Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 103 Minnesota Timberwolves 101 (OT)

Minnesota Timberwolves 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
103 Denver Nuggets
Corey Brewer, SF 43 MIN | 4-15 FG | 4-6 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -3
Brew logged huge minutes in this one and kept himself useful by shooting less. He hasn’t found his touch from outside in the past two games but has been much more reliable on the defensive end. Zero turnovers is a positive development and he continues to do a good job using his length to disrupt the passing lanes.
Kenneth Faried, F 36 MIN | 4-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +6
Faried had the rebounding outburst many have long been expecting. He tallied 14 total boards and extended crucial possessions late in the game. The Manimal finally shined in big time minutes and made several game saving plays, most notably tying up Love for a jump ball in the closing seconds. Faired will put double doubles reliably when he becomes a part of the regular rotation.
Timofey Mozgov, C 11 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -17
Mozgov had a forgettable game. His conditioning was an issue last night against the Thunder and he was laboring up and down the court from the opening tip. He didn’t really fight for position much and despite being on the wrong end of some terrible passes by Miller 4 turnovers in 11 minutes just can’t be afforded.
Arron Afflalo, SG 44 MIN | 6-18 FG | 8-10 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | +3
Afflalo was big, especially after he rolled an ankle and stayed in the game to battle through. The Nuggets are reliant on him to pour in points during this difficult stretch and he seems to be embracing the added responsibility. Arron is carrying the largest load in terms of everything he is asked to provide on a nightly basis. His shot selection is improving as is his willingness to step up in important moments.
Ty Lawson, PG 17 MIN | 5-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +2
Lawson was well on his way to turning around a a horrible start when he went down with another left ankle sprain in the second quarter. Ty did finish the half but was held out of the game following halftime. While he’s still struggling to execute the most basic of concepts on offense, Ty had the pace going in the Nuggets favor early. His loss will be costly if he’s out for the upcoming back-to-back and it was unfortunate to see him go down right as he started to get himself going.
Al Harrington, PF 40 MIN | 14-29 FG | 0-5 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 31 PTS | +17
I’ll give Harrington credit, he took 29 shots en route to a season high 31 points and were it not for his early offense Denver might not have mustered enough energy to erase their big deficit. He was not badly exposed defensively save for an awful mistake against Kevin Love with the Nuggets up four and in position to close with 14 seconds remaining in the game. Not only did Harrington inexplicably foul but he gave Love a great look at the rim and was fortunate to avoid the and-one. Harrington also missed all of his free throws including two that could have prevented overtime, but Denver probably doesn’t even get there without his help.
Andre Miller, PG 29 MIN | 0-8 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 12 AST | 5 PTS | +15
Miller had a perplexing game, carelessly turning the ball over early and getting himself ejected on a routine bad call after Lawson had already been lost with an ankle injury. He just was not there when the Nuggets needed him and didn’t have an excuse to get thrown out when he did (though it was a bad call and I understand why he was upset). Andre Miller is smarter than that and the Nuggets need better leadership out of him along with a bit more consistency.
Kosta Koufos, C 19 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2
I expected Koufos to log big minutes after Karl denied him well-deserved playing time in OKC. It didn’t happen thanks to breakout performances by Faried and Harrington, but Koufos still received a decent chunk of backup minutes and performed admirably. His production did take a serious hit and it’s hard to judge Koufos performance as I barely remember seeing him do anything in his limited time on the floor.
Julyan Stone, G 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -3
Stone saw some really unexpected minutes as it initially seemed like Hamilton would be the beneficiary of Ty Lawson going down at halftime. Stone ultimately had to step in after Miller was ejected and his defense changed the game. Julyan still struggled pushing the ball in transition and controlling his dribble, but he made perhaps the most important play of the game by bothering Ridnour’s layup attempt just enough to prevent disaster. Stone’s versatility was also on display as he did a great job chasing Rubio around and switching onto Beasley a couple of times.
Jordan Hamilton, G 9 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -8
He saw insignificant minutes, but they were not all that encouraging. Hamilton routinely lost his man on defense and was caught ball watching more often that you’d like. It’s too early to judge where Jordan might fit in but his defense on small forwards isn’t yet up to par and his overall awareness needs to improve. One thing I do love about Hamilton through is that he gets his shot off in a hurry unlike Afflalo for instance, who’s shooting motion is just painfully slow and drawn out.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Manimal to the rescue: Although Harrington deserves some credit for pumping out points when no one else could, Faried was the true savior of this game. I did not know what to expect seeing him go up against Kevin Love and he did a solid job taking him out of the game for the most part. Faried routinely outworked him and a slew of other Timberwolves underneath the basket. As I’ve said before, Faried is a big part of the Nuggets future but he’s ready to help the Nuggets win games right now. Faried will never be a great scorer and he will benefit from the Nuggets developing a more cohesive offense. His raw offensive talent simply isn’t a good enough excuse to keep him out of the rotation any longer.
  2. Tired Legs: This game was ugly. Neither team looked ready to play at the start of the game and both went through extended lulls of poor execution plagued by fatigue. The overtime period featured two tired out lineups barely capable of running a pick and roll. In the end it may have been the young legs of Faried and Stone that allowed the Nuggets to prevail.
  3. Find a way: It was not pretty, but Denver needed a win so badly it’s hard to fault anything about their performance After dropping three straight they met with Minnesota who had won three in a row. These teams looked to be headed in opposite directions and it would not have been surprising to see Lawson go down and the Nuggets give into their woes yet again. They did a great job willing themselves to win a game they honestly had to have considering how tough the next five games on the schedule are.
  4. Denver needs to play smarter: The Nuggets didn’t do anything right in their quest to close out the game in overtime. Harrington commits a bad foul with the Nuggets up four and the clock in their favor. Stone throws the ball away on a botched inbounds play at halfcourt where none of his teammates are in position to get back. Brewer opts to make a free throw with 0.5 seconds left giving the Timberwolves a chance to shoot. The Nuggets were once again burned by a defensive breakdown late that allowed Ridnour to get an uncontested shot attempt at the rim. What is most concerning is the fact I cannot remember a single instance this season in which the Nuggets created a quality shot at the end of a game. We need to see better execution in general but especially after timeouts in which the Nuggets are one play away from winning.
  5. Injury bug bites again: Although it didn’t seem serious, Lawson strained the same ankle that kept him out of a few games two weeks ago. Arron Afflalo also suffered a scare as he rolled an ankle but was able to finish the game. The Nuggets have two more games before the all star break where they get an entire week off and should be able to get healthy. It might be prudent to take the cautious approach and keep hurting players out of the next two games rather than risk this situation getting any worse.
The following two tabs change content below.

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.
  • Greg

    Dre played well before the ejection. Gotta give lots of credit to all 3 rooks and al for stepping up when it was needed most.

    • steve

      i wouldnt say well. assists were nice yes, but 0-8 FG and 4 TO’s, some very ugly doesnt make for a good night.

    • LEEDS

      Also, you cannot get kick out of the game when you know your starting PG is injured

  • Jeff

    Faried was perfect. Hamilton was nice. Stone played good D. It’s nice seeing 3 good rookies, specially since Ty Lawson is the only relevant rookie we’ve had in the past few years (now that Gary Forbes is a distant memory).

    • Ernie

      Yes, it feels like fan appreciation night everytime the rookies play.

  • Sally Porter

    I wish for Chris Anderson a team where the coach will appreciate him and I will be following him there.

    • Ernie

      Just make sure the other team gives us a high pick and a fan of equal value.

      • Dan


        • a_roth

          Heck, I’d even take a low pick!

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

      Bird is appreciated, Karl has come to the realization that Bird needs regular rest to be effective. Him sitting out the game last night was not a slight, it was a choice to help him play as well as possible when he is called upon.

      • Andrew

        Bingo. Bird just cannot lay back-to-backs.

    • monkeyman

      So you want him to play on a team that never plays another team that head-fakes?

  • Cider

    Too busy to watch the game, but I’m glad that they came back from the awful first quarter and then made their free throws minus one in the last minute when they were needed.

  • Ernie

    This team is 0-8 in trying to make the last shot of the game when it counts. You can’t have a starless team and then run nothing but isolations for the final play. How about running an offense, using the whole team? Beyond dumb, it plays right into our weakness.

    I’m happy for the win, for Faried frustrating the tar out of Love, for the fight that was missing last week. But I still don’t understand how GK plays 2nd team guys for 18 straight minutes in the 4th qtr (and then overtime) and doesn’t see why they are too tired to finish.

    • Sam

      ERRONEOUS! That would require GK to coach. And, well, that is IMPOSSIBLE

    • Jon

      Karl played the second team guys because there was no one else to play. Ty was in the locker room, andre got ejected, rudy was hurt, Gallo was hurt, Nene was hurt. In the 4th quarter the bench consisted of: Chris Andersen, Kosta, Moz, J-Ham, and… Wilson Chandler in Kroenke’s box? This wasn’t a GK head-shaker lineup, but rather the only options left to put on the floor.

      • Ernie

        In the 2Q GK played K2 and Hamilton for a few minutes and the team had a great quarter. If he had done that in first part of the 4Q then Harrington and AAA would not have had to play from 6 minutes left in the 3Q until the end of overtime.

  • jc

    pretty good game considering the nuggets 3rd stringers beat a pretty good wolves team and the referees

    • LEEDS

      glad we got the win, but who knows what would have happen if Ridnour made that easy layup…would have tied it up with 17 secs

  • Alex

    I think Faried might have out Kevin Loved Kevin Love. There were so many second chances that he caused and got to love the defense in the end. Stone played pretty well for just being thrown into a close game like that.

  • Jim

    Brewer, jstone, aaa, albuckets, and manimal play the last 8 mins of the 4th and all of ot and the nuggets win? Ok really wtf. Happy about faried. Just really confused otherwise.

  • al68

    Hemos ganado porque minnesota ha querido este equipo no sabe jugar. Como 2 jugadores en una jugada de saque de fondo pueden pasar solo dedbajo canasta, como no somos capaces de pasar en un saque de banda.Como el jugador más veterano sabiendo que Lawson esta lesionado que hemos perdido 2 partidos seguidos se autoexpulsa con 2 tecnicas. Este equipo esta muy mal sobre todo en la posicion ofensiva no tenemos un tiro claro no damos asistencias para canastas fáciles. Lo único bueno la defensa de Stone y la agrasividad de Faried.

    Con este equipo solo ganaremos si defendemos mucho más.

    Se echa de menos mucho la presencia defensiva y en la pintura de Nene y como nos desatasca Gallo con sus FT y los triples de Rudy.

    Esperemos que con la llegada de Chandler Nene y Gallo descansados esto cambie.

    Por lo menos hemos ganado (o nos ha dejado Ninnesota), porque creo que hasta despues del all star no vamos ha volver a ganar.

    Lo siento pero no hablo inglés por eso escribo en español.

    Go nuggets.

    • Kalen

      Es no problema. Estoy aprendiendo Espanol asi que es divertido leer que escribes a veces. :)

    • a_roth

      Estoy de acuerdo. Este equipo echa de menos al Nene. Aunque no haya sido la primera opcion ofensiva esta temporada, Koufos, Andersen, y Mozgov no requeren la misma atencion de la oposicion. Nene crea mas espacio para los PG/SG.

      Si Denver puede mantener buena salud despues del fil de semana ‘all-star,’ volveran al exito que difrutaron en enero.

      Let’s get Nene & Gallo back to put some more pressure on opposing defenses!

  • Matt

    Big win for the Nuggets. I was glad to see GK stick with guys that were playing hard. There was almost no effort given by anyone on the floor in the 1st quarter, especially from Mozgov. His play was brutal tonight. Too much standing and just a lazy effort on the boards. The youngsters stepped up big time, but there is just no clutch gene on this team. We need to find a way to hit shots when we need them. Between Aflallo missing the buzzer beater, Harrington and Brewer both missing huge free throws, and the entire team failing to make a shot in the first 3 minutes of overtime, there is no positive way to look at the clutch moments in this game. It’s a good win for the Nuggets but we need to find a way to consistently win the close games. Hopefully Gallo is the guy we can count on in those high pressure situations.

  • Landry

    I think Karl threw out his white board along with his Thuggets.

  • allAround

    The rotaions of our C and F is a joke . For me it seems so strange they way that K2 is used. I mean you see Faried gets 36 minutes ( and he was deserving those minutes) , on the other hand you see ‘Koufos the last two months playing so productively and never takes such a PT. The same for birdman.

    Is it something wrong going with Karl and he is not trusting K2 at all? Is Karl so in love with Mozgov and cannot see anything after him. Anyway ,I wish K2 and birdman to go to a different team to get finally some consistent play time, this is a joke for them. Other than that waiting for Galo and Nene.

    • Sam

      I disagree with the solely on the basis that you think K2 should go to a different team to get minutes. He is the FUTURE back up center, as Bird is still here. However, there are rumors swirling that Bird is on the trading block, which should free up consistent minutes for K2. The other snag in all of this, however, is GK’s tendency to go very small and use Nene at center and Harrington at forward, or even Harrington at center at points. This is the most perplexing part of GK. I don’t know if he realized this, but when the Nuggets were playing well against OKC, it was when they were playing with two “centers”. GK needs to get out of this mentality of playing 2 PG, 3 G lineups. I hope Faried’s emergence makes him think about playing big most of the time, especially considering that the Nuggets bigs are the most athletic in the league and can run.

      • Jason

        I agree, but unfortunately Karl loves small ball. He is obsessed with having play makers out there. It is probably the former guard in him. But he fails to realize how it makes it worse on defense and rebounding, then harps that we need to be better in those areas.

        I agree small ball can be very effective, in stretches. But they need to be limited stretches, not the entire 4th quarter of games, which is what happens. Typically we have Nene and Harrington out there as our bigs, both undersized for those positions and not great rebounders.

        It is a constant frustration with Karl, but it won’t go away. He will always stick with it. Just wait till he has Gallo back and Chandler signs. Then our crunch time might be Nene, Gallo, Chandler, Miller, and Ty or Nene, Gallo, AAA, Ty, and Miller.

        In reality, and I hate to say it as I think Dre could be a great backup PG to finish his career here, but with Karl as coach, we need to rid ourselves of Miller. Then Karl would be forced to go to a more traditional one PG lineup, which then cascades on down the rotation.

      • LEEDS

        I don’t think Karl loves Mozzy. Mosgov only gets thetoken 6-8 minutes at the start of a game and then maybe the same in the second half.. the rest of the way Karl goes small ball for the most part which is not how this team is built. Will be interesting to see how Gallo and Chandler fit into the rotation

  • al68

    Fijaros en la jugada ultima del partido de OKC, un corte y un bloqueo y Durant se queda solo, ayer la misma jugada con Ridnour y el mismo defensor Afflalo,creo que necesitamos mejores PG y SG. Afflalo y Lawson pueden ser buenos reservas de un equipo que juegue finales pero si son titulares lo tendremos muy dificil aunque vuelvan Chandler Nene y Gallo.

  • http://espn Gary

    Win is a win, but if you gonna struggle so much to beat the TWolves @ home, I don’t see anything special in your near future. Said it before, will say it again: the way the team is compiled and run right now under GK, there’s no joy in the play-offs. The vets on this team including Nene & AAA cannot lift their games anymore…they are who they are and its not even close to championship level. Miller & Bird should have left yesterday and Lawson’s mental aptitude and toughness is questionable. Throw the youngsters in there for max. minutes and find out what you got. Than trade, FA, draft more younger, athletic talent and build from there. The way its right now, this team will perenially be in limbo..good enough to get to the tourny., but get blown out first round. Of course GK has to depart first for anything good to happen….he’s got too much of a legacy to protect to go in any other direction at this stage.

    • Ernie

      Be a little fair, they were without 5 rotation players and still won. Take 5 rotation guys out of any team, including the leading scorer, rebounder and assist guys and they will be lucky to beat the T-Wolves at home.

  • eddi0

    This time with injuries could be a blessing…gives times to our rooks who looked pretty good last night. We are not going to win a championship this year guys, face it, so let’s develop our rooks and bench players and hopefully make a few upgrades at key positions (Miller’s gotta go, we need more physical rebounding). If we make the playoffs with all the injuries we’ve had this year that should be a victory…shows a lot of perseverance. As Kronks and Masai have already said, we are 1 to 2 players away from doing some serious damage in the league. With Chandler likely signing in the next week or so we have help on the way so I think we all need to chill and realize this is a journey not a destination.

  • Dan

    The referees were horrid the fourth quarter, they handed the game to the Nuggets. I’m sick and tired of every timberwolves game having bad referees. There was a string of 2 possessions in the fourth quarter where the referees missed 3 calls for the timberwolves and called one against the wolves that was complete bullshit. 4 missed calls in 2 possessions? Seriously those referees should be fired. Also, the wolves should’ve had final shot, that was a pushoff by afflalo with 17 seconds left on Rubio. Then again… We didn’t deserve to win with Ridnour missing that layup and Martel going full retard at the end. If Pek hadn’t gotten injured the game would’ve been a different story, nobody on the Nuggets could match up with him at all.

    • Ernie

      Wrong board to try to whine about this, especially where Ridnour got a foul call where he just tripped and fell down and Andre Miller got a foul called on him for dribbling.

      And given the Nugs were missing 5 rotation players are you really complaining about one guy going down. Please move along.

      • Dan

        Ernie… Did you watch the game? The Timberwolves may have gotten 2 calls, but the bad calls that actually mattered (late in the game) were all in the Nuggets favor. And Andre Miller call… That was a borderline call. Watch the replay, he obviously turned and leaned into Webster. Also, even if he disagrees with the foul, he made the mistake of arguing and getting thrown out because of frustration of being 0-8 from the field. It wasn’t even a shooting foul so who cares, there were tons of shooting fouls that were missed for the timberwolves. Anyway, you can’t compare any of those fouls to the one with 17 seconds left, that should’ve given the Timberwolves last shot and it was an obvious foul. The bad calls that mattered were almost all in favor of the Nuggets, as they were late in the game.
        The Wolves were missing Darko already so losing Pek was big. Anyway, all the players you guys were missing the wolves match up well with, who do you have that can match up with Pek? Nobody gets close. He’s been a monster lately, putting up numbers on Chandler and Howard is pretty impressive. He has been the best center in the league since he’s been starting.

        • Dan

          sorry I meant other than Howard he has been the best. Pek is the strongest player in the league.

        • Ernie

          Yes I watched the game. Plenty of questionable calls both ways, we really don’t want to hear your slanted view of it. And do you realize you are complaining about missing Darko? Darko? The definition of a bust?!

          As for Pek, the Nugs were missing its leading scorer (Gallo), leading rebounder (Nene who matches up fine with Pek, thanks), best player (Lawson for 2H), and two other rotation guys. And still won. Please move along.

          • Dan

            Darko may be a bust but he’s better than having to play K-Love at center. Pek beasted Chandler and had a good game agaist Howard, he would roll over Nene. You underestimate Pek. And again, like I said, we match up well against you guys compared to us. Beasley or Williams could defend Gallo undoubtedly better than Nene could guard Pek. The Timberwolves weren’t using a starting lineup either, once Pek was out K-love played center the whole game. Our team has very little chemistry as well as we’ve had to mix and match lineups all year long. The referees won you guys the game.
            Btw Pek- 6’11” 290 lbs, Nene 6’11” 250 lbs. Manhandled.

            • Kevin

              to rephrase for ernie, you’re barking up the wrong tree. as much as pek has improved, pek does not equal gallo+nene+1/2 ty+ rudy fernandez. reffing sucked both ways, not just for the wolves. you probably wont get any sympathy here for it

              • Ernie

                Thanks Kevin. Sorry if I lost my cool a bit.

            • Ernie

              You are embarassing yourself. Making up who could match up with who based on nothing. I guess Shaq today at 7’1″ 450 lbs would totally dominate Pek based on your analysis. Apparently speed, quickness and skill don’t matter. Pek was 3-10 from the field before he left, hardly dominant. And I guess Minnesota is the only team to have to mix and match lineups, no other team has had injuries. Give me a freaking break.

              Just leave. No one wants to hear whining about refs or injuries, especially for a losing record Minnesota team playing against our 3rd string PG the entire 4Q.

        • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

          Dan, I will clue you in on how we deal with the officiating of games on RMC.

          We do not waste our time discussing it.

          The only time officiating has been a worthwhile topic of conversation in the two plus years RMC has existed was when a missed goal tending call potentially altered the course of the Thunder/Nuggets first round series last season.

          Complaining about the refs is akin to saying if the court was wider we would have won, or if the rim was lower we would have won. Players decide the outcome of games. I realize you are just saying it was one factor, but it is not a factor worth commenting on short of something truly egregious taking place. Again, there was nothing egregious with the officiating last night.

          As far as your discussion of how the Wolves match up with Gallinari, I am all for that and appreciate your contributions.

          • Ernie

            Also thanks to Jeremy. And again sorry if I was too harsh.

    • bosc0

      Big Al makes his “free” throws and this conversation is null and void.

  • Dan

    Let me repeat myself. We have people who match up. Williams, Webster, and Beasley could guard Gallo, and they’re all good defenders. Pek on Nene. Rubio on Ty, Wesley Johnson on Rudy, if we’re worried about his offense but we shouldn’t be.
    The timberwolves have just had rotten luck in reffing the whole year back to the Heat game… The thing is no bad calls for you guys can compare to the foul that should’ve gotten us last shot and that was an obvious foul. I mentioned earlier, there was a string of just 2 possessions where 3 shooting fouls were missed that would’ve helped the wolves and a bad call was made on the other end leading to 2 points for you guys. I can’t think of any bad calls other than Ridnour tripping and the Miller call was questionable, watching the replay looks like he turned into Webster, he was all too ready for the contact to have it not been on purpose.
    Like I said before, we didn’t deserve to win anyway with Ridnour missing that easy layup and Webster’s mental mistake at the end, but it is extremely frustrating that the referees have been hurting us. You can’t argue that we should’ve had last shot. That was a pushoff.

    • Ernie

      You know, when you don’t have anything to offer you really don’t need to repeat yourself. Why not go to a Timberwolf site. I’m sure they would love to hear a detailed analysis whining about calls all year. Here are three I have found:


    • Jeff

      There’s no way the officiating favored Minnesota in that basketball game. Absolutely no way.

      • Jeff

        Excuse me, there’s no way the officiating favored DENVER. Typo.

  • FinazzAus

    I think faired has done enough to find Regaular minutes even once we are injury free. It might be hard to find minutes for everyone but looking over games which he has played 20minutes or more his stats read as a ROY candidate.
    Ppg- 12.2
    Rpg- 9.2
    Shoot%- 60.8%
    bpg- 1.4
    Tpg- 1.4

    • Jeff

      Yes, I think we will be seeing Faried consistently. Chandler does complicate things though, especially in 4th quarters.

  • Kalen

    I would just like to point out how one day after RMC chastised Karl for leaving an offensive-minded lineup in at the end of the game and heavily encouraged him to go with a more defensive-mined lineup, even if it means playing rookies, he did. Julyan Stone was in by accident but it doesn’t matter. He won the Nuggets the game in the end. The Nuggets possessions on offense were just that — offensive; however, on the defensive side of the ball they continuously got stops which ultimately paid off in the form of a victory. I hope Karl takes note.

    • Ernie

      Teriffic. If you can get him to run an offensive play for the game winner next time that would be great. Thanks.

    • Alex

      I agree about Stone it was great to see him all over Rubio and another he did was go after rebounds as the PG. Also it was awesome seeing Faried fight the way he did and rack up the boards. I’m feeling a bright future for those two in Denver.