first game.

    Not a bad showing considering they didn’t have Ty and the Nets shot 20/35 from 3. Normally on a good night they would be lucky to make 15 of those (40%) so winning by 8 even with an extra 15 points looked like a solid effort.

  • Ma$on

    Fun game to watch. Loved that our ranged shots started falling. The thing that I couldn’t stop thinking (and shouting at my friends) was ‘OMG! Rudy to brewer is going to be a thing!’ what other team has such an igniting combo off their bench? If we bolster our perimeter d, we will be a tough team to beat. Overall I thought our d was ok- we were still creating havoc, forcing turnovers, and making them defer to tough shots or a 3, but we were not respecting their 3 shot enough. And several of their tough shots actually dropped. Nene living in turn over city for awhile, having 2 terrible passes in a row and then immeaduately an offensive foul, scares me, but he wont play like that every night. For a moment there, I thought he was the MOZ.

  • Aurress

    I think its important to keep in mind that GK doesn’t always start the best 5 players on the team. The bench production is almost equally as important as the starters.

    I used to think this back when JR Smith was a younger Nugget and was the best player off the bench. He was getting talks of being the 6th Man of the Year and a lot of fans wondered why JR didn’t start over Dahntey Jones or even Aaron Afflalo (before he blossomed). But if you put the 5 best players (in the case of JR: scorers) into the game as starters, you have no bench production.

    We have a huge advantage with our bench now. Often times our starters will just “hang” with the opponents starters (especially if they are a better team, like Miami) but our bench is better than the opponent’s bench, and that’s where our advantage begins.

    For this reason I love having a deep bench, comprised of players that could be starting on other teams and guys like Faried, who are barely getting any PT, but should be.

    We don’t necessarily have a “#1 Go-To” but we have about 6 or 7 “#2’s”… possibly more.

    All that being said, I’m fine with Moz starting. He’s not getting a ton of minutes and it allows us to have the advantage of Harrington & Koufos off the bench.

    Ok, I’ll stop before I start rambling. I hope this adds some perspective to why we don’t necessarily start our 5 best players on any given night.

  • ny nugs fan

    how do you score 70 points against anybody by halftime and then get a scare at the end of the game… and then from jordan farmar?

    our starters should’ve been on the sidelines cracking jokes while guys like manimal and others got some much needed playing time in the blowout

    just sayin

  • chronicnugs
    • Jeff

      He gets 28 minutes a night, takes all the shots he wants, on one of the best teams in the western conference and he’s complaining, pretty wack.

  • chronicnugs

    K who needs a “starting” point guard?

  • Dubz

    This Andre Miller thing is nonsense. I have to presume that the Nuggets were able to gauge his level of acceptance of being a backup behind Ty before trading for him. If Miller said he was cool with being Ty’s backup then pulled this, the FO is not going to be happy. I really like what Miller brings to this team because Ty looks more like a SG than a PG at times, but he needs to appreciate his role. This team is deep and he’ll be replaced in a flash if he doesn’t shut up.

    • Jeff

      Actually there’s no way the team can gauge his comfortability with the role, unfortunately. What’s Portland gonna do, ask him over the summer “Hey Andre, would it be cool with you if we traded you for Raymond Felton so you can come off the bench in Denver?”
      It was probably a gamble the front office was willing to take.

  • KW

    I’d like to see Miller gone quickly to ‘encourage the others’. If Masi reads that and ships him immediately to wherever makes the most sense for the Nuggets it’ll send a strong message. Miller isn’t that important and if he’s going to agitate he should be gone.

    I am loving the way this team doesn’t argue with refs (as much).

    I think Gallos nick name should be Twilight.

  • bayesk

    Andre brings some things to the table: generally heady and tough play, a serious post game for a PG, 8+ assists a night every night, sneaky drives that usually get him a bucket and 1, great outlets to ignite our fastbreak, etc.
    We all know the things he doesn’t do well, like shooting from distance, or really pushing the pace; I could live with that because of the things he can do well, plus a change-of-pace guard is not a terrible option in certain situations. I also used to consider him a good veteran leader, but after reading the link above I’m quite disappointed. I thought Karl was playing Miller and Lawson a nearly ideal mix of minutes, despite the sometimes puzzling small-ball mismatches it would create. I mean, 28 minutes isn’t enough? Really Andre? I wonder, would he be disappointed with 47 minutes a game? To my eye, Rudy sure looks mostly capable running point himself (in small, well-managed doses Karl!) or acting as a de facto second PG with Lawson. My hope: we see more Stone the next few weeks. Then goodbye Andre, good luck.

  • Trevor

    Overall this was a pretty disappointing game again. The best defensive quarter was 24pts… The Nets were definitely outgunned and looked like the altitude took their legs yet still put up 115 and kept flirting with comebacks through out the whole 2nd half.

    Good
    * Gallo is turning into a great all around player. He is clearly working on his shot selection, driving, on ball defense, and distributing and it is showing.
    * Rudy can and should man the back up PG spot. Brewer and Rudy deserve Miller’s playing time.

    • Tommy4daNuggz4ever

      I was a full supporter of Miller coming back until today when I read this it just irritated me. Give Stone, Rudy and Corey his minutes they all have been playing well trade Miller away and get the negativity out asap since he doen’t prefer Denver. I mean he is 35 yrs. Old get out of here with that crap. We can get something or someone happy to be with us let’s talk to GS and get Nate hell I don’t know anyone J Jack from New Orleans would be good. I just don’t like people making negativity in the locker room or in interviews. He is a vet and should know better.

      • Jeff

        I could see us trading Miller for yet ANOTHER veteran point guard that doesn’t want to come off the bench. Best scenario would be to give the backing PG minutes to Rudy and Stone and maybe try to get a good center for Miller.

    • Charlie

      It was another bad defensive performance, but we’re getting enough flak for pointing it out in the losses. The way I see it Denver will win many home games with offense while being relatively indifferent on the defensive end. It’s not ideal, but in a long season the team will take path of least resistance and Nuggets fans are used to it.

  • Peter

    Interesting comments from Miller. Somewhat surprising since he is a veteran, then again not surprising because after all this is the NBA, where big ego’s happen. Taking everything into account though, it’s not the take we all want him to have on the situation, but it could be worse. At least he is being professional about it and not sulking and “wanting out” the way Felton did. To say he still deserves to be a starter and deserves more minutes is completely understandable given what he has accomplished in his career so far, but he seems to understand that Ty is the guy here and that’s just the way it is. If he wants to play somewhere else and start that’s fine. Let’s be realistic here, he’s not a top 10 point guard anymore, but probably is still top 20. If he wants to average 35 minutes a night for Charlotte and make more money than come off the bench for Miami or Boston then that’s just his mentality and we have to deal with it. Some guys are just wired that way. It just shows where his head is at, don’t forget we are talking about the player with the most active games under his belt with never getting out of the first round of the playoffs.

    • Jeff

      I think Felton handled it well, plus, he is young and has a career ahead of himself and wants to man his own team. Miller has had 13 years of being a starting point guard.
      Let’s not forget, Chauncey even sulked about coming off the bench after he was amnestied by New York. Veterans just get stuck in their ways. Props to Big Al for not fussing about being a bench player.

  • Ricardo

    Brewer played more minutes and played well, just like I had expected, he played wth a lot of energy offensively and defensively. Fernandez also played with a lot of energy by making some three-pointers and passing the ball for an alley-oop to Brewer. One thing the nuggets didn’t do well is defend the perimeter, they gave up 20 three-pointers.