Rapid Reaction: Dallas Mavericks 102, Denver Nuggets 84 [Updated]

Denver Nuggets 84 FinalRecap | Box Score 102 Dallas Mavericks
Corey Brewer, SF 35 MIN | 3-15 FG | 3-6 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 9 PTS | -4
Brewer certainly wasn’t as effective as he has been coming off the bench, and he continues to struggle with his shot, but seven boards, four assists and five steals are smart, hustle numbers no matter how you look at it.
Kenneth Faried, F 21 MIN | 4-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +1
Faried once again played solid, although his three rebounds in 21 minutes are tough to swallow. It’s odd; the last few games Faried has actually played much better on the offensive side of the ball than on defense — his specialty in college. It’s nice seeing the “Manimal” show the ability to score, although at this juncture his rebounding and defense are needed more.
Kosta Koufos, C 26 MIN | 6-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -14
Koufos continues to impress. In only 26 minutes he set a new career high in rebounds, at 14, and was one of the few Nuggets who actually came to play. His toughness, passion and defense are more than admirable, while his gradual improvement only corroborates his case for being a steady rotational player. At this point, you could argue Koufos is the best big outside of Nene on the Nuggets roster.
Arron Afflalo, SG 25 MIN | 0-6 FG | 3-6 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -33
After scoring 20 points in three straight games Afflalo reverted back to the player he has been most of the year and laid an egg; however, being that most of the entire team did so as well, this performance can be somewhat forgiven. It’s going to be interesting seeing how Afflalo bounces back from this outing. Does he kick into overdrive and score in the upper teens like he’s capable of doing, or does he turn in another stinker? Stay tuned.
Ty Lawson, PG 28 MIN | 1-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -15
All in all, this was probably one of Ty’s more disappointing efforts of the year. Before you chastise him too much though, keep in mind he was coming off 17 and 27-point performances the two games prior (which were both wins), and was met by a furious Mavericks’ interior defense every time he attempted to drive. Dallas really did a fine job of taking away the Nuggets penetration offense, which is essentially — Ty Lawson.
Al Harrington, PF 25 MIN | 4-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -23
Harrington’s struggles continue. After leading the league in two-point shooting percentage through the early part of the year, Harrington has now shot over .500 percent in just one game this month. His overall field goal percentage has dipped nearly 10 percent in that time. All that said, Big Al has embraced the leadership role of a young Nuggets squad and is one of the few members of the roster who actually plays with a sense of pride on a nightly basis.
Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -9
Twenty one minutes, zero points and two steals — what more can you say? About the only signs of life Miller showed against the Mavericks was when he angrily tossed the ball to a ref after not receiving a foul call while attempting to drive to the basket. Though his minutes did come in garbage time, it’s at least worth noting that Stone looked worlds better than Miller, especially on defense.
Chris Andersen, C 22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -4
Birdman didn’t crack the rotation till later in the game but once he did, he gave his full effort on both ends of the floor. His turnovers were down and his boards were up, but most importantly, he followed up one great performance with another solid outing. Right now, consistency should be Andersen’s biggest goal.
Rudy Fernandez, SG 20 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -11
Fernandez looked as if he wanted to prove something to his former team near the start of the game, and succeeded in doing so. He hit multiple 3-pointers and even a few tough jump-shots, but the luster slowly faded and eventually Fernandez was rendered just as useless as most every other Nugget.
Julyan Stone, G 7 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 2 PTS | +10
Stone deserves a good grade because he truly made the most out of the time he was given and played the best defense of anybody on the Nuggets roster. George Karl should consider sitting down his entire team and forcing them to watch Stone’s lateral defensive movement as it’s quite remarkable and hands down better than anyone on the team. Furthermore, Stone’s penetration followed by his pinpoint passes is exactly the type of offense Karl urges his team to implement, which shows Stone is listening. Should Andre Miller find himself either traded or injured, Nuggets fans can rest assured knowing Stone would be able to fill in just fine… if not better.
Jordan Hamilton, G 9 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +12
In some truly extended minutes Hamilton finally gave Nuggets fans their first glimpse into the type of player he can be, which is an offensive scoring machine (note: “machine” used lightly in this instance). In nine minutes “J-Ham” took eight shots and made four them. His drives to the basket were a bit ill-advised and his defense was inconsistent, but there was no denying the skill Hamilton possess on the offensive side of the ball. It would be extremely interesting seeing how he fares in the heat of a close game.

Five Things We Saw

  1. A.I.: Artificial Integrity: Was I the only one who, when watching this game, was reminded of the Allen Iverson days? I swear this could have been a page right out of the 2006-07 season where the Nuggets won games based solely on talent, yet when it really mattered, when it came down to guts and grit, the team floundered monumentally. Say what you want about starters, about Dallas being the “defending world champs” and whatever other excuse you can come up with, but the bottom line was this: Nobody expected to win this game. Am I right in saying that? Sure, I thought there was an outside chance. I was encouraged by what I saw the two games before, but I fully expected the Nuggets to drop this one — just not in the manner they did. THAT’S what is so discouraging about this loss; it’s a slap in the face from our old friend, Reality. Because the fact of the matter is, the Nuggets are STILL an extremely flawed team that plays little to no defense and is suffocated by the slightest hint of adversity. Simply missing starters isn’t a golden excuse to give up mid-way through the game and not even contest shots. Playing the defending champs doesn’t excuse you from figuring out a way to score when forced to play half-court basketball. But with the Denver Nuggets (and this has been the case since Karl took over), it seems at times looking for an alibi is paramount rather than taking accountability and getting the job done. This, to me is a reflection upon George Karl. Throughout his coaching career no matter what’s gone wrong its never been his fault. First it was A.I.’s selfish mentality, then it was Melo’s lack of defense (and also, selfish mentality), then it was J.R.’s “craziness.” My question is: When is it ever going to be Karl’s fault? When can we look at a performance like Wednesday’s against the Mavericks and say, “Yeah, you know, Karl could have done a better job motivating the team, demanding some defense and lighting a fire up people’s asses”? When the camera zooms to the sidelines to catch the bench staring off into space, eyes more glazed than a sugary doughnut, that’s certainly not the hallmark of a championship caliber team, or even one with high playoff hopes like the Nuggets, is it? People may argue that every “championship contender” gets blown out once, but the Nuggets are now 3-9 in their last 11 games and have lost by 18 or more twice during that span. All I’m saying is Karl needs to stop getting a free pass for such unacceptable offenses. Like a police officer leniently letting the principal off the hook for speeding in the school zone, Nuggets fans have become accustomed to giving Karl a minor (if that) slap on the wrist for neglecting the most cardinal of basketball commandments based solely on his extensive track record (which is without a championship, I might add). Losing three of your last nine games? Unacceptable! Being ranked 26th in defense? Unacceptable! Not having a backup plan when you’re forced into playing half court offense? Unacceptable! Do I even need to touch on in-bounds plays? Again, these are not a player issues; these are philosophies instilled by the head coach. Missing shots, setting poor screens, turning the ball over — those are player issues. But never once being ranked higher than 18th in the league in defense during his entire tenure in Denver, botching potential trips to the NBA Finals because he disregards in-bounds passes, failing to conjure up any sort of game-plan to combat a zone defense — those all fall on the coach, have killed the Nuggets forever and will continue to do so unless addressed. In the end, Karl has nobody else but himself to blame as he’s the one who sets such low standards for his team, and as a result the franchise as a whole.
  2. Odds and Ends: The Mavericks lead grew to 31 points at its apogee, which is the biggest lead I can ever remember any team having on the Nuggets in recent years. While the Mavericks continued to play tough defense the entire night, holding Denver to 84 points total, the Nuggets let Dallas do virtually whatever it pleased on offense. There were times when guys didn’t even contest shots. No matter how bad you’re losing or how depleted you may be, you can’t give up on the defensive side of the ball like that. Credit Rick Carlisle for his outstanding team defense and conversely, scold George Karl for his.
  3. Brick House: While the Nuggets failed to play defense, they also failed to do anything on the offensive side of the ball as well. It wasn’t until the four minute mark of the third quarter that Denver finally cracked the 50-point mark, yet even after doing so the Nuggets hoisted up countless bricks, air balls and flat-out terrible shots all together than really had no chance of going in. Again, this was largely due to Dallas’ excellent defense and George Karl’s lack of a half-court offense.
  4. Go Big or Go Home: It should be noted that after being only 12 points behind at halftime, George Karl decided to start Al Harrington (an offensive-minded player) at power forward instead of Kenneth Faried. This was the turning point in the game. The Mavericks immediately opened the half on a 25-6 run which essentially ended the game right then and there. Though I am no basketball expert, there’s no denying the correlation between a struggling Al Harrington playing out of position against a 7-foot front court and a lead that opened up in Dallas’ favor that would never be relinquished.
  5. Rookie Report: To summarize, all the rookies looked solid tonight in the limited minutes they were given. Stone passed the ball well, while Faried and Hamilton showed off their scoring prowess. It’s safe to say that, if these young, developing players continue to mature, they might very well be an important part of the team moving forward as long as George Karl gives them a chance.

Update:12:06 AM February 16, 2012 by Jeremy – I cannot let that effort go by without a comment or two.  Like Kalen I am baffled by the lack of any kind of efforts by the coaching staff to shake things up when the team so clearly needed a good slap in the face.  The offense was completely stagnant all night.  It was a pick and roll on one side of the floor while three players stood stationary on the weak side.  When the pick and roll failed thanks to the lack of any significant contact by the big man setting the screen, the ball was reversed and someone dribbled until they could get off a long jumper.  It is baffling to me how that was tolerated the entire game.  Every once in a while Fernandez was run off a double screen, to shake things up, but then they were right back to what I am going to start calling “the best seats in the house offense.”

I am constantly reminded of a coach like Greg Popovich who demands excellence out of whoever is on the court.  The fact is, when the Spurs are missing a star, or stars, they execute even more flawlessly because the players know the execution is their salvation.  There was a game against the very same Mavericks a month or so ago where Popovich benched Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.  The remainder of the team fought back and forced overtime.  Pop could have relented and allowed Duncan and Parker back in the game, but he did not.  He did what he thought was right even though it might have cost the Spurs a victory.

Karl has just as much job security as Popovich so he should not fear making decisions like that.  Instead he plays like an ultraconservative football coach content to kick a field goal in the fourth quarter despite the fact they are down 21 points.  The Nuggets are allowed to continue to make the same mistakes over and over for 48 minutes with no significant attempt from Karl to right the ship.  I realize every coach has their own style, but a coach that does not demand accountability from his players is nothing but a figurehead.

The game was lost before it even began because of the attitude the team inherited from the coaches.

The team is living with a wait-until-we-are-healthy-again attitude, but there is no guarantee that they will ever be healthy.  What happens if Gallo gets injured again?  What if Nene continues to be hampered by calf issues?  What if Lawson goes down?  I am not saying they should win every game, but the philosophy that it is OK to give certain games away is unacceptable.  The mindset that everything be OK because things will get better is a festering boil on the organization and it must be dealt with.

There is no leadership coming from the bench, nor is there any on the court.

I continue to expect this team to make the playoffs, but for the first time, I have my doubts.  If they can return to full health, sure things will be fine.  They will run off a nice long winning streak and get back into the top of the West.  However, if anything goes wrong, Lord have mercy because this team is not mentally strong enough to deal with the ramifications.

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • Jeff

    When the Nuggets score 84 points, I’ll take Faried making buckets over rebounds.
    But yeah I’m not alone when I say I’m getting really sick of Andre Miller. I thought he would have played a lot, lot better and I was expecting him to pick apart the Mavs defense. We really could have used him tonight. I know that he will come back in a few games (who knows when?) and get a double double and post people up like he’s the second coming of Hakeem Olajuwon, but that doesn’t justify these horrible performances. He’s supposed to be the lob master but most of his alley oops are terrible.

  • Aaron

    WOWWW!!! Miller Sux So Bad? Was It Just Me That Saw This Or Did Miller Let J-Kidd Get 8 Points in a Row?!?! 2 Wide Open 3’s Then He Easily Walked Past Miller An Laid it Up And in. ive Never Seen 1 individual Player Make a 38 Year Old Look So Good And Athletic Like Miller Did Tonight. Only Players I Saw Hustling Were Koufus And Jordan Hamilton And A Tiny Bit Of Stone..Unman Aren’t Those The 3 Guys That Get The LESS Minutes On This Team?!?!?! Hamilton Reminded Me Of J.R. A Little Bit But More Thoughtfull And Can Drive The Ball Alot Better. Probably Took To Many Shots But Doesnt Every Rookie Make Mistakes Like That?? We Really Need To Trade Miller Tho..Not All-Star Weekend More Like RIGHT NOW!!!

    • Alex

      Ya all Andre is doing is hurting the team and using up minutes that need to be given to other players.

  • Alex

    I just wish that Andre Miller some how gets traded or hurt to where Stone can come in and play defense since few others on the team seem like they want to. If this team played defense to it’s full potential with guys like Afflalo, Brewer, Stone, and K2 defending the rim they would be one of the most dangerous teams in the league. When you play better defense you cause more turnovers and missed shots which lead to more fast breaks (which just happens to be what this team is really good at, getting out and running). So why would you not stress defense as a coaching staff and organization?

  • Charlie

    I’m fairly shocked. No, the Nuggets probably should not have won and I accept all of the injury excuses as valid. This isn’t anything near a top team without Gallo and Nene.

    That could have been the worst team effort I’ve ever seen from a Karl-coached squad. Every single thing he did to try to adjust backfired. Are the injuries an excuse for the team to be actually giving up during games?

    My question is what happened at halftime? I thought the Nuggets were playing about as bad as they could and were only down 11, well within striking distance. I didn’t notice the team playing hard at any point in the second half. Can’t say I’ve ever seen such hopelessness since the Iverson era

    • Thomas

      What happened at halftime was that the worst coach in the league made one of his patented “favorite-player/ill-advised-strategy” moves – he put Harrington in and took out Faried. Whatever chance the Nuggets had of coming back rested on the first few minutes of the third quarter. So he made once again the terrible gamble of thinking that we could outscore Dallas if Harrington got hot (and ignoring the fact that his defense is non-existent).

      With mean-reversal statistics coming into play, it is highly unlikely that gambling on Harrington’s shooting will pay off. He was shooting lights out, and now he will be stone cold as opponents have caught notice and he reverts to his shooting average.

      It’s when you are missing key players that you can tell if you have a good coach. Not gonna happen here.

  • http://sportschmucks.com DKaz

    The Nugs looked bad tonight. I understand the back to back coming to bite teams at this point in the year, but Dallas is old and the Nugs are supposed to be deep. This was a little bit of a trap game for the Nugs though, with Dallas receiving their world championship rings before the game, the building had finals energy and all the players who weren’t a part of the championship team last year all played like just seeing the rings pushed them that much more to get one. Coming off a win last night where they let the Steve Nash-less Suns hang around way too long, as brutal as it is to say, I think we saw this one coming…http://sportschmucks.com

    • Dubz

      Brewer just received his ring not the entire team. There wasn’t finals energy in that building, the Nuggets were just pathetic. I’m about to start calling for Karl’s job.

  • Desean

    Can somebody tell bird man when he has the ball outside the paint he is being left open for a reason. His jump shot hurts my eyes.

    I hate watching guys like miller, Fernandez, bird and al. I wanna see the rookies get real minutes. Even though faried is starting he isn’t seeing that much non garbage time.

    Hamilton looks exciting I’d like to see him play while gallo is out especially when he were struggling for scoring with this starting lineup

    Stone is starting to finally assert himself a little more on the offense end which is good but he still goes into his shell if Lawson or miller is also on the floor

    • Andrew

      “His jump shot hurts my eyes.” Ha ha ha ha. Thanks, Desean, for the great laugh!

      • lil rik

        Still not as ugly as K-Mart!

  • DeShon

    Well I have to applaud you Kalen and Jeremy for the great honesty I never see posted. I have been saying for a while that Karl has just lost his fire. He used to be one of the most tempered coaches, always known to demand the best from his players. It seems with his cancer and his son’s, he has just lost that fire he used to have. Health problems do take a lot out of ya, but I think it’s time for a change if we want to be champions any time soon.

    We need a coach that is a leader and can get our players to play to the best of their ability. We have tons of talent. I do feel we should get rid of Miller. He just doesn’t care unless he’s starting. I laughed with my brother earlier about Iverson and how I maybe wish we could bring him back. Then you posted about him.

    I really wonder about how passionate he is to come back. The nuggets should give him a week to evaluate him and see if he would play for a 1-2 vet min. then get rid of Miller we could use the money we would save on miller to resign Ty. Allen Iverson is one of the greats, a driver, finisher, had a nice step back, decent range, a great defender when he wanted to be. He is the perfect model of how Ty should want to model his game around. Except he won’t need to shoot as much. If Iverson would be willing to mentor Ty let him do it. I see nothing but great things to come of it.

  • http://www.swag.com Gerardo

    We will always be a good team with George Karl… But we will never be good enough to win it all…

  • Hi

    Get rid of miller get rid of miller get rid of miller!!!!! Seriously our problem is defense and energy and j stones defense was intense give the kid a chance Andre miller 2 asts 0 points really?!?!?!? What’s the point I know j stone is young and will definitely make mistakes but at least hell bring energy and defense which is a complete polar opposite of what andre miller brings.

  • al68

    en la nba la diferencia la marca la defensa y este año nuestra defensa es patetica, pero lo peor es ver la falta de intensidad de los jovenes, y de los mas veteranos (miller y harrington), y de los entrenadores, sobre todo de GK.
    Necesitamos un lider en la cancha.

  • skithebert

    you guys should keep a running tally of each players “gpa”. I would guess Kosta Koufos would top that list. He doesn’t get enough recognition with everyone’s love affair with Mozgov

    • Kalen

      We are. I’ll hand out mid-term grades here in a week or so once half the season is done. Just glancing at them though, Koufos has been getting real good grades the last few weeks. He got a lot of C’s early on but is getting more A’s and B’s these days. Hopefully he keeps it up.

      • Greco21

        You graded Koufos with many C as an incomplete. Grading him when he actually got PT you were handing A’s.

        I read a ton about him and you have done a superb job pointing out his strengths and weaknesses.

  • Eddie

    I hope this was just one of those stinkers that occur, and not a sign of things to come.

    Al68 is right, they need a leader on the court. Chauncy Billups would never have let this happen.

  • john

    nice popovich reference, ive always thought the same thing. spurs always receive maximum effort and contributions from every player on team. if only karl could..

  • Sam

    I have been saying this since, well, Karl started at coach. But it has only gotten worse this year. He shows ZERO emotion. To me, if a player doesn’t play defense, if a player continues to hoist jump shots and not execute, if a player shows a lack of energy/intensity/etc., BENCH HIM! The rookies showed last night that they wanted to play and play hard. They showed that they had pride and didn’t want to get trounced by 30 points. Now 18 isn’t much better, but it is better. And wanna know who made up that difference? The rookies.

    Al Harrington has become a joke after all of the initial praise he was getting at the beginning of the season. It is my belief that a player coming off of the bench should NEVER lead the team in shots, which he has done 7 times in the last 14 games. His shooting % in those games is 39%. And I know most Nuggets fans were making fun of Melo for that exact same shooting %. This has been absolutely detrimental to the team. If you aren’t making shots, DON’T SHOOT!

    As for Miller, we all made fun of Melo’s lack of defense. I think Miller’s lack of D and rival that of Melo’s. At the beginning of the year, the second team broke the games wide open with their utter dominance of other teams second units. Now, this might be the Nuggets biggest flaw. They put guys in there that can’t play defense, Harrington, Bird, Miller, and couple that with some of the most anemic offense makes the “deepest team in the NBA” look like the weakest bench in the NBA. Miller’s stats in February are down across the board, with exception to TOs. It has seemed like his “the Nuggets won’t win without a superstar” comment that he has tried to torpedo the Nuggets season.

    GK needs to light a fire somewhere. Bench players for ones that want to play and play hard. Bench players for guys that want to play defense. Bench players for guys who want to stay within the scheme. Show emotion. Get a technical foul because you want to win. Don’t just sent on the bench glossy eyed because you “aren’t concerned” about your team. DO SOMETHING!

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

      If you want to get angry, watch Miller drift around on defense. He floats around “near” his man like a ghost and if he suddenly has to close out, he never gets close enough to challenge the shot. Plus you can forget about him rotating, not that his teammates are much better. He has no commitment on the defensive end of the court. If he does not have a great offensive night, he is a major drain on the team.

      • Sam

        That might make me more angry than anything. At least Melo “feigned” interest on D. Miller looks lost and, like you said, floats near his defender, and either gets blown by or crashes to the middle on the driver and can’t close on his guy.

        The Nuggets defense is so flawed it is ridiculous. The bigs cannot defend the perimeter, especially on guys like Nowitzki who start out on the perimeter. They can’t defend the pick and roll because they seemingly don’t know how to hedge and then switch back. The so called “help” defense is atrocious because they can’t the help side defender crashes but can’t close out. They are overall lazy when it comes to swing passes by the other team. There is NO discipline. I say we start Mozgov, AAA, Stone, Brewer, and Gallo when he gets back, just to show that the Nuggets can be a good defensive team with the right personnel.

      • NuggLove

        Yes! I saw that a gazillion times already. No wonder the Nuggets used to edge the Blazers because Miller sags off Billups, his matchup. Now with the Nuggets, I saw him sag off Granger in Indy who has on fire. Basketball IQ doesn’t apply on just offense, it should also be on defense. When will the stubborn old man named George Karl will ever realize that? When will he ever give “normal” chances to Stone?When will he ever know that Stone is a true point guard?

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

    One thing we have not discussed yet is the defense that Shawn Marion played on Lawson. Marion has locked down quick point guards before thanks to his length and quickness. Until Lawson is able to consistently hit an 18 footer off the dribble, forcing a defender like Marion to play up closer to him, he will be able to be defended the way Marion covered him.

    Plus as Kalen mentioned, the Mavs trapped him aggressively on pick and rolls.

    Had Gallinari been healthy, it might not have worked because Vince Carter would have had to cover Gallo instead of Brewer or Afflalo.

    • Sam

      Gallo’s loss has apparently become GIGANTIC in terms of how this offense flows. In the half-court, he seemingly is the only one that can’t create his own shot, or get to the line and MAKE FREE THROWS and force defenders to not be nearly as aggressive. I think this, in turn, allows Gallo to make more plays for his teammates. Lawson doesn’t have the size to muscle past guys, so when Gallo opens up the floor, he has more room to work.

      As for the “pick and rolls”, I think you addressed this after the Nuggets last loss. The Nuggets have no pick and roll. Its more of a “act like you are going to pick but not touch the defender and roll to the basket even though your defender is still on you because you didn’t force him to hedge”. The lack of toughness by the Nuggets bigs, beyond Faried, is ridiculous, both on the offensive and defensive end.

      • Sam

        That was supposed to be “can create his own shot”*

  • ParkHillNative

    Appreciate the no-holds-barred write-ups from Kalen and Jeremy.

    Kind of depressing to compare Karl’s coaching to Popovich’s, and then also say that Karl has as much job security as Pop. That’s a damn bitter pill to swallow. I’m convinced that this team will never accomplish anything beyond mediocrity as long as Karl is the coach, but yeah, I’m afraid we’re stuck with him for at least two more years after this.

  • Sam

    Also, I think the example of Popovich sitting Duncan and Parker and keeping them on the bench at the end of the game into OT against the Mavs is a perfect example of how Pop and GK are different. GK seemingly picks his favorites every year and plays them despite how they are playing overall or how they are hurting the team. This year, it seems to be Miller, Rudy, and Harrington. Let the players that will give it night in and night out a chance to play. At the very least, they can’t do any worse than those players are. Give the team a chance to win GK.

    O, and what is the deal with playing Bird a lot due to one game? He has shown that he is not the Birdman of three and two years ago. His inconsistency can both help and hurt the team. I know right now that cannot be helped to injuries. Give his minutes to Faried. Develop Faried in to the monster that we all know he can be. He has shown flashes, give him consistent minutes.

  • Andrew

    I’ll repeat what I said previously. Masai should can Karl and hire Popovich’s longtime assistant. Karl didn’t cause this loss, but he did cause it to be horrific and he is endangering his players.

    Because of the starters being out, and this being the back-to-back out of town, this was a no hoper. Ty Law, especially, looked completely dead. In games like this, why doesn’t Karl go ahead and just start Stone, JHam and Faried and let them get some serious NBA play time?! The Nuggets were not going to win this game anyway, so let these guys take the reigns and see what they can do! The first time Karl does it, they might look bad, but the second, third, fourth, fifth times? They will start to ball. Then, the Nuggets would have a truly formidable team going into the playoffs. Instead, Karl will have a bunch of burned out starters and backups with no experience.

  • Andrew

    Seriously. The Nuggets have 8 more back-to-backs this year, and they will not have ANY in the playoffs. What is Karl trying to prove by playing his starters big minutes back-to-back? Look, I know he’s an NBA coach and I’m not…but that’s just experience he has on me and everyone else on this blog. It’s clearly not wisdom. As my Dad used to say, there is nothing wrong with being old…as long as you don’t become stubborn. Then, you are just a stubborn, old man.

    I Kalen, Charlie and Jeremy, I propose you start grading the coach after these games, as well!

    • ParkHillNative

      Good idea about giving a grade to Karl in the Rapid Reactions, I second that motion.

      • Kalen

        That’s one of the suggestions TrueHoop has thrown out to the guy who created it. Hopefully that gets in there soon.

        • Aaron

          Maybe A Grade For The Team Too. Like Tonight, They Would Have Gotten An F For Their Effort, Ball Hogging, Lack Of Ball Movement, Defensively Intencity, And Emotion, All That Linda Stuff Because I Didn’t See Much Better Then An “F” On Any Of Those Things..Just An idea.

          • Aaron


          • Andrew

            This game was def an F.

  • Ricardo

    There is a couple things to note about some nuggets players in this game:

    Andre Miller has been playing terrible since the nuggets ended their five-game winning streak on the road. I don’t think Miller needs to be traded, but I think they should give Stone more playing time and reduce Miller’s because he’s playing better defensively than Miller right now.

    Faried has been playing better offensively in the last few games, but if he wants to be given more playing time, he needs to be more aggressive on the boards and play better defensively and reduce the number of turnovers and fouls.

    Koufos always plays very well when given enough playing time. He is the only player that always plays with passion, even if the team is getting blown-out in games, like the one in Portland and in Dallas yesterday. Koufos should definitely be the nuggets’ starting center of the future if he keeps playing the way he’s playing right now.

  • Henry aka LWH and formerly KFH

    This is funny: “My question is: When is it ever going to be Karl’s fault?” etc. Kalen, we pretty much have Karl’s head on a pole over at Denver Stiffs. I doubt you’re unaware that scads of Nuggets fans are up in arms over, well, you detail the substantive complaints in near ad nauseum fashion in your post above.

    Do you maybe mean, “When will the pundits, from local to national, realize and state plainly that George Karl is not providing his squad with the kind of leadership that can win in the NBA?”

    • Kalen

      Maybe, yeah. I guess I do get tired of the national media praising Karl and the Post NEVER mentioning his faults. But also people in and around Denver, mostly the community, is so enthralled with his life story and his battles with cancer that it’s almost as if he’s off limits. It’s just a tough situation. Looking at it from a far, it appears Masai has made a bad move in his mostly brilliant tenure and that was giving into Karl’s demands for a new contract last year before we even saw what was to happen in the playoffs.

      • Andrew

        Ha ha. Henry and Kalen, I just read your two comments, earlier in the day I actually went onto the Denver Post and sent an email to Benjamin Hochman, posing a question for his mailbag.

        It started with me asking him/daring him to ask Karl a tough question and essentially asked why Karl doesn’t save his starters at least on the second of back-to-backs and give the young kids quality playing time.

        I think all of the people here on the RBMC and over at Denver Stiffs should inundate the Post writers with questions and comments about why they treat Karl with kid gloves and never mention his flawed lineups, PT and schemes that don’t work against good defensive teams in the payoffs.

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

          Is George Karl as good as Gregg Popovich? Of course not. But, Poppovich has coached a team with gritty hard working guys that have grown under the tutelage of guys like David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Avery Johhnson etc..

          Karl, has led a team with me-first guys to the playoffs every year he has been here. Sure, mostly first round exits, but it is hard to say that with the way the West has been loaded, that any team was really good enough to make it out of the first round.

          For the Mavericks game, it was essentially a throw away game. Starting Koufos, Faried, and Brewer is not going to lead to much offense. None of those guys scary any defense, and the Mavs essentially focused on shutting down Lawson and Afflalo, which they really succeeded at.

          I think Mozgov’s offensive game is much more polished than Koufos, and in a game like this we really could have used some sort of post presence. Hopefully, he’ll be back soon.

          • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

            Karl has said that this season for the first time he has a roster with players that share the same team first mindset as Pop has had all these years. However, Karl has not changed his coaching style one bit to reflect that.

            • Andrew


  • Andrew

    *playoffs…although that might be a better name for way games go in the post season sometimes with the refs.

  • GZ

    The Nuggets clearly struggled to knock down shots against Dallas’s zone defense, and when they struggle offensively, it seems to sap their resolve on the defensive end. What absolutely killed the nuggets tonight was misdeed free throws. They were able to get to the line a decent number of times, but barely made half of their attempts! Those shots are key because they keep the game close and typically lead to better shooting elsewhere on the floor as guys get into a rhythm.

  • dynamo.joe
    • BombNugg

      ..will be be painful to see JR in a Knicks jersey should it be – better than in LA competing in the west though, love that guy.

    • Ricardo

      I’m glad Chandler is coming back early, I just hope the nuggets could sign him to a long-term contract so he wouldn’t become a unrestricted free agent in the summer.

      • eddi0

        Agreed Ricardo, I think for the Nugs best interest we need to sign him to a long(ish) term contract. That way we don’t lose him and get nothing. Worst case we trade him after we sign him in the offseason for areas of more need (rebounding/perimeter on-ball defense). Glad he’s coming back sooner than later, Gallo being out really hurts us.

  • http://espn Gary

    There is no way in hell this team wins the next two on the road the way its xompiled right now. Memphis & OKC will blow them out, not solely based on talent, but more so on coaching, execution, smarts and heart. Outside of the bottom 5 in the league, they can’t match anyone right now. Every team is going through injuries, but this is pathetic. GK can’t coach a winner and the vets just don’t have it. Gallo, Moz & Kouf are the only vets with even an ounce of pride and two of them are out right now. Lawson is immensely talented and I had high hoped from him, but am afraid he might have a ceiling mentally and he’s probably hit it. He’s not the type, based on his guts and aptitude to be a top 5-7 PG in the game…and he can’t do it every night either. AAA is just plain limited.
    There’s absolutely nothing to lose in the next two games on the road….just throw the kids in, roll the dice and go with the flow…..no way in hell they win anyway.

  • al68

    nuestro declive comenzo en memphis, ojala acabe hoy donde empezo.
    No es una cuestion tanto de jugadores como de actitud, si la cambiamos puede que no ganemos el domingo pero hoy si deberiamos de ganar.Despierta Miller.

    go nuggets.

  • NuggLove

    Andre should be traded, please!!!!!! No wonder the Nuggets used to edge the Blazers because Miller sags off Billups, his matchup. Now with the Nuggets, I saw him sag off Granger in Indy who has on fire. Basketball IQ doesn’t apply on just offense, it should also be on defense. When will the stubborn old man named George Karl will ever realize that? When will he ever give “normal” chances to Stone?When will he ever know that Stone is a true point guard? Not only this Karl’s fault but also Miller’s. We need some defense right now but Miller doesn’t want to. It’s Julyan Stone who is supposed to deserve that backup role. Having a silky smooth court vision while PLAYING AS A THIRD PG on the team is a big slap in the face for him and us fans. Can I finally say that Ujiri and Kroenke are stubborn guys in the frontoffice, too!?!?!? It’s their job to remove “unfits” and get the great pieces, including the coach.