Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 108 Philadelphia 76ers 104 (OT)

Denver Nuggets 108 Final
Recap | Box Score
104 Philadelphia 76ers
Nene, C 38 MIN | 8-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | +9
It wasn’t the prettiest game, but Nene stuck with it and finished. Yes, he still shoots way too many underhand line drives at the rim, but Nene was the lone reliable big in this game. He secured the rebound that led to the game-winner and played the best defense he has all year.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 33 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +14
It’s hard to give Gallo anything other an ‘F’. He was benched for the final play of regulation and the entire overtime. He did nothing but tentatively stand around and hoist threes on offense. Gallo couldn’t even hold his own defensively against the wiry Thad Young and he was absolutely torched on every switch. He folded and turned in a truly spineless performance. Let’s hope it was a one time thing.
Kosta Koufos, C 7 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -6
The slow-footed Koufos had a rough start against the rookie Vucevic who simply overpowered him. He shoots too many soft hooks and floaters and simply wasn’t physical enough for his presence to be useful in this game. He didn’t see any action after the first quarter as the small lineups delivered the win. I’ll give Koufos a break as he hasn’t played in a long time, but he needs to be tougher.
Arron Afflalo, SG 44 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -1
Another frustrating performance by Arron, who was on track for his best game yet with a solid first half. He disappeared in the second half and reverted to forcing shots and generally being un-clutch and clumsy with the ball in his hands. Afflalo did make a big pull-up jumper late and hit two free throws to seal the win. Like Nene, he kept his cool and finished strong despite some poor stretches of play. That kind of guts and character goes a long way to winning games like these.
Ty Lawson, PG 45 MIN | 6-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 13 PTS | +13
Lawson was frustratingly inconsistent all night long and was thoroughly outplayed by Andre Miller. He is unable to get in a any sort of rhythm and is struggling mightily to finish layups. His turnovers are up and his scoring is down, but Lawson continued to play with confidence and kept attacking when the team looked ready to pack in it.
Al Harrington, PF 26 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -9
Harrington continues to do his job – stretch the floor and defend the post as best he can. Unfortunately he had to team with Birdman in the second half and with the Nuggets switching every screen after the first quarter he had trouble staying in front of the Sixers. I can’t fault Harrington’s performance and ultimately he stepped in for Gallo in overtime and played a huge part in gutting out the win.
Andre Miller, PG 39 MIN | 12-20 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 10 AST | 28 PTS | +18
He was clearly motivated against his old team and flat out dominated. Make no mistake, the Nuggets were dead in the water after a second half defensive meltdown fueled by turnovers – and Andre decided to go out and win the game. This was the best performance of any Nugget this season and I’m still fairly shocked at what I saw the 35-year old Miller just do to his old team on a back-to-back.
Chris Andersen, C 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -5
Andersen turned in another sub-par effort and the Nuggets won in spite of him. He played an acceptable first half and followed it up with his worst effort yet, which is saying a lot considering how up and down he has been. He mercifully fouled out early but otherwise played cowardly defense and contributed very little offensively after a first half in which he at least got to the line and scored some.
Corey Brewer, SF 18 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -13
Brewer knows how to play only one way and it’s all out chaos when he’s in the game. Things are either going great or god-awful terrible when he’s in and there’s no in between. Overall I liked Brewer’s energy a lot although the team defense was wildly inconsistent with him on the floor

Five Things We Saw

  1. Small Soldiers: Not the awesome 90’s movie (a great one), but George Karl’s penchant to play guard heavy lineups in an effort to lure the opponent into playing at a frenetic pace. It worked tonight and Doug Collins stuck with Thad Young at the four for long stretches. The Nuggets had the advantage here and pressed it. It was fun seeing two similar teams who excel at small ball go at it. Even on the second game of a back to back, Denver did it better. I’m not sure this would have worked without Hawes being unavailable or Vucevic thankfully keeping himself off the court with his penchant for fouling. Either way give credit to small ball which nobody does better than the Denver Nuggets.
  2. The Switch: This movie was bad, don’t see it. The Nuggets have had a lot of trouble switching screens but it seems like they had no choice tonight. The Sixers were destroying the Nuggets defense and got whatever they wanted in the first quarter, easily cracking open a double digit lead. With the Nuggets getting zero pressure on the ball they went small and switched everything to simplify a defense which simply was not functioning. The Sixers ended up settling for ┬ácontested jumpers and the Nuggets surprisingly fought hard for every rebound. Their scheme stifled the Sixers offense and this is another coaching decision I’ve routinely criticized that ultimately ended up working and winning the game.
  3. Cliffhanger: Another 90’s classic and an underrated Stallone performance. This was an incredibly exciting game and it came down to a couple of box outs, free throws and defensive rotations. The Nuggets weren’t very sharp tonight and they could have easily folded on the second night of a back to back. Down the stretch, Andre Miller made shots but the rest of the team showed character and composure we haven’t yet seen in a close game. These are the kind of wins that will help the young Nuggets develop trust and maintain intensity when they need it most.
  4. Last Action Hero: Andre Miller straight up terminated the 76ers. I can’t remember seeing such a gutty performance from a Nuggets player since Melo beat Lebron’s Cavs in Cleveland two years ago. Miller has drawn the ire of many fans including myself for recent comments about coming off the bench, but he silenced everyone tonight with a ridiculous performance that shouldn’t be possible for a 35-year old player with no athleticism and questionable shot-making skills. Miller set a fantastic example for Lawson, Afflalo and Gallo with his aggressiveness and he clearly proved he’s still got it.
  5. The Ref: Not Denis Leary, but Violet Palmer. I believe she committed the cardinal sin for a referee by blowing a whistle in the final seconds on incidental contact. The Nuggets played solid defense and forced Iguodala into a tough shot. The game is meant to be decided in moments like those and I would have liked to see the Sixers win or lose on a great basketball play rather than questionable free throw attempts.

Game 15 Advanced Stats

Pace Factor: 93.8 – Not easy to run shorthanded on a back to back
Offensive Efficiency: 115.2 – Very solid against a rested team at home
Defensive Efficiency: 110.9 – Road wins are tough to come by and I refuse to complain

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Charlie Yao

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

    Gallo sucks

    • http://www.herbalremediesworld.com/index.html sgiustra

      I’ve been a Gallo fan since he was in NY, believe he was making good strides this year. His player rating on ESPN fantasy places him in the top ten.

      If he was injured he should not have played but if he was not his performance was so indefensible, so atrocious, so catatonic that he ought to be either sent for a full medical check up or be suspended for lack of effort.

      I hate Carmelo and know that he is the most overrated player of all time but at least Melo never played as if he had a screw loose.

      Nuggets should never even consider extending Gallo before 1/25 and should have a heart to heart with that “spineless” schmuck and see what he has in mind before even considering resigning him at any price after season.

      For now, even one more performance that even smacks of what he did in Philly, should result in his losing his starting spot and having to claw his way back to get minutes.

      Seriously why would THAT Gallo start or play ahead of Al or Brewer?

      • Trevor

        If the Nuggets resign Chandler when he is done in China I think the Nuggets would be better off having Gallo coming off the bench. But for know I think Karl would prefer both Brewer and Harrington coming off the bench and giving Gallo the start. Lets just hope that was a one time thing and that he’ll have a nice bounce back game friday.

  • Nugs4Ever

    Looks to me like Gallo’s hurt.

  • Aaron

    George Karl almost cost us this game. . . . I know Birdman is on everyone’s hate list, but if the Nuggets are really supposed to have a depth advantage on every time in the league. . than why are Nene, Afflalo, and Lawson completely out of gas in crunch time? Because Karl won’t play Kofous, Manimal, etc. I know we didn’t have Rudy or Mozzy tonight, but we still had more depth, and to only go with Bird and Nene for the whole 2nd half is totally inexcusable.

    Lawson isn’t getting calls at the rim, but he has got to start switching hands, jumping into guys, etc. . . It’s just not working to try and get shots over guys that are a foot taller than he is.

    I’m happy with this win, it showed alot of grit. But, GK has got to start playing more guys and using our depth instead of watching Andre, Nene, and Afflalo walk themselves up the court in the 4th quarter??!! Gallo is to blame for this too. He was unable to be played at the end due to his terrible focus during the game.

  • Hi

    This is a team of many not of one and no writer on here realizes that you got to weigh your grades Ty played great. Can’t finish lay ups he’s 5’11 going into 7 foot trees some are gunna get blocked.

    • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

      I would definately not say Ty played great, he played ok, but was not confident in his jump shot and was forcing things.
      A prime example of one of his poor turnovers was very late in the game on a pick and roll with Nene at the top, as Ty had just got around the screen he pegged the ball at Nene before he had even had a chance to move, the ball bounced off Nene and lead to a 76er fast break layup.

      Ty hasn’t been getting the calls at the basket that he maybe should, but he also forces a lot against much bigger opponents.
      Refs will not give him calls just because he is small, now that more teams have realised his main strength is driving to the rim, he is going to need to adapt to continue to excel.

  • Frontrange

    Best game of the year by Miller? I suppose he shot lights out and made a number of timely plays . .but, he still pounded out the shot clock a number of times (fortunately he made some tough end of clocks shots) and gave no effort on a number of defensive positions. Did you notice the play where he fell down running out on the corner three and lay on the ground watching the ball until it almost bounced on his feet.

    I like Miller – he brings some stuff to the table and takes some stuff off – but Brewer game the night b-4 was much better IMO. Miller had a great stat-line – boards, assits, pts, steals – so why do I feel like the offense bogged down when he was the PG and defense left more holes.

    • Daniel

      I kinda agree with you….But… Miller was hitting shots and he became that go to guy in crunch time that was the “missing link” on this nuggets team. I don’t think this is sustainable, though.

      He is, in my opinion, a defensive liability. The sixers were missing a lot of open shots created by poor rotation and stupid switches. We once again gave up WAY too many offensive boards. No one can box out because of all the dumb switching and rotating.

      Birdman was useless, 6 fouls in 15 minutes? He’s just not the same athletic energetic guy we knew. We now have a new one, and he continues to sit on the bench while a tired, team on the second of a back to back is struggling. There is no way the manimal and KK taking bird’s minutes would do anything but help this team.

      Back to the original thought, I’m happy we eeked out this win on the road and for the most part I loved what I saw from dre, but I really don’t think that is something we should get used to seeing. We need to take advantage of this deeeeep, young, talented roster, especially on a 4 games in 5 nights road trip.

      Oh, and Nene needs to be aggressive.(DUH) He can dominate pretty much any other PF in the league. He has these moments that get me so excited, calling for the ball and backing down his man hard, rolling strong to the hoop on pick and rolls, drawing fouls. Then the next possession he looks completely disinterested, not even looking at the point guard almost as if to say “please don’t pass me the ball”. So very frustrating.

      Anyway, come on GK. Get over your rookie vendetta and start using all this depth to your advantage.

  • Brad H.

    I wrote here two games ago that the morons clammering to trade Andre Miller would be eating their words this week. Hope you’re enjoying your Philly steak with some vintage Miller sauce dripping down the sides of your mouths. Like I said, Miller is, and will continue to be, a warrior who gives 100% to his team and for a win. Yeah, he kinda stunk all last week; he’s old, slow, can’t jump, ugliest jumper in the game. But he has a couple years left in which his hoops IQ and his PG savvy will win a few games for you.

    And all the dudes calling for GK’s job ’cause he won’t play Faried: Get over it. Nuggets fans need to understand that George Karl is more responsible than anyone else in Denver’s organization for bringing this basketball-challenged town through the best 7 or 8 years of pro hoops we’ve ever known. It wasn’t Melo, in case anyone is tempted to wrongly believe that nonsense. GK knows how to put together a TEAM that can compete every night and get to the playoffs EVERY year . . . And every year he has cast-off players and/or head-cases out of which he creates winning basketball. So all you highlight-reel-starved gripers, try trusting the winningest active NBA coach when he decides that youth and inexperience is not what he prefers to put on the court when winning a game is on the line.

    • Frontrange

      Man . . I agree with you on both Miller and GK, but it is killing all of us to watch Bird stink up the joint night after night. I mean could Faried really be any worse on understanding defensive rotations and jumping out of position than Bird? And what else does Andersen contribute at this point?

      • Brad H.

        Coach Karl is loyal to hard-working guys who’ve proved that they will win battles for him. Anderson’s done that for him the last few years. Is he loyal to a fault? I like to think that 8 straight 50-win seasons might suggest this coach knows something about who he chooses to rotate in and who to bench. If you haven’t noticed Birdman’s on a short leash with Karl. No minutes against the Heat, and very limited minutes in each of the last few games. Again, GK believes proven fighters and game time experience trumps inexperienced young talent any given game night. Faried will help the Nugs someday, but not significantly this year.

        • Frontrange

          I think Karl is unfairly thown under the bus by Nuggets fans . . but, that Bird situation makes it harder and harder to defend him. IMO, AC was more justified than Bird’s minutes so far this season.

          On the other hand, I am amazed his on-off court numbers aren’t aweful, but they are mearly average. According to 82games.com we are basically the same team with and with out him:

          http://www.82games.com/1112/11DEN12.HTM#onoff

        • Charlie

          All great points, I see where you are coming from Brad and I appreciate the perspective.

          I do disagree about Birdman having a short leash. Bird played himself out of the rotation once already. The amount of depth on this team is limiting his minutes more than the ostensibly short leash.

          I’m not sure it’s a coincidence the game he was benched ended up being the most complete performance of the year. Ditto with tonight’s game and the fact he fouled out. That’s just my take though

          • Brad H.

            Charlie, yes the deep bench certainly has contributed to fewer minutes for Anderson, but GK is keenly aware that CA’s effectiveness, focus and aggressive play are all down this season. My opinion (because I don’t think GK has actually said why Bird drew the DNP against Miami) is that GK was sending Birdman a motivational message, a little wakeup call. Still, don’t look for Faried anytime soon to be the one using up Bird’s minutes if he doesn’t start playing better — Corey Brewer will, even though he’s not a true post player. GK has no reservations at all playing small at the 3-4-5.

    • Ernie

      Yes, one great game from Miller (against his old team where he has additional motivation) after 5 bad ones and everyone who suggested trading Miller is a moron. Is calling people “morons” after one great game supposed to make you feel smart? That type of attitude should have no place on this board. Keep it civil.

      Miller still doesn’t want to be here and still can’t (or won’t) push the pace on a regular basis. The argument is not over after one night in Philadelphia.

      Nuggets are one of two teams in the West that are over .500 on the road. Makes the disappointing losses to New Orleans and Utah (on a back to back) easier to take but still confusing.

      • Brad H.

        Ernie, agreed the guys who keep hollering for trading Miller probably aren’t day to day morons, but the suggestion to trade him now is and continues to be moronic. As I’ve already written here last week, I’m glad Miller is discontent with not starting, he just needs to be careful who he says it to. As long as he’s not a distraction in the clubhouse and to winning games – and he isn’t, his teammates adore, respect, and consider him a leader – then let him be discontent, let him have a bad game, without trashing his character and his value to the Nuggets at this stage in his career. I, for one, think he’s a perfect compliment to Ty at the 1. does the pace slow down when Miller’s in the game? Yes. but does he possess an intangible “it” factor, an uncanny ability to make his teammates better when he’s in the game? Absolutely. So, my apologies for using Moron as a noun to identify you and/or others who want Miller to be traded . . . I meant it as an adjective to describe the ludicrous suggestion.

        • Ernie

          Thank you for the apology Brad H. I think it serves this board best when we can debate the Nugs on a higher level. We both want them to succeed.

          I just happen to think the best thing for them is to get a #2 PG (or play and develop Stone) that wants to push it each time to tire the opposition out. It has nothing to do with Miller’s character, everything to do with how he runs the team when he is in there. You have every right to think the best thing is to have a #2 that slows things down and brings leadership. But when I watch it looks like they can be much better playing 48 minutes of fast break, especially given how poorly they play in the halfcourt.

          As for trading Miller it’s all what you can get for him. If he’s part of a package to get DeMarcus Cousins I’m in. If it’s a younger PG that will push it, play defense and try to emulate Lawson I’m in. If it’s a 2nd round pick in 2023 I’m waiting. But if he won’t be here next year and is not playing a style that GK says he wants, I think you will see more efforts like the Jazz and Hornet home games and less like the 76ers.

          • Brad H.

            Ernie, I love you man.

            Miller trade talk at this stage in this season . . .

            Is prematue and Moronic.

            Love it when ‘Dre proves his doubters wrong, like he has his whole career.

  • Rog

    Agreed on Ty, and am I the only one who’s frustrated with Afflalo? When he’s not turning the ball over he forces bad shots, can’t knock down the big shots, and he can’t get his own shot. All he can do is spot up in the corner.

    • Brad H.

      I like AAA’s game, but, frankly, from where are everyone’s high expectations of him coming? Rightly so, our expectations should be higher this year since the Nugs chose to pay him $40 mil, but honestly, do you ever remember Afflalo consistently being spectacular? He is what he is: slightly above average at both ends of the court, and great at nothing. What he consistently offers the Nugs –Attitude, fight, “teamness” (GK) guy, and not afraid to defend (though he’s slightly above avg at that as well, and not our answer to Durant, as many wrongly think he is.)

      • Charlie

        I’ll be the first one to admit it is the Nuggets fault for overpaying Afflalo. AAA deserves no blame for holding out, letting the Nuggets cave in and then signing it.

        But that does not excuse Afflalo’s shot selection. It’s hard to ignore the vast drop off in efficiency, the drop-off in assist rate and the increased turnovers. The selfish play is there, no matter how much fans are willing to overlook it. Let’s hope it goes away but until it does there’s no harm in simply pointing it out.

  • ny nugs fan

    earth to nuggets, come in nuggets

    there’s a message for you

    see what happend to okc tonight by the wizards?

    you’re going there in two days; don’t think the season is over bcse you just (somehow) managed to beat the 76ers

    remember that whuppin the jazz put on you after you beat the heat and went in relax mode?

    earth to nuggets; come in nuggets

    • Brad H.

      Very true, ny Nugs fan!

    • Adam

      Loved Nene’s aggressiveness on the boards. He also made a lot of key shots. I have a bold prediction… We will sign Kmart back maybe for the rest of the season. J.R will be gone as well as Chandler. Kmart either love him or hate him would help us out tremendously. It is funny some people on here still won’t give Miller props. He was a big reason why we beat an undefeated team at home.

  • Desean

    Trade gallo, trade miller, trade the lot of them, they all suck except ty lawson. I know we won but I can’t see any conceivable way of this team as currently constructed will progress far in the playoffs. We need Jeremy lamb

    • Desean

      Or Quincy miller, or Andre Drummond, or harrison Barnes

    • Aaron

      Wtf Is Wrong With U?!?!?!!!?!?!???! Gallo Had 1 Bad Night An U Wanna Trade Him?!?!?! Omgg! Lawson Had A Bad Night! TRADE HIM!!!!! Gees Man Calm Down.

  • Aaron

    Woww U Guys Are So Messed Up. We Just Beat The Hottest Team in The NBA, An U Guys Just Keep Talking Crap About Them. U Guys Aren’t True Nugget Fans if U Truly Mean What Ur Saying.

    • Daniel

      On the 2nd of a back to back on the road. Quality win for sure.

      • Brad H.

        Preach it, Aaron. I’m with you, man!

  • evan

    Go Nuggets!

    My dorm-mate is a diehard 76ers fan, was fun to rub it in his face.

    Anyway, my friend was screaming NOOO when bird fouled out and I was screaming YESSS! Kind of funny.

    Again, Go Nuggets!

    • Frontrange

      My 8-year old son couldn’t wait for Bird to pick up that sixth . . he was hoping the previous one on Al was on Bird. Then he walked up to the TV and said “This is a knife and stabbed all the philly fans around the Nugs .. and Bird.”

      • Neal

        Love the nugs devotion by an 8-year old!…Worried about an early tendency to want to stab people

  • Jeff

    Andre Miller is the most surprising player in the league. Remember that monster dunk he threw down in Denver last year? Remember that 52 point (I think it was 52) game he had? And now this near triple double super clutch performance after a few really bad games.
    He is an enigma. The dude looks lazy, fat, slow, and flatfooted, and just when you count him out he pulls something out of his strange back of tricks.
    And I agree with Brad H. about Afflalo. Just because he has improved since he first came here and he got a big contract I think people have unrealistic expectations for him.

    • Frontrange

      That 52 was most unexpected scoring experience in NBA history . . .well maybe right after Wilt’s 100. I have followed the NBA for 38 years now and learned to read on basketball books and can’t remember anything as surprising as that coming from Miller.

  • SmokinNugs

    Nice gritty road win!

  • Bobby

    Agree with most of whats said, Karl needs to take advantage of his bench. Tonight’s win will be meaningless if we lose to Washington though.

  • Alex

    GREAT close win tonight, against the hottest team, on the road. Was nice to see us win a close game like that. Also was there a nugget fan on the earth that was not praying for andersons 6 foul to come as quick as possible. Also I like how Ty is keeping at it even if he is struggling a bit. I wonder how many times a game Ty feeds someone who then gets fouled going up for the lay-up. Can’t wait for Friday and Saturday!!!!

  • Brad H.

    One last comment. my wife’s telling me to get off the f@&$ computer and come to bed. Charlie, I liked your usage of old flicks as subheads for your “5 Things We Saw.” As always, you did a great job analyzing the game. I’d add a 5A. Shawshank Redemption. (One of my favorite flicks.) Ref Violet Palmer, after totally ignoring Thaddeus Young’s 4 steps!!! before missing a short jumper with about a minute left in OT, REDEEMED herself with that questionable offensive foul on Evan Turner just a few seconds later. Score was tied at the time, but after that call the Sixers never scored again, and the Nugs scored four points to seal the win.

  • sparky

    Denver’s ranks amongst the top in EVERY statistical team category EXCEPT rebounding, especially offensive. Many of you have pointed out that Faried should be playing some of Bird’s minutes because of the depth factor. However, I think it is even more important to let Faried play to bring a bit of the rebounding mentality to the rest of the team. If Denver could become just an average rebounding team and reduce 2nd chance points, we could be even more dangerous.

  • http://roundballminingcompany.com Kalen

    Best win of the season in my opinion. We stopped the hottest team in the league at home, defeated the mirror image of ourselves (the best part) and gutted out an OT win by sticking with it no matter what. This was the definition of a “feel good” win.

    I’ll pass on giving Karl too much credit though. Miller got hot, that’s why we won. We still gave up way to many points, played terrible defense and had a huge advantage considering Philly went small too which hardly ever happens.

    As for Miller, the reason Charlie and I have been so hard on him is because we know he’s capable of playing at such a high level still. It’s like a parent getting on their kid for notching bad grades in school when they know he/she is capable of doing much better. When Miller plays like he did tonight, or at least with passion, the Nuggets is a TOTALLY different team. We have to have this from him more often.

    • A Roth

      If they are our mirror team, then who is the mirror of Iggy? We could use a wing defender like him who is aggressive at the rack.

  • noah

    great goddam win!! thats all i have to say

  • Jeff

    It’s really too bad about Chris Andersen. Some players age gracefully, like Chauncey Billups. Others that depend more on athleticism and energy are left fouling out, getting dunked on, and getting way too many tattoos.

  • Peter

    What do you guys think would happen if Chris Andersen suffers a season ending injury? Do you think Faried would start seeing some action or would Moz and Koufous just get more minutes?

    • Aurress

      We all hope it would lead to PT for the Manimal, but with GK’s penchant for not playing rookies, my guess is that more time would go to Koufos, Harrington, & Moz.

  • HermanVanNess

    I love our team but, still find it hard to believe our talent will be sufficient enough to win in the playoffs. Offensively, we still struggle at the beginning of games and in crunch time. Our entire starting 5 is for the most part passive.

    Too often Nene meekly posts up giving Ty no angle for an entry pass. If Ty isn’t confident with his jumper they end up swinging the ball to AAA who ends up trying to create. He simply lacks the athleticism to do more than his herky jerky dribble to try to create space.

    Nuggets needs to become a team able to advance in the playoffs in my opinion are:

    1. Nene has to play better in the post. Be aggressive. Stop all the up and unders and pre-determining the pass out.

    2. Gallo should be a beast in the high post a la Dirk. He floats too much and without good rebounders around him in the starting unit he needs to use some of his 6-10 frame to get some boards. The Nuggets need to find a way to get him going early. He has a height advantage on most SF’s maybe the Nuggets should start posting him up.

    3. We need a slasher/shot creator that’s taller than 5-10.

    4. We need someone that can “go get” rebounds (Faried???). Outside of our point guards every other rotation player is below average for their position.

    Lastly, Birdman is done. He lacks what made him special. Maybe he needs to go on a football schedule and play 1 game a week.

  • Ma$on

    Great win! Scary officiated, but still great win. It’s exactly the kind of game the melo nugs may have given up on, but these guys stuck with it through all the frustrations. When miller came out with those comments, I was in the party of ‘trade him immediately!’ but this game shows why that is a wrong conclusion to draw. Maybe there is something to that vet clutchness we need. Haha- even good old chauncey hit a game winner last night. I just don’t see any other nugget coming through in that situation yet. Maybe gallo or Ty will be that clutch player eventually, but they still have a lot of confidence to build. Clearly Andre has all the confidence he will need for the rest of his career (as supported by the comments he made haha). One thing I noticed that Ty can learn from Andre was his changes of speed- in worried that the league has figured out to play his speed unless it’s transition bball. Remember that play Andre blew by 2 defenders for the easy lay up? It was because he lulled them into slowing down. Ty needs to develope his passing game more so defenders think he may not try to drive on them every time. It could just be that Philly locks him down better than a lot of teams will, but I really want to see Lawson as an all-star ASAP! This is just a lesson he could learn from miller while we have him around.

    My theory on the bird/manimal issue stays the same. I think something that we as nugs fans forget is that we are shooting for a championship THIS YEAR. We are not championship ball right now, but we perhaps have that potential especially with the shortened season. We need everyone on our roster to be playing at their peak by the end of the season. Bird isn’t going to get much better in practice except for conditioning. I almost think gk wants to embarrass him in games to see if that will inspire him to play smarter. If he does, great, if not, then at least gk has done his best to get him playing as well as he can. We will certainly need the bird this season and post season even if he starts regularly getting dnps. All the while faried is learning, developing, and wanting it that much more. I don’t necessarily feel qualified to make any judgements about that method, but I think that may be the rationale. I think gk has the whole in mind and treats individual games much like an extension of training. Training for the playoffs. Personally I transfer to agree with that strategy because it honestly doesn’t matter what seed we are in the west… 1 thru 8 it will be a cluster **** and no team outside say okc has a clear advantage over any other west playoff team. To have an advantage, we need to be doing what we can to develope all of our players because we will need them all. Clearly faried has more development to do in practice while if bird is going to get any better, it is going to be in game experience. Sure faried would benifits from MBA game experience as well, but why not leave him as an unknown for now while he is still fitting into our system?

  • ny nugs fan

    i’d like to see birdman foul out every night

    nice work birdman

    • ny nugs fan

      and that’s a compliment

      i’ve always been a bird fan

  • Claudio

    To everybody who criticises Gallo: ARE YOU INSANE!!
    No Denver Nuggets fan can actually criticise the best player of the team! A player who not only is the second best scorer of the team, but adds rebounds and assists every night, help the team to win and is improving every night!!!! And, if you criticise him for one bad game after plenty of great ones, you clearly ARE NOT TRUE NUGGETS’SUPPORTERS!!!

    • monimo

      Gallo seemed exhausted (or sick or injured) and had a really bad game. At least, he played good defense on Iguedala in the first half. And, he finished a really bad game with +14 in 33 minutes. He was part of the Nuggets run in the first half and re-entered the game after the Philadelphia run (which came to an end). So, Gallo obviously helped his team even in a very bad game. Anyway, he should be happy about the F-grade. I know, Kalen was disappointed with him because he believes in his potential to do much much more than that.

      • Charlie

        I actually did not want to give Gallo an F. I realize that he did help throughout the first half and was able to bother Iguodala’s shot a few times. He also did not make any selfish plays or turn the ball over. I would rather him not shoot if he isn’t feeling well or does not have his rhythm, and perhaps its a good thing that he didn’t hoist up more than 3 shots.

        I believe I was forced to give Gallo an ‘F’. Karl benched him for the biggest play of the game and the entire overtime period, and GK doesn’t do that often especially with one of his best players. Gallo did absolutely nothing to prove he belonged in the game though. I believe he folded and gave up at the end, which is something that can’t happen no matter how bad things are going.

  • Eric

    I can’t believe all these comments about how Birdman is done. I guess I must have missed the part of his career where he was serviceable in the first place. Best case scenario for Bird in his prime was 2-3 dunks/alley-oops, and 2-3 blocks per game. This was all countered by atrocious 1-on-1 D, NO offensive skills, and terrible 4-5 fouls (half of which were And 1s). I can’t help but believe the only reason he gets PT is because all the casual Denver fans like him because they don’t know enough to see the glaring flaws in his game. If someone can tell me 1 thing Bird brings to the game that the Manimal would not (other than the comedic factor of tattoos), I’d love to hear it.

    • Jeff

      I don’t think the Nuggets would have gotten to the western conference finals without Birdman in 2008-2009. He brought really awesome energy to the team and was blocking shots like crazy. I was so proud to have him back after his suspension because he was one of me and my friends favorite players before he was kicked out, kind of as a joke. Then he became really popular and the shot blocking definitely got to his head, like it became his only goal on the court. He needs to play less selfishly and understand that he’s not on the floor to live up to the birdman reputation, but to play basketball.

  • http://espn.com Chris

    Now that Oklahoma won’t have any money after resigning Westbrook, the nuggets need to go after Jame Harden.

    • Tommy4daNuggz4ever

      I fully agree he would be nice to have him ty brewer on the court at one time.

    • Desean

      I would rather pay harden than gallo. There is no way they can afford to keep him. He would fit our team so well.

      Jimmy Harden for the nuggets

  • jim

    dre = bad ass

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=nQrNYIBw3fw

    not sure how nuggets would be better off without this guy. i’m pretty sure we need a whole lot of what he brings to the court. but whatever.

    i took my kids to see their first nuggets game against utah on sunday. so… that was just a sad mess and I’m still reeling a bit.

    i’m more than a little confused about the nuggets right now. tell me again how we are soo deep that without mosgov we can only play k2 7 mins and bird 15 with a foul out? nene, ty, afflalo, and miller all around 38 or more minutes? gallo with 33 even while getting benched? not sure why we are getting the inevitable 8-man playoff rotation ready in mid January. it’s great coaching by karl to get a win like this with a pretty crazy rotation, but…again, at what cost?

    i won’t bring up manimal in any way, it’s been beaten to death, so i’m not saying kenneth faried, greatest rebounder in college history, DNP-CD — but i’m pretty sure rebounding is a problem for this team, especially offensive rebounding when we don’t shoot very well (pretty common this year so far.) that might be an area we could benefit from our greatest strength: depth at this point in the year. i dunno. just sayin.

    like many others, i just don’t see what bird is bringing that we couldn’t get more and better from some mixture of k2 and faried, veteran or not.

    i thought the gk interview with new york journalists about the upcoming knicks game where he said he thought both the knicks and the nuggets are “one or two moves away” was pretty interesting.

  • Gary R.

    First time commenting here (but I’ve been appreciating the site for weeks now).

    Had a suggestion some may deem stupid, but I wanted to get feedback.

    Despite Miller pulling out the Philly win, we have been starting slow for awhile now: as teams have tightened the paint to force Ty to open the game with jumpers (they know he doesn’t want to take and is being coaches not to take).

    He knows his job is to involve everyone else and like everyone else on THIS Nuggets squad, he is team-first. But we end up in a hole as we did at L.A., even at home in losses to Utah and New Orleans and in some wins we pulled out later (as Nene fumbles an entry-pass or tries his finger-rolls against bigger Center who swat them away). Notice that he is only aggressive against smaller defenders like Al Jefferson, Vucevic/Battie or Kris Humphries.

    The RMC comments here mostly mimic Karl’s goal of trying to run for 48 minutes (which, in a perfect world, we all desire). But logic and practicality dictate that our first-round exits are mostly due to an inability to score from the half-court in the playoffs when it gets tight and the refs won’t bail out a Melo or a Ty drawing contact (and where we won’t have a double-team attracting, back-to-the-basket 4 like Aldridge or even a Marc or Pau Gasol-type who can consistently create mid-range shots from the edge of the paint).

    Considering Miller’s comments about starting and seeing how more effective in spacing he still can be on pick-and-roll’s with Nene–than Ty currently is– I wonder if Doug Moe’s platoon system may be worthy of a try in the next few games (which the D.P. said accounted for the last time a bench player put up Miller’s Philly numbers back when Alex English came off the bench vs the Nets).

    If you only switch Ty and Andre, the media and fans will see it as a demotion even though they will still end up sharing court time at the end of halves and beyond. But Andre and his drop-step and now-thankfully-revived post-up game on the elbow could serve us well in the playoffs with two shooters like Afflalo and Harrington on the wings to keep defenses from sagging in on Nene.

    Ty is brilliant once the coaches have figured a way to penetrate these disciplined– but later-on-more-tired defenses that New Orleans, San Antonio and Philly began the game with (even the first Hornets game, H.C. Monty Williams set the template for keeping Ty from flying to the rim).

    And Gallo is also looking lost and without screens or intentional play-calls to get him going in the first-unit (and gets most of his pts. from leak-outs, three’s and being the recipient on last-pass layups on the run).

    But, like Lawson, our biggest young talents take awhile to get going due to Karl’s understandable team-ball system of tough defense leading to drive-and-dish easy opportunities.

    So I thought he could try the following lineup alteration for a few games to satiate Miller– who would certainly appreciate the buzz about being listed as the starter occasionally– while Ty could watch-and-learn the savvy ways that Andre capitalizes on veteran talent by limiting turnovers and putting Nene, Harrington and Mozgov in the position they need to produce early.

    C: Mozgov, PF: Nene, SF: Harrington, SG: Afflalo and PG: Miller with a second unit that plays C: Andersen, PF: Koufos (or Gallo), SF: Gallo (or Brewer), SG: Brewer/Rudy, PG: Lawson. Especially smart against big front-lines like the Knicks, Lakers and other teams.

    Think of the energy and speed the opposition’s second-unit would have to deal with in Brewer/Rudy, Lawson and Gallo running at them (while Andersen would be freed for more shot-blocking if Koufos boxed-out and simply focused on put-ins and high-energy defense… that Harrington’s offensive-cutting and effort may not leave him enough energy to add while he roams for more perimeter openings).

    Just as Nene has always received more offensive looks in the first quarter under Karl’s coaching, Mozgov is also a Pivot whom we want to establish early to gain confidence and even to open up the outside shooting later-on (while forcing opponents to finally realize that simply blocking Ty from penetrating isn’t enough to gain an early 8-point lead while Denver tries to adjust)

    Mozgov has a soft baby hook and a sweet eight-foot baseline jumper that is frustratingly rare in the game’s last three quarters (and that we are under-utlizing).
    And although there was one encouraging example in the Milwaukee or Nets game of Lawson getting an Afflalo screen, dashing right and attacking the rim before dishing to a cutting Nene for a dunk– once the opposing big’s rotated to stop Ty– it is way too infrequent (when compared to how masterful ‘Dre was in getting Nene the ball in various places where he could have some daylight before squaring up for a drive or easy shot at Philly).

    And with the lack of scorers on the current second-unit, Miller has even more pressure on him to rotate the ball and less opportunity to post-up and score for himself. It sounds counter-intuitive, but with guys like Harrington, Nene and Afflalo surrounding him as a first-unit starter, Andre can back smaller point guards up as he did in Philly to knock back high-percentage turnaround jumpers from the elbow (since defenses will be spaced to honor those three teammates unlike on the second-team.. which, of course, could always use Miller’s inventiveness to get himself high-percentage looks).

    Plus, Gallo might be less shy about developing his own offensive game if he knew that there were no other shooters on the second-unit that could provide that (and Lawson breaking down tired defenders would still give him leak-outs and easy-basket finishes, while giving Ty a bail-out jump-shot target on drives that draw two defenders in the paint).

    Teams know that when Ty leaves his feet, they must not leave Nene open (even if another defender must roll to keep Ty from blazing past for a lay-up).

    With this inside-first, run-later strategy we get Harrington going earlier and give the selfless Gallinari the freedom to improvise and score more for an offensively-weaker cadre of teammates in Brewer, Koufos, Amdersen and Lawson (who doesn’t have the same confidence or interest in establishing his outside shot now that he must set the tone as a creating and not shoot-first point-guard).

    But his jump-shot at the end of last season allowed him to catch the ball, pump-fake and have defenders fly past him in the Nuggets 18-7 late-season run when Felton dished him the rock.

    Tony Parker, Jason Kidd, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and the MVP Rose, all learned that their scoring threat can open up their assist production by keeping defenders from sagging in. But Ty’s selflessness as a starter has limited that approach– correctly enough– as he cannot be perceived as a Lou Williams/Jrue Holliday/Tyreke Evans/Brandon Jennings point-guard (especially after his memorable and apropos dig on a certain departed team-mate who had “sticky-fingers”).

    Even if we only switch Gallo to second-team for a game or two to re-establish his scoring freedom, I think Ty would benefit from a sometimes-unveiled platooning with Andre for multiple reasons.

    1) Unlike with Felton, everyone knows that Ty is still the long-term Pt. Guard for Denver and no Orton/Tebow-like media histrionics will ensue to divide the locker-room (especially with Andre’s age and long-term Denver status in doubt).

    2) Until he gets his stroke back, his penetration opportunities will get tougher and tougher and we cannot get past the first round hoping that he will get calls to bail him out.

    3) With Rudy as his versatile PG/SG back-court mate, Ty can receive some passes and utilize the pump-fake to spark a drive to the hoop instead of starting every possession with the dribble as he does next to Afflalo. It worked great vs Oklahoma City.

    3) Even if Al Harrington goes back to being our Super-Sub PF– instead of a muscular SF in my platoon– next to Birdman/Koufos and Brewer at the SF, Ty’s energy on the second-unit will have opposing coaches spending valuable minutes preparing for the unforeseen unveiling of the platoon approach (which need not be every game, but could be pulled out by Karl when he feels that Nene, AAA and especially Mozgov could better develop their half-court opportunities with a shrewd play-maker like Andre Miller running the show instead of everyone waiting on Ty to break-through to get the extra-passes going to the open-man).

    • Jeff

      I have also been in favor of starting Harrington. Then with Ty coming off the bench we have some instant offense. I don’t think it’s a bad idea.

      • Gary R.

        Thanks. And Andre is getting more effective at finding Al for those veteran-savvy quick baseline feeds for the drop-step lay-up. While Ty and Danilo already work well together.

        Its not for always but would be good to unveil against a top defensive team that will have prepared their rotations to expect Dre and Al off the bench. Like San Antonio for example.

        Suddenly, they’d need a basket-defender and a quick point-guard to play second-unit minutes against Ty (which is hard to imagine). And Gallo and Al’s defensive effort has been about equal anyway.