|Al Harrington, PF 25 MIN | 0-3 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -12
Four points in 25 minutes? That’s not the Big Al we’ve come to know this season. There’s no doubt that at this point, Al is struggling mightily to be effective while on the floor.
|Corey Brewer, SF 32 MIN | 10-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 26 PTS | +2
Brewer was two points shy of a career high in points but did set a career high in three-point baskets made with five. It was his deadly behind-the-arc shooting that got the Nuggets back in the game and ultimately gave them a chance to win. Brewer has been and continues to be one of the more reliable players on the Nuggets roster, especially when it matters most.
|Kosta Koufos, C 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -10
No stats and three missed shots in six minutes isn’t the definition of productivity. With Mozgov back and Bird productive with rest the center position is going to be filled by whoever is producing. Koufos was outproduced by Mozgov and Birdman.
|Arron Afflalo, SG 24 MIN | 2-7 FG | 3-5 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | -21
Afflao hit a big 3-pointer but was once again fairly quite in his time given. After scoring 20 points in three straight games, Afflalo has come back down to Earth. Plus his defense continues to be sub par.
|Ty Lawson, PG 38 MIN | 8-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 18 PTS | -8
A nice, well-rounded game by Lawson overall. These are the types of outings we need to see on a more consistent basis from the young point guard.
|Andre Miller, PG 30 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 13 PTS | +11
Miller finally scored in the double digits for the first time since Feb. 8 while his nine assists were the most he’s tallied since Jan. 29. Miller hit some big shots down the stretch, although it should be noted that they were 3-pointers which is certainly not his specialty.
|Chris Andersen, C 24 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | +5
Birdman put up a decent stat line all things considered. Getting more than five rebounds must be considered a somewhat successful night for the “Bird.” Throw in some solid defense on Gasol and Birdman was Denver’s best bet at center on this night.
|Rudy Fernandez, SG 21 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +17
Only six points in 21 minutes while missing all three of his three-point attempts doesn’t look good in the box score. Rudy did play some solid defense in the fourth quarter though and certainly helped the cause.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 16 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3
Mozgov finally returned and while he failed to do much offensively, his four rebounds and one blocked shot helped the Nuggets on the other end of the floor where his services are needed most. He looked like he tweaked his ankle. Let’s hope it is nothing serious.
|Kenneth Faried, F 25 MIN | 9-15 FG | 0-1 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 18 PTS | +14
If not for the botched block out at the end of the game, Faried would have turned in a phenomenal performance all around. It’s amazing how much better he is offensively than I had originally thought, and while this is refreshing it’s tough to overlook the small things Faried still needs to improve on. Boxing out, setting firm screens and getting better position everywhere on the court are still areas where Faried looks lost. This game will likely be a wake up call in more ways than one for the “Manimal.”
Five Things We Saw (by Jeremy and Kalen)
- Just a Heartbreaking Loss: This was exactly the kind of game we were looking for from the depleted Nuggets. Despite getting into a deep hole, the team showed heart and pride. It could have easily turned into another embarrassing rout. However, the team dug in on both ends. Brewer had the best half of basketball of his life and Faried was all over the place on both ends of the court. Despite the loss, the Nuggets have proven to themselves that they can be competitive, play good defense and solid offense with the players who are currently available. Still, to see that ball go through the hoop just before the red lights came on was the most devastated I have been since last season’s playoffs.
- Baffling: How does the all time leading rebounder in college basketball not box out on the most important play of the game? I suspect Faried was thinking the same thing I was when Rudy Gay’s shot was in the air, “If that shot misses, Denver wins.” When it missed for a split second I thought the game was over until I realized the ball was tipped in just prior to the end of the game. If you want a silver lining, you can bet that Faried is not going to get caught watching the ball in that situation ever again.
- Miller Must Read RMC: After lambasting Andre Miller for his sad defense after the loss in Dallas, Miller played what was certainly his best defensive game of the season. In the fourth quarter he was even fighting over screens and directing traffic. Now, hopefully it will not be the last time Miller puts forth that kind of effort without the ball in his hands.
- Kudos to Karl: Despite the fact Faried was playing a great game and Harrington continued to provide nothing of substance I was just waiting for Karl to sub the “trusted” Harrington in for Faried to close out the game. Fortunately, Karl did the right thing, as obvious as it was, and kept Faried in the game. However, part of me thinks Harrington would have made sure Cunningham did not get to the ball to win the game in the end.
- Slim Slow Slider (from Kalen): Though the Nuggets nearly won this game, the bottom line is that a loss is still a loss, and right now the Nuggets are accumulating a lot of these. If the Nuggets lose to Oklahoma City on Sunday is will be their 10th loss in the last 13 games. While injuries have played a large part in this downfall, there’s still no excuse to play this poorly with the amount of talent the Nuggets have on its roster. If not for Corey Brewer’s surprising long-range shooting, the Nuggets could easily be looking at back-to-back embarrassing losses where their opponents lead at one time grew larger than 20 points. As of now, it appears there is a fundamental problem with the way this team is mentally approaching basketball games.
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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.