Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 90, Houston Rockets 99

Houston Rockets 99 FinalRecap | Box Score 90 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, F 18 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +1
Time to temper the high expectations surrounding the Manimal. All things considered, he had a very solid debut in his first real NBA game. Despite some foul trouble, he showed a lot of promise defending Scola and Dalembert. Faried even skied high for a spectacular block and his high energy play energized the crowd in a painfully ugly game. It was not the most productive jaw-dropping debut, but Faried simply needs to take baby steps towards becoming a better player and he did so tonight.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 20 MIN | 4-9 FG | 6-7 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -5
I thought Gallo still showed signs of fatigue but battled hard in the 20 minutes he was able to play. He rolled his ankle badly in the third quarter and it was later revealed he suffered a possible chip fracture. It’s just a terrible injury at the worst possible time. Gallo hasn’t always played like the Nuggets best player but he’s clearly been one of the toughest. Assuming he’s out for a few weeks this is an incredibly costly loss.
Kosta Koufos, C 23 MIN | 3-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +1
Koufos couldn’t keep up his solid production as a spot-starter. Despite having a size and quickness advantage over the Rockets front court, he clearly doesn’t know how to assert himself on the block. What’s worse is he fouled out in 23 minutes. Despite notching some impressive blocks, 2K showed he’s a work in progress on the defensive end. Although Koufos is in his fourth year it’s hard to forget just how raw he still is.
Ty Lawson, PG 39 MIN | 5-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 13 PTS | -2
Lawson had a tough time matching Lowry, one of the most overlooked guards in the league. It was tough for him to create with Houston packing the paint and doing a solid job getting back in transition. There was no post up threat on the floor and no consistent pick and roll options to work with. Ty tried his hardest to get others involved without forcing shots, but he could have been a lot more assertive with his own offense. Considering how talented he is, it’s tough to see him go passive even for small stretches of game.
Julyan Stone, G 21 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -4
Stone has trouble hitting an open jump shot and I thought it was a curious decision to start him. Although I’m a big Stone fan, Andre Miller seems more motivated as a starter and has played poorly off the bench. Stone’s length and quickness contributed to a solid defensive performance, but he had trouble fitting in on the offensive end where Miller and Lawson assumed most of the point guard duties, relegating him to becoming a spot up shooter.
Al Harrington, PF 33 MIN | 5-16 FG | 2-6 FT | 15 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -8
Harrington was asked to step way outside of a reasonable role yet again. He played close to 40 minutes twice in the past week and tonight he pulled the majority of the duty at power forward. 15 rebounds is pretty fantastic, but it cost him on the offensive end where Al couldn’t hit a shot or make free throws down the stretch. I give All all the credit in the world for his effort, but he just didn’t look good in the defense and rebounding glue guy role. Buckets is at his best when he’s living up to his namesake as a reliable bench scorer.
Andre Miller, PG 31 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -13
I get a lot of criticism for being hard on on Miller, but I expect a lot of out of him. He’s clearly capable of orchestrating the offense and yet consistently puts up duds every couple of games. He’s supposed to be the steady veteran hand guiding this young squad and showing them how to win. Miller opened the game with four first quarter turnovers, three of which were credited to him but all due to errant Andre passes. Miller just didn’t look like he was into it tonight and he just can’t set that kind of example for this team.
Chris Andersen, C 19 MIN | 4-4 FG | 2-3 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -7
Birdman clearly took exception to being benched and responded with one of his most productive outings of the season. As the game wore on Birdman’s defense faded a bit, but for a guy who hasn’t been playing his energy was a valuable shot in the arm to a lethargic defensive team. All in all Bird made the most of his minutes and you can’t say that for anyone else who received significant playing time
Rudy Fernandez, SG 35 MIN | 5-13 FG | 3-6 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | -8
Fernandez used up a ton of crucial possessions this game and just didn’t deliver enough. It was a huge opportunity for him to assume a larger role and play big minutes with no Brewer and Gallo out with an injury. Rudy doesn’t offer spacing and hasn’t developed into a potent playmaking threat. The worst part of his game is the defense where he inexcusably jumps the passing lanes without regard for his teammates. Rudy was abused by every Rocket he attempted to guard tonight.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Ugly: It’s hard to imagine a more disheartening way to lose. The Nuggets shot a higher percentage than Houston and handily out-rebounded them. They failed to defend the three and hit free throws. This was another night to forget, as you just never sensed the Nuggets possessed the same will to win as their rivals. These kind of efforts shouldn’t happen at home, especially for good teams who generally don’t outwork their opponents yet still manage to lose
  2. Home Alone: The crowd was dead tonight as the shorthanded Nuggets struggled to keep up the energy. This is the third home loss this season in which the Nuggets came out lethargic and the energy in the building was flat. Denver traditionally has a great home court advantage and the Nuggets are not taking advantage.
  3. Costly loss: The Nuggets already have a losing record against the Western Conference and they drop even further to 7-10. Denver is 1-3 in the northwest division. Looking at the rest of the schedule this was one of the more favorable games in February and one the Nuggets should have figured out how to win. It gets harder from here, and Denver has now lost five of six including three straight at home
  4. Scheduling woes: Even though the Nuggets did have a day off, they just came off of three straight games on top of four in five nights. It was clear they could have used more rest, but there’s only so much to complain about when losing at home. The Nuggets have now been beaten handily by the Hornets, Jazz, and Rockets at home where they never seriously threatened to win. That tells me the schedule is far from the only factor in the Nuggets recent struggles.
  5. We have a problem: Houston just seems to have the Nuggets number. They have won 3 of the last 4 meetings at the Pepsi Center. Give credit to the Rockets, but the Nuggets are just in a bad funk right now. They are playing poorly; they seem to know it and when they get in position to win or seize momentum they manage to play worse. There’s nothing to do but wait it out, and this may be the wrong time considering Gallo just went down and the rest of the schedule in February doesn’t get any easier.

Game 25 Advanced Stats

Pace Factor: 101.5 – Nuggets had no problem controlling pace and outrebounded Houston
Offensive Efficiency:  88.6 – Bad, laughably bad. Like 20 turnovers bad.
Defensive Efficiency:  97.5 – Actually one of the better ratings of the past week, but it comes in a 9 point loss at home

Candid Notes by Kalen

As Charlie already mentioned, the fracture in Danilo Gallinari’s foot couldn’t have come at a worse time and not just because the Nuggets are already without three of its four starters. Nene, Afflalo and Mozgov will come back soon, but Gallinari is likely out for a while. His “chip fracture” will require at least a couple weeks to heal, but chances are Galliari could be out until March. George Hill of the Indiana Pacers recently suffered the exact same injury and reports are his fracture will keep him sidelined for roughly one month. If this injury is serious, Gallinari is going to miss the most crucial stretch of the season. February is by far the toughest month the Nuggets will have to endure this year and considering how bad they’ve played of late, this was a month where things essentially needed to go perfect in order for them to keep playing at a high level. Harrington should be able to step in and make up for the loss of production coming from the starting small forward spot Gallinari occupies, but that in turn leaves quite a hole in terms of production off the bench. Corey Brewer should see an expanded role and will likely fill in just fine, but it doesn’t change the fact that losing your leading scorer in the midst of the toughest stretch of the season creates a sizable and perilous obstacle to overcome.

Which leads me to my next point: If the Nuggets struggle mightily in the coming weeks, it will only (erroneously, if I might add) increase management and the fans’ desire to secure Wilson Chandler even more. If Denver had Chandler right now, Gallinari’s injury wouldn’t be near as costly — on the court at least. As I mentioned in my recent Nuggets News post, Chandler’s contract is going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in terms of flexibility moving forward. It’s absolutely imperative that no matter how many games the Nuggets lose in the month of February, Ujiri and Josh Kroenke do not re-sign Chandler to a hefty contract based solely on a knee jerk reaction in an attempt to get a few extra wins this year. Again, depth is NOT the problem with this team. Adding one more small forward in the long line of wing men the Nuggets already have will certainly help, but it won’t fix the perimeter defense, one-on-one defense, atrocious three-point shooting/shot selection, offensive rebounding, turnovers and desire to win down the stretch. If Wilson Chandler wants to be in Denver and is willing to settle for a reasonable price, great; but at this moment the last thing the Nuggets need to do is get in a bidding war over his services because they’re myopically focused on getting the team back to playing dominant basketball this year without regarding the structure of the franchise in the future.

Which leads me to my final point on this issue: Injuries are not an excuse to lose basketball games. This is the time where coaches truly shine. This is where we’re going to see what George Karl is really made of. Winning with the deepest team in the league is one thing; winning in the face of adversity is a whole nother story. Nobody is asking Karl to go undefeated on road trips or come out the other side of February looking sprightly and untarnished. What fans are asking for however, is that the Nuggets get back to playing the type of basketball that landed them the two seed in the Western Conference to begin with. Denver has played awful during this recent losing streak, and yet, most of the issues the team faces are ones that can be fixed as long as they’re addressed. If the Nuggets continue to ignore trends that obtrusively rear their ugly heads, Karl is the only one that can be blamed. It’s the coaches job to find ways to fix problems, and if nothing else (and I mean nothing), at least attempt to get your team to play the way they need to in order to win. Formulating a better defensive game plan, demanding better one-on-one defense and above all, figuring out a way to execute down the stretch should all be atop the Karl’s “To-Do” list and about the only things the Nuggets focus on every day in practice from here on out until they are resolved.

As for those problems, it’s starting to become more and more evident that the Denver Nuggets are a team that does a few things well, followed by bevy of other things not so well. While the Nuggets rank near the top of the league in points, assists and steals, they also rank near the bottom in several critical statistical categories. As of now the Nuggets rank 25th in opponent’s steals per game, 26th in opponent’s points per game, 27th in turnovers, 29th opponent’s 3-pointers attempted and 29th in opponent’s 3-pointers made. Bottom line: The Nuggets are turning the ball over way too often and then giving up 3-pointers on the other end of the floor. That is exactly what we saw against Houston, exactly what we’ve seen the entire season and exactly the type of basketball that absolutely will not win you many games in the NBA no matter how good your offense is!

One last note: Can Rudy Fernandez please (A) take less contested, unbalanced three-point shots and (B) make the ones he gets that are wide open? That would be awesome. Thank you.

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Charlie Yao

Managing Editor at Roundball Mining Company and writer since 2010. Unhealthily obsessed with Nuggets basketball since 2002. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at the links on the left.
  • chronosynclastic infundibula

    I’m in panic mode. I suggest we rest Nene and Afflalo for a while. A trip to the 2012 lottery plus a new defensive minded coach could make things a whole lot better for Denver next season. Usually, when 4 starters are injured I won’t blam the coach but Karl has run out of excuses. Its always something. We missed our free throws. We turned the ball over too much. We weren’t agressive enough. This is a reflection of a lack of leadership which falls on the coach. Karl needs to take personal responsibility for this team. Injuries are no excuse for poor coaching.

    • NuggLove

      You just took the words right out of my mouth. At this point, a trade is hands down needed for this team. They’re reeling, deflating, and losing their contention. But firing Karl is the first option before making a trade

    • Charlie

      Actually, the free throws and the turnovers are something a coach can’t do much about. Those particular mistakes are on the players, although Karl has played his part in these recent losses.

      I’m not panicking yet and I still believe the Nuggets are a pretty good team. However one or two things are just starting to jump out on my end

      Andre Miller and Rudy Fernandez clearly aren’t gonna be here long-term. They’re on the wrong team and are just acting as band-aid fillers for the lockout shortened season. Miller in particular I believe is just counting the days until he’s a free agent

    • Eddie

      Another loss, another call for a new coach. Who do you suggest that is better than Karl? He drives me nuts at times as well with his lineups and play calling, but he is one of the winningest coaches ever. I suffered through the Westhead and Hanzlick eras. I prefer winning.

      • NuggLove

        Our new coach should be…. Larry Brown.
        Similarities with George Karl: Philosophy of moving the ball, won 1000+ wins all-time
        Differences: Already has a championship, 3 finals appearances (one in the ABA with the Nuggets)

        -Sounds like he’s perfect for this Nuggets team

  • chronosynclastic infundibula


  • Alex

    It’s tough to play a game without three starters and then lose another one on top of that. At the very least the young players are going to get some good quality playing time which will do nothing but help them grow. Also when all Rudy is doing is throwing up bad shots I would have liked to see Hamilton, maybe he could provide some scoring ability with good minutes.

  • chronosynclastic infundibula

    There is certainly a correlation between poor play of players and the attitude of the coach. I know Karl himself isn’t shooting free throws, but he relies on these mistakes to cover his own ass. That is the problem. Karl is the unquestioned leader of this team and he needs to man-up and own it, especially during the bad times.

    Melo, JR, and Iverson are gone. GK cannot blame others anymore.

    Hopefully Chandler will be resigned and we’ll get healthy enough to make a run next month. If not, hello lottery

  • Thugget

    Wow, you guys in the comments section go negative fast. 10 days ago we were going to win it all, now we’re blowing up the team and firing the coach. Calm down. The ship will right itself. It’s a long season (even in this short season). There have been way more positives than negatives and the injuries will pass.

  • Aaron

    Woww This Was Karl’s Fault That We Lost AGAIN, He Has 3 PG IN THE GAME AT THE END OF THE GAME AND A SG?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Rudy At PF?? HARRINGTON AT CENTER??? STONE AT SF?? DF IS WRONG WITH KARL??? FIRE HIM BEFORE HES FULLY IN ALLS-TIMERS!!! IM SICK OF THIS SMALL LINE-UPS AT THE END OFF GAMES THAT MAKES US LOOSE EVERYTIME..Last 3 Games We Were In The Game At The End, Karl Puts In A Small Line-Up With Miller In..Yeah We Lost Those Last 3 Games Cuz The Line-Ups Are SOOOOOO Small. Do A Trade ASAP!!

  • al68

    si solo piensas en el corto plazo pasa esto el equipo roto el entrenador cansado igual q los jugadores. El mejor jugador hoy, andersen y no esta en los ultimos minutos a favor de stone un tio marginal. Lo peor la cara de los veteranos miller harrington y andersen.
    en un partido sin ataque porque no intenta jugar con hamilton en lugar de rudy o stone negados en el tiro exterior.

    disculpas por no escribir en ingles.


  • bayesk

    Charlie and Thugget, thank you for being the voices of reason here. Let’s not toss the baby with the bathwater. Just my opinion, of course, but that’s why we’re all here on RBMC.

    It’s so easy to get seduced by Miller; he has such crafty skills, and at times can take over a game for short stretches. He’s fun to watch and root for because of these things. That being said, I agree with Charlie; he, as well as Fernandez, are not long for this team. They’re not critical to our long-term success, and I wonder what, if anything, we could get for them in trade. It wouldn’t kill me to see them play out the string this season and figure out the next step in the summer. We all know Andre would prefer a different situation, and while Rudy seems pretty happy now, it seems like playing back home in Spain is always his true desire: when he’s happy and getting PT, he puts that wish on the back burner; when he gets frustrated or whatever, he just can’t wait to get out of the NBA. I like Rudy. He still surprises me with his defense (sometimes) and especially his better-than-most-SF’s point guard skills (rare, but that just makes a no-look or needle-threading pass that much more surprising). But like any Blazers fan will be more than happy to tell you, the sweet eventually turns sour, and then he’s just some grumpy chucker with Chris Isaak’s haircut. Turn these two into something, Masai, if you can.

    They struggled so much with outside shots last night. There’s at least one possible solution here, but until he gets some real run we’ll just never know. Hey George, how about you loosen up your control-freak ways! Jordan Hamilton has shown a pretty sweet outside game, what’s the harm in throwing him in there? Maybe he’ll lay a turd, maybe we’ve already got JR Smith 2.0 and just don’t know it yet.

    I’m getting tired of the Karl show a little. Compared to a creative and effective coach like Carlisle or Popovich, he just looks like a stubborn old man. Pop is never afraid to pull all his starters, including 3 All Stars, and run with his bench. In the long run you trade in some wins here and there for a better team, especially when it counts come playoffs.

    As far as Wilson Chandler, who knows? For me the biggest factor is dude just doesn’t want to play here. I seem to recall an article a while back about how he hated being Gallo’s backup, first in NYC, then here, when he’s convinced he’s better than Gallinari. The article cited this as one of the main, though secret, reasons he left for China. I think this article was more speculative than anything, but remember that Chandler expressed his desire to play elsewhere almost as soon as he arrived here. Good player, doesn’t like us, so let’s fleece some team for picks and talent. Seems simple enough.

    • Dubz

      Wilson didn’t want to get traded to Denver because he loved playing in NY. Frankly, none of the NY players wanted to get traded here because they played on a fun NY team in MSG. However, Wilson has definitely expressed his desire to re sign with Denver recently, and Masai is flying out to China to see him. Masai will get a good idea of where Wilson is at mentally before moving forward with contract discussions. If Wilson wants to be here, the Nuggets would be foolish not to keep him.

  • aussienuggzfan

    On a night we struggled offensively, and Gallo went down, I thought GK had an opportunity to give some minutes to Jordan Hamilton.

    Rudy Fernandez has been a decent spot fix however i don’t think we should resign him.

    I could not believe when GK described him as JR without the headaches. He takes as many bad shots and plays bad defense, and also has nowhere near the same amount of talent.

  • aussienuggzfan

    Instead of entirely blowing it up, I think Denver should rest all of the injured or knicked up players until they are 100% and give valuable experience to the three rookies. Then we can reassess after the all star break about what direction we should take.

  • steve

    i honestly dont know what to think for the most part. One thing that i do want to say is Al Harrington needs to be benched the last 2 minutes of ball games. He is just god awful during that time. Yes there are times where he leads a comeback with his shooting ability but when it gets down to make or break, he always breaks. 2-6 in Ft’s last night? 1-4 at the end when we needed every one of them? Blown layups by him as well. He just crumbles during this time. I understand that last night was the exception because we were so banged up but most nights, he CANT be out there.

    I’m very worried about this team. They lost their mojo. They dont know how to win at this point. I think the next 4 games are very crucial where we need to go 3-1 against Dallas, GSW, Pacers and Suns. After that, we go on another extremely tough stretch like we just did before this with dallas again, memphis, OKC, Minny, Clippers, SA, Portland, Houston, SA again.

    IF we dont get back on the track now, we very well may have a losing record come march in a deep western conference.

  • http://tskitishvillainy.tumblr.com/ TskitishVilllainy

    This is just a frustrating loss. The Nuggets played hard, for the most part. Birdman came out and really made a mark on the game. Koufos had a very difficult matchup with Scola, and I can’t really blame him for what he did. Same with Faried, his offensive liabilities were very evident, and it is difficult to use him for long stretches without other scorers around him.

    Having said that, the veterans absolutely needed to step up. Andre forced passes and played very poor defense. Harrington was missing his shots, though he played well otherwise. Fernandez didn’t really have his head in the game.

    In the end though, the Nuggets were down four with Harrington at the line for two free throws and a minute left. This game was up for grabs, against a decent Rockets team.

  • al68

    mas TO menos agrasividad fallos en los FT = mucha fatiga. we need more rotations

  • Joshua

    What I couldn’t believe watching last night’s game was how dead the Pepsi Center was. How have the nuggets lost so much of their homecourt advantage? We have traditionally been one of the best in the league, right? When we played in Portland I could sense the intesity of the Rose Garden through the TV. Last night at the Pepsi Center you could have heard a pin drop. What’s the deal?

  • eddi0

    I think this “deep” line-up could use a tweak or two, not sure who to get but I’ve separated players into three categories: 1) Must Keep 2) Trade For the Right Deal 3) Gotta Go

    1) Lawson, Gallo

    2) Brewer, AAA, Koufos, Mozzie, Hamilton, Stone, Faried, Nene, Harrington

    3) Bird, Miller, Fernandez

    At this point, the Nene and AAA signings are looking not as good as expected so I think we have to consider the potential of trading both (operative word being potential). But my main point in this illustration is that we truly only have two “untouchable” players. Why not explore some options that will bring us more stability/consistency in our starting 5?

    I would hate to give up on Faried, Hamilton and Stone as that they have all shown some flashes and they are just rookies on small contracts. Would also like to keep Brewer (he’s one of the few guys that plays defense all the time he’s on the court) but he’s likely expendable.

    The other unknown is Wilson Chandler…would love to see him at the 2 and bench AAA at this point. Why not let AAA heal and let Chandler start and then when AAA is healthy we can decide which one to trade?

    Sorry, lots of jumbled thoughts but hopefully it makes some sense. Losing 5 outta 6, you gotta start thinking about some changes…

  • Sam Adhikari

    I can’t believe people are hitting the panic button and saying we should tank to get a lottery pick. We are just going through a terrible funk right now. Gallinari is likely out 2-3 weeks, Mozgov is out 1 week with an ankle injury, Afflalo & Nene are injured, & we’ve lost 3 straight games. For this franchise to win a playoff series, we need to get the highest seed possible, because there is no chance of us beating the Lakers, OKC, Spurs in the playoffs. Luckily the Lakers are stuggling on the road, & other teams in the West haven’t looked that good, either. We’re currently 4th in the standings. That’s not bad at all. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, people. When all the guys get healthy we can make a late push to get a high seed. No need to panic yet.

    • steve

      sam, i understand about hitting the panic button to early. I for 1, have not YET hit it. BUT if you look at our upcoming schedule…it’s gruesome. We need to win 3 out of our next 4 vs Dallas, Suns, Indy and GSW. After that we go on an 8 or 9 game stretch where the worst team we face is Minny. If we stay in this funk, we’ll have a losing record come March which obviously is time to hit the panic button.

  • Dubz

    This was a tough game to stomach. I agree with a lot of what Kalen said, I wholeheartedly disagree with his comment on Wilson Chandler. I’m not sure what limitations are in the new CBA, but Wilson has a huge potential role on this team with or without Gallinari. At the worst, we sign and trade Wilson for future 1st rounders. At the best, we get some serviceable years out of him and if it doesn’t work out, trade the man. Teams are always interested in a guy like Chandler for he does EVERYTHING well. He’d fit perfectly in Karl’s small ball system for he can play PF and not be a liability on defense. He can block shots, rebound, shoot 3’s, shoot FT’s, and play solid defense. Sounds to me like that is desperately needed on this team. Obviously he’s not worth losing all cap flexibility over, but he’s not too far away from it. Chandler wants to play in Denver too which wasn’t the case last year. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

    • steve

      when has chandler said he wants to play here? I’m a huge rumor geek and all ive seen is he “expects” an offer from Denver. No where in there has he stated he for sure wanted to resign with denver. 2 things we cant guarentee him…1 – Money and 2 – a starting gig. Those are the biggest 2 needs for him i’m sure. I would love to have him back but i doubt it’ll be for anything less than 7 mill per season, similar to AA’s deal. I dont want to use up our cap space for another solid rotational player. We have a poor version of him right now on the roster in Brewer for less than half the price it’ll take for chandler. Just cant see us keeping him. Honestly, im leaning towards rather sign and trading him for a big man or future GOOD 1st. Ed davis or the raps 1st would work just fine! :)

      • Denver4ever

        Man, you’re right! If Chandler wants a start, it’s either he should be traded and stay in Denver, making Afflalo a sub or be traded which is a ridiculous thought. I love Chandler, don’t get me wrong. He was actually the best defender on Durant in the last playoffs but he seems to think more that he’s an offensive player than a great defender, which is the problem. I’m doubting Afflalo would be gone this season, and it seems a sign-and-trade would be imminent when he returns. But before that, Rudy seems to be taking the steps of JR Smith. He jacks contested shots and that just loses momentum. Better make a trade for him before the Chandler trade.

        Rudy Fernandez
        Ben Gordon

        Wilson Chandler
        Ed Davis
        Leandro Barbosa
        Gary Forbes

        -We are just too depleted at SF now. We only have Harrington, Fernandez, and Hamilton for that spot. And with GK’s anti-rookie history, playing Hamilton meaningful minutes will just be a thought. We just need a reliable SF right now. I just don’t like some guys here who doesn’t like Forbes. I was worried that he signed with the Raptors. To me, he’s an SF version of Billups – he showed his expression of his love playing in Denver and his wins there.

  • Andrew

    Sadly, there is no way Karl is going anywhere. I agree with the folks who say we need someone else. I also agree that Karl needs to take these opportunities to give Hamilton some of Rudy’s minutes. I was at a least encouraged that he started Stone and Faried. Stone wasn’t great, but Faried and K2 were the only two Nuggets to end up in a positive +/-…mainly because of their aggressive defense. He needs to tone it down a bit, but I am perfectly fine with K2 picking up some fouls if he keeps getting all of those blocks and playing tough D. I think K2 and Bird can fill in for Moz for now, but this team might be in some trouble here if they cannot get Nene back soon…and Gallo is critical to their being better than mediocre…and AAA getting back into his old form is critical for them to do anything at all in the playoffs.

  • Andrew

    I do not think the Nuggets need a “superstar”, but they do need AAA, Gallo, Nene, Ty Law, etc to be crunch time scorers. More than anything, they need someone to step up and have the attitude of a superstar. All the greats have one thing in common…a refusal to lose. They all would have rather died than lose a game. I don’t see that attitude with any of these players. Maybe they have it, maybe they don’t. It would appear they don’t.

  • steve

    Hopefully this is what AA needs to get himself going. He will be a go to guy now with Gallo out. Hopefully he gets his confidence back and starts knocking down some shots because we are going to need it.

  • NuggLove

    Is Larry Brown available? I think he could be the guy. I don’t know if he loves playing smallball, but he wants his players to play together and he tends to scold big men if they can’t rebound. I think he’s the guy.

    Of all the players who I irritate the most is Rudy. Yes he is like JR because he’s inconsistent. And at this point, he jacks shots like JR. The only why he’s seemingly coachable because he’s “mature”.
    He should be traded while Wil is still in China. I wonder what trade will suit for him to be shipped off.

  • Denver4ever

    Hey, Billups seems to be nearing retirement. Once he retires, i’m sensing were going to have a new player development coach, free-throw shooting coach, and a head coach in one. I think Billups is a great defender when he was young and he could bring that mentality once he gets the job. But hopefully he becomes one.