Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 119 New York Knicks 114 (2OT)

Denver Nuggets 119 Final
Recap | Box Score
114 New York Knicks
Nene, C 45 MIN | 5-13 FG | 2-6 FT | 13 REB | 5 AST | 12 PTS | +3
Made the two biggest free throws of the year after going 0-4 from the line to start the game. Nene routinely found himself on smaller players and was not as aggressive as he was against Philadelphia. You can’t deny his improved rebounding and despite some trouble guarding the rim, he played very respectable late in the game when it mattered most.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 52 MIN | 9-19 FG | 18-20 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 37 PTS | +5
Incredible. 37 points on 19 shots. Did not even play his best game and clearly didn’t have his legs under him as he settled for too many long two pointers. Outplayed everyone else on the floor and is making me rethink my assessment of Gallo having true star potential. His game was so good I don’t have any room left to gush about his phenomenal defensive performance against Melo.
Timofey Mozgov, C 30 MIN | 6-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +5
Deserves minutes, and thankfully he’s finally getting them. Tyson Chandler turned in dominant rebounding performances his past two games and was a non-factor against the shorthanded Nuggets. Mozgov scored 16 points, but his true impact came on the defensive end where he stayed on his feet and routinely rescued his teammates from getting beat and giving up layups.
Andre Miller, PG 49 MIN | 6-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 12 AST | 14 PTS | +6
I know, everyone deserves a great grade for this one, right? I really didn’t like much about Andre’s play through more than half of the contest. Then, he goes all Philadelphia 76ers and throws in the most amazing basket of the season to seal the win. He inbounded the ball perfectly three separate times on crucial possessions late. Miller honestly didn’t play great but had an easy double double. Miller’s poise is what makes him shine.
Ty Lawson, PG 49 MIN | 3-12 FG | 4-7 FT | 8 REB | 7 AST | 10 PTS | +8
He was a spectator in the win. I hate being so hard on a Nuggets player in such a great win, but I have never been more disappointed in Ty. He made only three shots, all of them assisted by others who fed him wide open looks. Ty needs to be better. He did not hit free throws down the stretch, failed to stay in front of the Knicks guards and allowed rookie Iman Shumpert to get the best of him. Ty’s numbers were fine but the boxscore belies the fact he had no impact on the win. I don’t grade the boxscores.
Al Harrington, PF 41 MIN | 10-24 FG | 0-1 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 24 PTS | +2
Al Buckets did it again. After a dreadful start he might have been benched by a lot of other coaches in this league. Harrington delivered in the clutch yet again hitting most every big basket down the stretch. He scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and exuded nothing but confidence when it looked like Denver was going to lose.
Corey Brewer, SF 25 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -4
You can’t ask for much more from Brewer in the limited minutes he received. He came in for defensive purposes late and forced Melo into a difficult shot he had no business attempting. Melo made it and Brewer learned the valuable lesson that sometimes it does not matter how well you play defense. Brewer ultimately didn’t have more of an impact because he was extremely clumsy on the offensive end, where he still needs to prove his worth.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Magnificent Seven: Karl used only a seven man rotation on a night the Nuggets were playing their fifth game in six nights. Gallo logged 52 minutes and after missing games with a bad heel Nene played 45 minutes. The fact Denver was still able to walk away with a win under such circumstances speaks to the importance of having a five man lineup that has developed trust. Karl coached it like a playoff game and did not leave anything to chance despite having able reserves available if needed. It’s a shrewd coaching move that was necessary thanks to Karl’s defensive Captain Arron Afflalo not being available to play, and it ultimately won the game.
  2. The Eagle Has Landed: Birdman turned in two of his better statistical performances in the previous games against Philadelphia and Washington. If you’ve been reading Roundball Mining Company you know he’s still playing poor defense and not helping the Nuggets where they need it most. Birdman has now been benched for the two biggest games of the season and both have been outstanding team performances. Chris Andersen needs to stay ready, but at this point Mozgov is a better player and the Birdman needs to accept the fact the Nuggets are better with him taking a backseat on nights like tonight.
  3. Blood in the Water:There were so many opportunities for the Knicks to put Denver away, especially early on with the starters looking tired and out of sync on both ends thanks to no Arron Afflalo. A flurry of pick and roll action and ball movement created open shot after open shot for the Knicks bench and they looked ready to break the game open. Outside of Ty Lawson, the Nuggets were more patient in their half court offense and a strong rebounding performance allowed them to erase a double digit lead and claw back in it. Denver’s defense stepped up big in the third quarter and they played with confidence and emotion the rest of the way. New York is vulnerable right now and the Nuggets just played with a stronger determination and belief they were going to win this game.
  4. Hard Target: The game came down to shot selection. Denver took 43 shots at the rim to New York’s 28. The Knicks went for transition threes and long twos while nursing a double digit lead. The Nuggets converetd five “and-one” opportunities to Landry Fields’ one. Denver actually shot very poorly but lived in the paint where they outscored the Knicks by 20.
  5. The Omega Man: Carmelo didn’t have a great effect on his teammates. It was evident in the fourth quarter when the Knicks played their hardest, most engaged basketball trying to deliver Melo the ball. When he caught it the entire building waited in suspense for the shot to go up. The Nuggets did a good job not doubling over-aggressively and forcing him to give up the ball immediately. He made some highly difficult Hero-type shots, but for two overtime periods he almost exclusively shot jumpers and only once worked off his teammates to free himself for a shot (a wide open three).

Game 17 Advanced Stats

Pace Factor: 120.1 – Overall a fast paced game despite two overtimes
Offensive Efficiency:  99.1 – Poor shooting, but very good for a fifth game in six nights
Defensive Efficiency: 94.9 – The most complete performance of the road trip

  • Cody

    HAHA this was the website that said the nuggets wouldn’t win any games on this road trip… terrible writers who are pessimistic

    • Ernie

      These are not terrible writers and most of us are very happy they provide this blog. If you don’t appreciate it then no reason to come here and comment.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/randy_p randy p

      Set up a blog, then come talk to me. Otherwise, shut it.

    • Júnior Fernandes

      I do agree about the pessimism of this blog. Simply there is no confidence at all. I think if the Nuggets were the Bird´s Celtics this guys would still find ways to complain about it. Play “What a wonderful World” of Ray Charles and be happy!

      • Júnior Fernandes

        Better saying Louis Armstrong.

  • aussienuggzfan

    wow rethinking what i though about gallinari.

    GO NUGGETS!

    • Brad H.

      Did you see D’Antoni looking so distraught in his press conference when asked about Galinari’s talent? You could just see how disappointed he was about losing Gallo, a player I’m sure he felt he could build the Knicks around when he first got there a couple of yrs ago. Wow, all three former Knicks stuck it to them tonight: Gallo, Medium Al, and Mozzy. Gallo though . . . Dude played BASKETBALL tonight! not only O, but outstanding D on Melo.

    • gk4prez

      Imagine that. At least you are owning up to it.

  • Ernie

    I’m glad they won, but how does GK only play 7 guys on the second night of a back to back? His sub pattern implied this was a playoff game. I know they wanted to win since it was the Knicks but I don’t understand the logic. To me the reason the team played so poorly was because they were so tired.

    I know the Knicks also played last night, all the more reason to take advantage of a deep bench.

    • Daniel

      I was wondering the same thing all night. Who knows what some fresh legs would have done late in the game when the Nuggets were so dead tired. A win is a win though.

      • dynamo.joe

        Yep, GK is killing me. I won’t even argue that he should have played Koufos/bird/faried/stone, but Brewer has put in significant minutes and done well and can’t break 25 minutes when the starters look dead tired the entire game?

        • evan

          they dont play till wendsday. etc

    • Brad H.

      I agree with you, Ernie. Before the second overtime I was praying GK would give at least Nene a breather, give just a minute or two of rest to Gallo and Miller. But, like I wrote earlier this week, you gotta put a little faith in a coach who regularly wins 50 games a year and annually leads his teams to post season play. 4 days rest will be good for these guys . . .

      • dynamo.joe

        And does nothing in the playoffs. Possibly because he has run his 7 man rotation into the ground trying to amass a good regular season record? I’m sure the arguement has been made before and will be again.

        • Brad H.

          Today’s game was the only game this yr that GK has used only seven players. AAA and Rudy, if healthy would have played. My point about GK is he gets his teams in a position to make playoff runs, and I’ve written this here before: He’s done it in Denver with head-cases and cast-off players. His Denver teams have always been overmatched in the playoffs, except in ’09 when they went to the WC finals, but that’s because Melo’s head was right for the first and only time he was in Denver, and because Kmart was healthy, Bird was Bird, and Chauncey was the cool leader of the pack.

    • Charlie

      Missing Afflalo was a very big factor and Karl did not want lineups consisting of guys who had not played together much.

      I believe Karl wanted to go with what worked on the road trip and he decided to reward Mozgov, which was a gigantic factor in winning.

      • Brad H.

        You’re right, Charlie. GK’s MO is to stay with the guys who are hot. He doesn’t care nearly as much as many of us apparently do that these guys need a blow (rest) or that guys like Faried and Koufos need more game experience. He also has very little patience for guys who don’t show up in supreme condition, like Bird, like some rookies. Hence, Medium Al plays over 40 minutes in a playoff type game in NY. (We call Al Medium this year because he’s lost so much weight since we called him Big Al in seasons past.)

      • gk4prez

        I think part of the reason GK only went 7 deep was because he was going to prove a point that you don’t need an all-star to win, and that you could beet a team with all-stars without using a deep bench. He also gave several minutes to the 4 former knicks that are on the team, which is a smart move imo. I would have liked to see use a deeper bench, but I can understand why he didn’t.

    • Brian

      GK has been cool in the media about the Melo-drama, but the way he coached this game (short rotation) makes me think this was a statement game for him. Any other opponent and losing the 4th game of a 4 in 5-day road trip wouldn’t have been so important. GK had just as much to prove as Melo.

  • Dubz

    This is exactly why people need to show patience. Especially with a young, budding team like this one. It hasn’t been pretty lately but I’ll take it with this ridiculous schedule. (5 games in 7 nights?!) Anyway, I thought the longer the game went, the Knicks have advantage with the Nuggets having tired legs but I guess I was wrong. This is why I tolerate GK’s frustrating rotations. The guy knows how to get the most out of his players and really taps into potential. Good to see Mozgov looking more comfortable out there. If he can turn into a serviceable center, this team will have very few flaws.

  • Trevor

    Gallo great in this game and it was nice to see Movgoz get some quality minutes. I know there were a couple guys injuried but it was still a little surprising only seeing two guys play off the bench tonight. Good win though.

  • Brad H.

    All the Gallo criticizers, still hollering for his trade? And Miller disbelievers, can you at least acknowledge his poise and will to win? Hey, it’s a 4-game road sweep. Can’t remember the last time we swept a road trip against all east teams. Great job GK, the “teamness” you’re creating so far this season is working out pretty well. 4 different stars in these 4 road wins: Gallo tonight, Medium Al in DC, ‘Dre Miller in Philly, and Brew Crew in Milwaukee . . . And before that Nene and Ty against the Heat. Any given night, someone steps up and gets great. Good thing these guys now have four days rest because George nearly killed Nene, Gallo, Dre, Medium Al, and Ty with endless minutes this past week. GK’s over dependence on these guys is probably gonna catch up with him and bite him on his ass pretty soon. And all you Birdman gripers should be happy. 0 minutes. Nonetheless, were gonna need him down the stretch as well. This was a very fun week in Nugville.

    • Desean

      Yeah man his trade value just sky rocketed haha

  • magster

    Seemed like Lawson and Miller were out of sync without AAA. Miller-Lawson works well in bits and pieces, but not the whole game.

    • Jeff

      Yeah, Miller used up a lot of shot clock at half court, and Lawson would drive but always just kick out instead of making a real play.

  • :(

    I miss my Gallo…
    And my Mozzy Bear…
    And my 8th pick in the 2009 draft (should have been Lawson)…
    And my Al Harrington…
    Okay, maybe not so much Al Harrington…
    But you get my point.
    You want your Carmelo Anthony back, right? RIGHT?!

    Please, Doc Brown, send Donnie Walsh a DeLorean to take him back to February 21, 2011…

    • Aaron

      We’ll Give Ya A 2nd Round Pick Tor Melo???? After Watching That I Wouldn’t Wanna Even Think Of Offering More Then That For A Guy That Jacks Up 30+ Shots A Game And Doesnt Even Make 1/3 Of Them. HAHA. But Another Great Win! 4 In A Row! Probably Gonna Be 6 Soon, Sense We Face The Kings On The Road But 3rd Last In Their Confrence And 2nd Last In There Division, Then Home Against Toronto, Who Is 4th In The Same Conference As The Kings Are, Also Toronto Has Lost Not 1 Not 2 Not 3 Not 4 Not 5 Not 6 But 7 Games In A Row. 4 Days Of Rest In A Row Which Will Help Denver Out ALOT.

      Awesome Win Again Tho!

      NUGGY NATION!!!!

  • Skyler

    Where was Ty? Besides the one nice dish to Al in the end of the game, he couldn’t get past his man. I think you are being a little harsh on miller. I haven’t liked him anymore than you over the past few weeks but tonight he positively shined. His calmness, excellent passing and clutch 3 were key for the nuggets winning this game.

    • Brad H.

      Unfortunately you’ll notice in this blog when one of the Nugs has a bad game or a bad string of games a few wannabe GMs start hollering TRADE. Some guys here got really pissed at Miller’s comments in the press a week or two ago that he didn’t like not starting, and their ire was exquisitely expressed about Andre, and all of a sudden he was the stiff from hell. I, however, am AM’s self-appointed defender and protector on this blog spot. Hail to Dre: the NBA’s worst jumper, ugliest jump shooter, mousiest sounding talker, worst looking hair (when it’s grown out a bit), and close to being the most ancient. god love him . . . In all seriousness though, Andre Miller is the best acquisition we made in the off season, and he will continue to pull out critical wins for the Nugs throughout the year, in spite of being discontent about not being the starting PG in Denver, and regardless of his unorthodox playing style and strange mannerisms. And besides, GK loves him ALOT.

      • Charlie

        Great points about Miller, just want to see him deliver this type of play off the bench.

    • Charlie

      Miller’s been inconsistent. I’m glad he played well in the second half, but he doesn’t start and I think he might have change his attitude about playing off the bench to deliver this type of play consistently. What exactly was unfair?

      • Brad H.

        Charlie, nothing is unfair in this Miller conversation. All’s fair in love and war and sports blogs. So being unfair is not the issue here in our recent discussions about AM; having too quick a trigger finger is. Our criticism/critique of a player’s performance game to game is why this platform exists, and your, Kalen’s, and Jeremy’s comments, whether I agree with them or not, are nearly always informative and enjoyable. But your recent take on Miller, in my opinion, is hasty; and other bloggers who are far less careful than you about accuracy and integrity in what they write have just been moronic by calling for AM’s trade. Like Tebow, his intangibles outweigh his talent. but unlike Tebow, Miller has shown us for many years at a very high level that you should never count him out. He will amaze and surprise you over and over again. So I would advise, don’t pull the trigger on Andre Miller because he had a bad week last week or because he said he might not be here next year. He’s still good for winning a game for us from time to time, and may even have another Philly game up his sleeve before the season’s over.

  • Jim

    Best week for nugs in a long while!! Ty had a weird game, but his drive and kick out to Harrington was just perfect at the perfect time.

    Even if we had lost, that crazy 3 by miller was so priceless. You could hear the entire garden deflate in a second.

    I almost felt for melo and the Knicks tonight. You can see the weight of trying to make it work when it just isn’t going to work. They Play pretty hard but melo and d’antoni are so badly matched. Its going to get even uglier there soon.

    So is Karl trying to develop a killer playoff instinct with these crazy short rotations?

  • dynamo.joe

    Oh and Big Al? Was the skipping necessary? You’re a dick.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    And I love you for it.

    • Brad H.

      Al or dick?

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • Elliot

    Hey guys, big fan of the blog and long time reader. Anyone else think that the awful home loss to the hornets was the turning point of this young season? Since then we are 6-1 with a road win against and underrated bucks team (whose record makes them look worse than they are because of the Bogut leave of absence) a huge win against a great philly team, an impressive win over the heat, and now this knicks win. I think one of the most underrated factors in this recent success is Gallo’s 3 point shooting. Since the New Orleans game he is shooting 43 percent beyond the arc compared to 19 percent before it according to my calculations. We are clearly a much better team when Gallo is hitting from distance.

    • Charlie

      The Nuggets have certainly played much better on offense since that debacle. They are sharing the ball more and working hard for high percentage shots.

  • james from australia

    One thing I’m loving more and more about Moz’s game this season is his ability to run the floor. He’s 7″2 and staying with Lawson in the open court!

  • steve

    I would like to comment on a few things that were stated above. First off, Great win again for Nugs. Dont care how it happened, it was great to beat NY and continue our winning ways on the road. One thing i love is that 3 out of 4 road games went down to the end and we pulled all of them out which is something i was worried about, not being able to win close games.

    anyways, i dont mind hte 7 man rotation. We have 3 straight days off. We were without 2 rotational players in AA and rudy. Put our your best lineup and let them go. I didnt see many tired legs out there honestly. Even so the Knicks were just as tired as us if not more tired.

    im not a fan of Dre Miller that much, but i do agree that the board gives him way to much criticism. I dont mind it as everyone has their opinion but the man has been clutch for us. Yes he slows down the pace but GK knows this and if youre gonna blame anyone, it should be him. Regardless, that 3 last nite from DEEEEEEEP was just awesome as shot clock went down. He’s a key player for us and probably will be all season long. GO NUGS!!!

  • SmokinNugs

    This blog is funny because it’s the rotating surfboard of death. Moz has a bad game, he’s not good enough to start over K2. Miller has a bad game, lets trade him. Gallo has a bad game, lets trade him. Ty had a bad game last night, anyone want to trade him? We all keep saying this team is deep and anyone can step up on a given night, but that also means other people AREN’T going to step up on a given night. Rather than playing hasty GM lets just enjoy then different faces of the Nuggets success. As someone pointed out the Nugs are 6-1 in our last 7, lets CELEBRATE that!

    Occupy positive thinking!!

    • steve

      smokinnug, totally agree man and good post. I’ve been supporting the guys all year. The only time i got negative really was at beginning of season when i thought we’d have trouble finishing games and also after Dre Miller said he won’t be back. Other than that, really love these guys and havent said much negative since. I love that we are winning close games. Makes me think we will be battle tested come playoff time. GO NUGS!

  • Cody

    You George Karl haters are ridiculous. This team lead by other coaches would not have won 4 games on the road in a row. Heck this team would be under .500 if some of you people were coaching them. Be thankful. And having followed him in Milwaukee I know he didn’t “have the players”. Those were some pretty mediocre talented teams, at best. Revisionist bull to fit your hate towards a good man. If you don’t like how Karl runs the Nuggets, you don’t like the Nuggets. Go cheer for something else and stop filling up this forum with your bashing of the coach after every win. It’s just ridiculous

    • Brad H.

      Cody, couldn’t agree more. I don’t know how it was before 1983, the year I started following the Nugs, but GK’s 8 yrs in Denver have been this town’s “Golden Years” for pro basketball. No there has been no world championship, but 50 wins a year and playoffs at the end of every season is a feat that only one or two other NBA cities have enjoyed in that same period of time. Credit for that goes to no one more than George Karl.

  • BMac

    Mozy is getting better with every game. My favorite example is the back to back with LA. The first game saw Bynmm easily spinning around Mozy. Second game, that move didn’t work as well. That tells me this kid is actually learning. What I wouldn’t give to get him some time with someone like Hakeem O. over the summer. Worst case, get an NFL wide receiver to help him with his hands. Given his growth so far, I have high hopes for Mozy. He will never be a Hakeem, but I think we will surprise a bunch of people.
    And how about Gallo? When everyone was complaining about him the last few games, I was confident that his ankle/heel was still hurt. Gallo has a motor that typically doesn’t stop. If Nene had that same motor, he would be scary. So it was nice to see Gallo playing the way most of know he can. Let’s hope the injury bug stays away from him and all our players… hence the reason for GK to start playing a little more of that bench. Anyone else see a unique opportunity this season, due to the tight schedules, for Denver to capitalize on a young, deep bench, especially later in the year? If we get that bench some deeper playing time, how with the older, tired teams compete at the end of the season? Any other year, this probably wouldn’t be a good strategy, but come playoff time, most teams are going to be beat and tired, where our younger, deeper bench could help us shine.

  • DrewBreez

    I repeat. I miss Gallinari. I’ve made my lungs sore, on cold Brooklyn nights, harping about how much his value is lost on the lowly Knix squad (as we call them). Name every NBA player 6’10 or taller, who hits threes near 40% a contest, gets at least 7 FTA per game (while shooting 89% on those), steals the rock twice and exhibits a steel will to win all throughout. Maybe Dirk Nowitzki circa 2002? He will be special because he is special already. Suffer the bad games with the wisdom that il Gallo is a player of rare breed and potential. It’s taken him 3 years to become the passer Carmelo will never be. But hey, we get to print a lot more tabloids about formerly Braided One. Congratulations, Nuggets fans, you deserve this for tolerating a megalomaniac all these years.

    • Jeff

      I still think Melo is a winner. He won in college and he totally turned the Nuggets around when they drafted him. Unfortunately he is not a complete player and I think the best team he was ever on or will ever be on was the Nuggets in 2009. It’s not completely his fault that the Knicks are so depleted and have no chemistry. Amnestying Billups was a big mistake.. he’s the real winner.

    • Ryan

      he’s similar to how rashard lewis was back in seattle, but more agressive.

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    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

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  • Desean

    Carmelo Anthony is a role player

    That role is being clutch in final 2 minutes. We should bring him back just for his game winners

  • Desean

    I think it has become clear that mozgov is better than koufos. And remember this is koufos’ 4th year and mozgov’s 2nd

  • Ricardo

    GK should have given Koufos, Faried, and Stone some playing time. Nene and Lawson seemed like they were tired, but thew win was the most important, it shows they could compete late in games on the road.

  • Nathan

    Using our depth is important in this compressed season, but as long as the Nuggets get the win I don’t care how it happens. In a regular 82 game season, 50 wins don’t cut it- Denver needs to win closer to 60 so we can get homecourt in the West. In this shortened season, 50-55 should be the goal. A 1st seed over Oklahoma may be the only chance Denver has of advancing to the finals. Every year denver has one of the best home records- they need to get homecourt in the playoffs.

  • Desean

    I like mozgov way more than koufos. I think kk is trash