Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 98 Boston Celtics 91

Boston Celtics 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, F 24 MIN | 5-5 FG | 8-8 FT | 16 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | +9

By halftime, Faried had 11 rebounds while the entire dead-legged Celtics team had 12. He turned in a career night in only 24 minutes, which would have been about 17 had Miller and Harrington not engineered an epic fourth quarter collapse. He was the most dominant player on the floor and he’s doing it all without the support and trust of his head coach. This guy just doesn’t know to quit. Nothing stops him.

Danilo Gallinari, SF 32 MIN | 5-11 FG | 7-8 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | +10

Why he got only one shot in the fourth quarter is a mystery, but all things considered this was another solid effort by Gallo on both ends of the floor. He was looking to wear down the Celtics early and none of the men in green were able to stay in front of him. Gallo’s aggression set the tone early and his shot selection was simply outstanding. Gallo’s a much smarter player than people give him credit for.

Timofey Mozgov, C 19 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +4

Since returning from injury, Mozgov’s been playing his ugliest ball of the season. It was great to see him bounce back with a focused effort against a team like the Celtics, who are not the championship contenders they once were but still have one of the league’s top defenses. He appears to be getting some of his elevation back and looked much more confident on the offensive end.

Arron Afflalo, SG 30 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +10

Afflalo was somehow very erratic and steady at the same time. He took 14 shots and missed some easy interior passes by not realizing when his 7-foot teammates were posting up guards. Yet he still led the team with a +10 in 30 minutes and ended up with the second most assists behind Lawson. He played well, but from a leadership standpoint I think he can still improve quite a bit.

Ty Lawson, PG 35 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 10 AST | 7 PTS | +7

It was a very rough game for Lawson, who often had to guard Allen and Rondo while Andre Miller took the night off. He took five shots in 32 minutes, which is just way too passive even though he realized the Nuggets needed to be going through their bigs, who were wearing the Celtics down. Lawson’s heads up play and staunch defense rescued Denver’s guard play from the terror of Andre Miller.

Al Harrington, PF 28 MIN | 4-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -1

For every good play Al Harrington made there was a boneheaded mistake. That kind of inconsistency can’t be afforded with Al anymore. With Nene out of the picture, he seems to know he’s got tons of freedom and total immunity from the coaching staff. That’s all fine and well so long as Harrington plays unselfishly and makes smart decisions. Al’s blooper reel included an uncontested three-point airball that missed the rim by about five feet. I’m serious

Andre Miller, PG 23 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -2

He clearly doesn’t care anymore, and neither do I. Miller gets no more words out of me. Scroll down to the comments if you really wanna know how bad it was. Our informed readers can get this one for me. I’m done with Andre Miller.

Corey Brewer, SF 17 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -4

Brew’s hands were all over the court. He hounded Rajon Rondo, whose eye popping production didn’t come without some serious pressure during Corey’s limited time on the floor. He is so adept at stealing the ball and really makes that over-aggressive style work for him.

Rudy Fernandez, SG 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 3 PTS | -7

Rudy is making steady progress since his return to the bench rotation, but I’d place him in the Al Harrington category as a little too spastic in this particular game. I don’t want to judge Rudy too harshly because he was forced to play nearly all of his minutes alongside Andre Miller.

Kosta Koufos, C 15 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-1 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +9

Koufos had perhaps the perfect performance for a defensive backup Center. When you look at his numbers and the appropriate 15 minutes of playing time, you see a guy who knows exactly where he fits into the puzzle. On a night the bench just wasn’t getting it done, Kosta stepped up big.

Two Things We Saw

  1. George Karl is clearly damaged and still reeling from the effects of the Nene trade. He is denying Faried minutes out of spite more than anything else. Karl’s response to the the trade is to lean even more heavily on his veterans Andre Miller and Al Harrington. The trade was designed for the Nuggets to go younger and play bigger. The heavy small ball Karl leaned on immediately turned the tide in Boston’s favor and deserved to get him a loss.
  2. I had this game penciled in as an easy win and would have been worried if the Nuggets couldn’t muster one of their best efforts of this home stand. It has nothing to do with the Celtics, who clearly appear to have problems, but with a healthy roster this is as close to scheduled win as you can get. Boston was playing off a late night west coast back-to-back while the Nuggets were rested. In past years, there is something like an 85% loss rate for teams in the same situation. This was not a fair fight and the easiest game of the home stand outside of dates with the Cavs and Kings — and we all remember what happened in those.
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.
  • Ernie

    Question for the site: Is Faried the team’s best player?!

    • Brett

      Yes. And it’s not just because of his phenomenal play in this game. Faried has consistently (1) had a greater impact on the game than everyone else; (2) been more efficient than everyone else (highest PER on the team); (3) been our best clutch free throw shooter; (4) provided more energy than everyone else; and (5) cared about winning more than everyone else.

      • Irritated Fan

        AAA has shown to be our most clutch free throw shooter. Watch the kings game?

        • Brett

          Yes, that was some awesome clutch free throw shooting from AAA. But I still would argue that Faried has been more clutch on a consistent basis. I have never seen him miss a fourth-quarter free throw in a close game.

          For example, AAA would never have had the chance to make his clutch free throws in the Kings game if Faried hadn’t knocked two free throws with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Later, when that game was tied with 1:09 left in OT, Faried again knocked down two huge free throws.

          • Kyle Obergfell

            Affalo rebounded immensely from shooting 1-6..
            he still had a weak first half.. that was Mr. Hyde
            then Dr. Jeckyll kicked some ass in the 3rd.

            Affalo seems either one or the other.
            I’ll take it and hope Dr. Jeckyll is here to stay..
            but Mr. Hyde keeps coming back.

    • Kyle Obergfell

      tonight Faried was the best player in the NBA.
      That was the most exciting performances since JR’s 11 3 pointers.

      Is he the best player on the team right now?
      Not yet.
      Gallinari and Lawson are of course better… for now.

  • Brett

    Faried: A+
    George Karl: F

    With Faried on pace for a career night, Karl decides to bench Faried for most of the second half and let the Celtics back into the game. This, combined with Karl’s ridiculous lineup in the middle of the fourth quarter, was atrocious.

    If Karl doesn’t put Faried back in with about 5 minutes left, there is no way the Nuggets win this game.

    Seriously, look at Faried’s line: 18 points and 16 rebounds IN ONLY 24 MINUTES. Wouldn’t every other coach in the league be giving this guy about 32 minutes a night?

    • Ernie

      He also didnt miss a shot.

      • Desean

        Or a free throw

  • Aaron

    Seriously. . . can we please have Julian Stone/Rudy for 10 minutes or so at the beginning of the 2nd quarter and end of the 3rd? My goodness, Miller slows the whole thing down. And, I do think that we still play Al a little too much. Get him down to 18-20 minutes max, and he’ll be an asset. Those other minutes should go to Kofous or Mozzy (or McGee) for rebounding, etc. . .

    This big trade was about Faried and Wilson Chandler, period. Sorry JaVale, but the Nugs like Faried, and they like Chandler. Don’t see McGee lasting past this year.

    • Ernie

      Let’s give McGee a chance. His shot blocking should mean a lot more fast breaks and perhaps better perimeter defense.

    • Desean

      McGee is way way better than any other centers we have. He is probably already a top 10 centre no joke so give him a chance

      • Max Ireland

        My fantasy league has Javale’s positional rank at 11 and Nene’s at 17. Not quite top 10 but he’s on a garbage team with a shoot first PG. He’ll perform nicely for the Nugs

    • Ricardo

      McGee does average 12 points and 9 rebounds per game right now. Having him and Faried in the front-court could make it one of the best rebounding and defensive front-court in the league right now..

      • Kyle Obergfell

        well lets see McGee first and maybe he will play with a sense of urgency with his contract expiration. He only has a few months left to audition for a new contract with us or someone else.

  • Jose

    Kenneth Faried is just playing basketball with his heart. If every nugget had his mental approach this team would have a different record. AAA seems to have lost that fire, its like ever since he became a starter he doesnt have to proove himself as much or something. Gallo keep improving, and Ty needs to assert himself also, he would have great games when he was a rookie but now its like he moved the intesity notch down a bit. George Karl is a great coach but his lineups are sometimes questionable, if the guy is tearing s*** up on the court let him stay, if he is stinking it up *coughs* Andre miller, pull him out. Besides let Ty run the show otherwise he’ll defer to him all the time. Let’s face it andre won’t be with us next year and Julyan Stone will assert himself as the rightful backup for Ty.

    • Max Ireland

      I hope you’re right. No Andre would result in a dramatically different Ty Lawson and Stone would be a MUCH BETTER backup. No way he could be as bad as Andre

  • Alex

    If today loss George Karl grade : F-
    but today they win , he just got a F+

  • Jay c.

    I am absolutely done with andre miller! This love affair between him and george is ridiculous. Faried had a bad moment when he let brandon bass get past him for the easy layup and george immediatly called for Al to come in, but he lets andre miller come in and have 5 turnovers and play ole defense all night. It makes no sense.

    • Brett

      This seems to be all about George Karl’s pride. He has always been outspoken about how “smart” he thinks Andre Miller is and how “Andre Miller wins you basketball games.” If he limits Miller’s minutes now, maybe he thinks people will view that as an admission that he has been wrong about Miller.

      Or maybe Karl is thinking that reducing Miller’s minutes would damage Miller’s confidence so much that it would make him worse. But really, how much worse can he get? I wince every time he gets put in the game because I know there’s a 90% chance that he’s going to negatively affect the game for the Nuggets. I hate to say that because at one time I was an Andre Miller fan, but it’s true.

      Miller is like the anti-Manimal: slow, no energy, no emotion, shooting inefficiently, and just going through the motions on defense.

      • Aaron

        When Faried Made ONE Mistake, Scott Hastings Said “Ugh, Just Watch Now Karl’s Gonna Be Like Al, Al, Al Get in There Sense Faried Made ONE MISTAKE! And Of Course Faried Went Out Next Chance.

    • Frontrange

      Just re-watched the 1st half with my kids . . .

      Miller was huge in the second quarter . . .back-to-back steals led to a 6 pts run. Time out Boston. Then lay-up and-1 on Garnett. Two sweet passes (one a blown lay-up by Kosta). The only reason we had a double digit lead was Miller’s contributions in the second quarter.

      Farried was awesome but . . he checked in the second quarter and picked up a charge on fast break, got schooled on back-to-back buckets by KG, grabbed a rebound and turned it over in the back court for another lay-up. Had two minutes of trying to let Boston right back into the game before Gallo saved the end of the quarter.

      He was deservely the MVP last night and I hope a future star but remember, all points are equal in NBA game.

      • Brian

        Didn’t see the first half, but saw Manimal getting manhandled by KG in the second half. That is when GK sent him to the bench. Thought a couple of plays was the classic “refs let the all-star school the rookie” non-calls, but raw talent aside, Manimal still makes rookie mistakes on D.

        Gotta love the hustle and athleticism though!

      • Trip

        I agree, Miller may have had a poor second half, but did play solid basketball in the first half. I think his inconsistency is something to be looked at in the off season but all these fans asking for him to be gone or not play is just too much. Stone may play much better defense, but when Lawson gets rest i would much rather have a guy that can go out and carry the team while the second unit is in, because lets be honest, rudy and brewer are very streaky inconsistent players themselves and other than their hustle they cant do too much on their own. Plus this notion that Miller does not like to run the ball is crazy time after time miller makes a half court pass to start the fast break, many times it doesnt show up in the box score as an assist because another pass gets made. But time and time again he leads the game in assits as well

  • gui

    Okay. Manimal was insane on the boards today but lets not go crazy with the praise. This guy got schooled by Garnett multiple times and has difficulty with effective help defense.

    Yes, he was the best player on the court today but he needs experience. Also, 24 minutes with 4 fouls..need to better with that. FT shooting has been great however.

    • Ernie

      Garnett is a bad matchup for Faried. He’s 7 feet tall with range. Guarding those kind of players won’t get much better over time. Fortunately there aren’t too many if them. And that’s why Faried was on Bass most of the time anyway.

  • Sam

    Faried has consistently proven that he is going to be the cornerstone for our team going forward. Energy, rebouands, and I can’t say enough about his freethrow shooting late in games. Its phenomenal. If he doesn’t play like a rookie, why does GK keep playing him like one? Yes, he still needs to learn how to set proper picks, how to position himself in the half court, and to create his own offense but that can be taught with a good coaching staff. He’s our future and I am SO STOKED that hes coming into his own as fast as he is.

    • gui

      because he does play like a rookie. a very good one. but still tons of rookie mistakes.

      • Andy

        And the only way that changes is through playing time. I would rather have him making rookie mistakes this year and learning then not making them enough this year and repeating them next year.

        Every time he gets schooled by someone like KG pulling a veteran move on him Faried learns a little bit more. As long as he continues to play with the hustle and heart that he has been and continues to try and get better let him stay out there and battle. It will only help him over the next 10 years, hopefully all of which will be spent in Denver.

      • Sam

        Yes, but that’s why they’re called rookie mistakes… because hes a rookie and doesn’t know any better. I didn’t think there were things called “veteren mistakes”, but Al and Dre (in particular) have certainly coined the phrase. All I’m saying is that since our team is built for the future, why don’t you play the “future” players who play their hearts out every night instead of veterens where you never know what you’re gonna get out of them.

        • Andrew

          Those “veteran” mistakes are more like bad habits at this point. Faried will turn out great if he learns the right way.

  • Ian

    Is it time to consider slotting Koufos over Moz? I just see Koufos impacting the game a lot more efficiently than Moz of late.

    • Brett

      You’re right; it’s time.

      • Aaron

        McGee is Gonna Be The Starter For The Center Posistion. Least He Better Be -_-

  • Allen

    Maybe it’s time for the Nuggets to part ways with Coach Karl. I’m probably the only one in the room who wants to know what Mike D. is doing now since he left the Knicks.

    • FinazzAus

      Mike D’antoni is 10 times worst the GK is on this worst day. I will be a strike as a nuggets fan if/ while he is around

  • Brett

    Great rapid reaction Charlie.

    I couldn’t agree more with everything you said, especially about George Karl. If he continues to be stubborn and ignore what is obvious to almost every Nuggets fan (we need less Miller, more Manimal), then it’s time for him to go.

  • David

    At what point does management put the foot down and give Karl an ultimatum to buy in or get out. I completely agree with Charlie that this game was coached out of spite and Karl made a point to go old and small.

    The second I saw that Rudy-Al-Mller-KK line up, I knew that the Nuggets were going to blow the lead. At what point do the Nuggets complete the retooling process and change coaches?

    • Thomas

      Karl wants to force the FO to fire him so he can get a fat check. They probably have no choice, as they made a mistake in giving him a long deal.

      If they got rid of him now, we would be a threat this year to make some noise in the playoffs and perhaps give us a taste of things to come.

  • Samc

    Honestly. The minute Lawson came in for kk, they went on a huge slide. 3 guards in, Harrington guarding Garnett. Small ball clearly hasn’t been working, and what’s strange is I don’t recall to much of in previous years. Maybe because all we had was nene and bird? It’s ludicrous to leave your two 7 ft bigs on the bench with kg on the floor

    • Andy

      Small ball works great: If the other team doesn’t have a KG on the floor who will take the game over and one of your guards is not named Andre Miller.

      Speaking of Miller.. What is up with Karl and his love of old, ineffective guards? First it was Anthony Carter and now Andre Miller. When does Karl realize that although Stone or Hamilton may make more mental errors they will more than make up for it with actually giving a crap and being able to play defense.

  • Aaron

    Stupid Karl! I Swear We Could Have Dwight Howard At Center Bosh At PF Durant At SF Kobe At SG And Chris Paul At PG With Miller On The Team And Karl Would Take Howard Out And Put Miller in!!! I Don’t Get Karl! Ujiri Should Just CUT Miller! Before Karl Screws This Team And Same With Haarrington..its Pudding Me Off Now…Good Win For For Denver Tho..Maninmal Was 5000% Times Better Then Harrington But Of Course Gets More Minutes Then Him…Ujiri Specifically Traded For JaValle So Karl Would STOP Playing Small Ball. Every1 Besides Miller And Harrington Actually Tried And Put Effort Into There Million Dollar Job…Please Fire Karl After This Year And Bring Sum1 in That Knows To Play Players That Try, Knows How To Dovelepe Young Players, Knows How To Use Depth AND DOESNT LOOSE GAMES BY PLAYING SMALL BALL WHEN HE HAVE LEGIT BIG MEN!!

    Of Course Tho, Great Win Tonight,

  • tom

    If Mcgee can show why he is one of the best up and coming centres and we get a new coach I good road ahead

  • Desean

    Koufos should be backing up McGee who should be getting over 30 minutes a night along with faried. Mozgov is becoming very disappointing

    • Aaron

      Couldn’t Agree More. Maybe Let Koufus And Mozzie Share The Minutes Tho.

    • Andy

      The Nuggets could (and should) be loaded for the next 5 years if they can re-sign McGee..

      McGee, Koufos, Mozgov (three 7 footers). Talk about the ability to “go big”. And, if one of them can start hitting the mid-range jumper you could have two on the floor at once and dominate the boards.
      Gallo, Faried, Chandler, Brewer. Very good depth at the forward position with these four – ditch Harrington and his contract to clear cap space over the offseason. Brewer is a great hustle player off the bench who will go all out on defense, get steals, and drive the lane.
      Lawson, Afflalo, Stone or Hamilton, Fernandez. Again, a very good position grouping that has a great mixture of size, speed, and range.

      A different coach could have a rotation that was 11 or 12 deep (based on how Stone, Hamilton, and a rookie develop). Everyone of them can give you quality minutes and allows the coach to match up against basically any team in the league – big or small.

      Karl is a great coach, I am just starting to think he is to set in his ways (specifically his mistrust of young players and infatuation with ineffective veterans) for the team that Denver is building.

  • G_Money

    Well I know Nate McMillan isn’t doing anything. If we have to have some member of the Karl coaching tree on this thing can’t we have Nate instead? At least it’d bring more structure.

  • Brett

    Should we be rooting for a five or six game losing streak like the ones that got D’Antoni and McMillan fired?

    Is that what it will take for the front office to get rid of Karl? Do we have to miss the playoffs for him to get fired? Do we have to wait for a sub-500 season?

  • jc

    ya andre miller has been horrible the past 2 months hes given up on this team i wish he would get less minutes and give them to lawson and afflalo and wilson chandler off the bench

  • G_Money

    I don’t ever want to root for my team to lose.

    But if George can’t coach the kids and he won’t play them when it matters, then we have a problem. Because I don’t believe it’s our talent that looks to be maintaining our inability to win a first-round series.

    If Nate would coach here after we fire his mentor, then I would absoutely put Karl on the same leash as JaVale. 20 games. Show me what you got.

    Funny that the idiot making all the bone-headed plays on the court has more of a chance of changing his colors than the super-genius on the bench. And I watched him in Seattle for a number of years when I was there, and have had nothing but respect for him for quite a while. That’s over now. Let McMillan come punish Portland and the rest of the NW division for us. At least he knows how to get more out of his talent.

  • Ricardo

    Faried played fenomenal with one of the best teams in the East in recent years, having 18 points and 16 rebounds. He should be playing 25 to 30 minutes per game, now that they don’t have Nene; Harrington should only be playing 15 to 20 minutes. Miller is not playing well, he should have been the other player traded in the deadline so Stone could have been given more playing time.

  • Trevor

    Man they almost lost this game because of Karl. He needs to put Faried in earlier in the 4th quarter. When McGee is available they should have at least one 7 footer in the game at all times, none of this Al Harrington playing Center crap.

  • melly

    Everything about Faried impresses me.. especially his free throws.. the guy is mindbogglingly good O_O I wish Coach Karl would have let him play from the start of the season.. he would’ve gotten a chance to go to the Rookie & Sophmore game I bet. I was so happy when he was put back in in the 4th quarter.. almost panicked there…

    • Jeff

      Yeah Rookie Sophomore game and maybe even rookie of the year.

  • Jay c.

    Andre miller is pouting because his ass didnt get traded to somewhere where he could be a starter! Everytime he comes in the game i know we are going to struggle. The only time he plays well is when the Nuggs are on ESPN because he gets more visibility for other teams.

  • ParkHillNative

    Charlie, I have to just hope that you’re wrong about why Faried didn’t get more minutes tonight. I can’t bear the thought that Karl would keep him on the bench out of spite. And if a war is brewing between Karl and Ujiri, that’s bad bad news for this organization.

    Over on Denver Stiffs there’s been some talk in previous games about Faried asking to come out of the game at various moments because he’s getting winded. Takes a lot of energy to play at that pace.

    Of course, that doesn’t explain keeping him out for so long in the second half, but again, I just can’t bear the thought that Karl would be so childish.

    • magster

      Karl’s quote after Nene was traded about how he had a lot of love for Nene, and wished he could have “taken a long walk if he had time” showed that Karl was shaken by the trade. GMs have to be cold blooded sometimes, and I can stomach one game of insubordination out of loyalty for Nene by Karl, especially since we didn’t lose and Karl closed the game right (assuming that’s what happened). If this keeps happening though, then we have a problem.

    • magster

      Just saw this:

      “We don’t close that game out probably without Kenneth. I was impressed with him the whole game but I really enjoyed him in the last three or four minutes.”
      — Nuggets head coach George Karl.

      I doubt Karl was insubordinate. He just mismanaged the game and will hopefully trust Faried more and more every time Faried saves the day.

  • paul

    great win! gallo-faried in the forward spot is amazing. i still think gallo is our no. 1 player coz he can create things for himself but combine it with faried rebounding…. looking good in the forward spot.

  • monimo

    We don’t have to be so dramatic about Faried role in Karls system. FAried is still learning the game. I’m ok with 24 minutes the “full-speed-energy-way” he plays. When he came in last night for the last 4-5 minutes, he was rested and able to destroy the Celtic defense. Karl loves Faried and uses him to close the games. Faried is learning very fast with Karls coaching. But I agree on Al an Miller: they have too much playing time and it should be given to Koufus and Stone.

  • Kyle Obergfell

    I have to chime in about George Karl also.
    I see the weird rotations.. and the favoritism.
    Miller, Mosgov, Affalo, Lawson, Gallinari, Harrington

    I only see one pariah though.. that would be Birdman.

    At least give him credit for finally cracking Faried in
    to the starting five… he looked dynamite in those
    two preseason games, in the garbage time.. every
    chance he got it seemed.. but didn’t get real minutes.

    But Affallo and Miller both kept getting minutes when
    they sucked..

    And to be fair to Miller…. in the very last game he led
    the Nuggets in scoring and was given an A- by RBMC
    He was also amazing in January.. though it seems like
    January of 2006 more than January 2012.

    I include myself when I say.. everyone has to look at
    their own favorites and their own pariahs before judging
    Karl on his. I think there’s something to it.. but also..
    hard for me and everyone else to maintain objectivity about it.

    • Kyle Obergfell

      Al Harrington was a monster in January also.
      Rudy Fernandez was.. even Nene started out great.
      Maybe instead of trying to find the bad apple..
      we should hope that a team ethic raises up everyone.

  • Desean

    I know it’s extremely early to think about the draft but now we have a better picture of our roster with McGee and hopefully chandler, I think we should look at tony wroten. He is a 6’5 combo guard who knows how to score I think that he’s the kind of player we need to back up Lawson and afflalo and would be good fore the two point guard set.

    • Tom

      Should draft Andre Roberson from CU to play SG/SF on second team. Can’t have enough energy/defense/rebounding guys.

    • dynamo.joe

      I was looking at Wroten as a guy we could use and might drop down to us, also. Might not too, not a lot of guards at the top of the draft boards.

      But after pondering that for a bit I decided we should draft Festus Ezeli, cuz what would be more fun than having a guy named Festus on the team?

    • Ricardo

      I think they should get Kendall Marshall, if he’s still available, to play behind Lawson. He’s a good passer and a good defender.

  • Fong

    I know Karl has an issue with rookies but he needs to learn that some veterans are even worse. You know, the one that doesn’t care….aka Miller. If Karl is to get fired, it’ll be because of rookies and it isn’t the fact that they play bad, it’ll be because he doesn’t use them over lazy and over used veterans.

  • fluxxe13

    I’ve heard scott hastings mention a few times that Faried is tired wants out of the game, once tonight, also in a few other games. So while GK should probably put him back in the game sooner, and give him at least 30 minutes, the high level of intensity he plays with probably requires that he gets a lot of rest.

    • GK4Prez

      There are also these things called timeouts that a coach can use to get his players a minute or two of rest. I know it is a weird concept, but believe it or not, some coaches use them in this manner.

  • Prizzy

    Don’t know what was more frustrating, Karl’s pathetic trust lineup or the calls that the refs were giving to the Celtics at the end of the game. I don’t see how this team wins a championship with Karl at the helm. He is an amazing teacher of the game, but when it comes to tactics and lineups in crunch time, he panics and fails. Consistently. Andre should not see more than 5 minutes a game. Period. Buckets will be Buckets but I like his hustle and at least he can make the occasional shot. Although we got a W, I left the game feeling more frustrated than happy.

  • Jim

    Yes there were frustrating parts to this game but it was still a win over a healthy (ok but tired) Boston team with three HOF players and a top PG. you can’t pencil in wins this year.

    If I’m a coach small ball makes a lot of sense in a game like this with old guys at altitude – If the pace is pushed up. Without that pace you just have smaller guys getting overmatched in half court sets. Any lineup with dre and buckets is not going to push the pace. Al should never play center. Period. We have a lot of seven footers and birdman. Al is not one.

    I don’t get dre either but I don’t think he missed shots because he doesn’t care. His assists are still good. The basket he made knocking into KG shows he’s a smart player. It’s the defense that kills me.

    Why did Portland trade him? I mean Felton hasn’t worked out and the Roy thing hadn’t played out yet. Dre is definitely not the same player we had in Denver the first go around. Anyway, I think the lack of d is making bringing chandler back more pressing.

  • Klules

    Faried – Absolutely impacting the game when he is in. The pros so outweigh the cons. That said, Karl has to find the spots for him on defense. Bass/yes – Garnett/no. Faried’s motor is strong but he needs rest early at this point. I personally thought Karl could have put him early in the second half and still have gas for him at end of game. Hopefully Manimal’s pace/stamina will continue to improve so we see him for longer periods. But when he tires he tires FAST.

    Miller – I keep trying to find some experience argument to justify his minutes but I am tired of his constant arguing with refs about his offensive drives. Refs just don’t listen to him. And he sags so much on defense that there is no perimeter pressure at all.

    McGee – I don’t have high hopes. His interview with Hastings just made me think this is an all talent/no IQ guy who is short timing this process. He’ll work to get his money but I don’t see him on this team next season. Maybe I’m wrong and I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised. If he is indeed better than Moz/Koufos he’ll have to prove it.

    Gallo – coming back to form but it’s obvious his ankle injury is holding him back. He admitted as much to Maya after the game. He’s half a step slower right now and doesn’t pivot. Hopefully this will improve but he needs more rest.

    AAA – still searching for his game and role. At least I’m not as nervous when he takes a 3-point attempt now. Still looking for that top notch defense to lead the team on the perimeter.

    Lawson – PLEASE be more aggressive! When you drive the lane take the shot! I counted three times Ty dumped off from clear in-the-paint shots only to result in missed outside shots. Ty has to become the default leader now and this squad needs it.

    Moz – still hurt. Like Gallo he is not 100% and it’s telling.

    KK – deserved more minutes. I didn’t see him getting owned on defense so why not more time?

    BigAl – Again, you can tell when he is going to take the shot. Someone commented that lower minutes would help and I agree. He hasn’t been able to keep the shooting streak going from early in the year (who could?) and why can’t he hit a free throw? Biggest thing with Al is he sets up on the outside on offense so we lose all hope of offensive rebounding when he’s in.

    • dynamo.joe

      You can’t blame Al for taking the minutes given to him, nor for being played out of position at Center.

      I don’t know if you guys have been watching ‘The Association’ (it’s available online at nba.com), but several times Karl has said something like “I’m still looking for a leader”.

      I don’t really wanna defend GK, because I don’t like his rotations either. But, I might be OK with proposing semi-reasonable explanations: maybe he is thinking Al and Andre are the closest thing I have to leaders and it’s better to accept the negatives that come with more playing time for them than to accept the negatives that come with undercutting their authority by reducing their minutes.

    • Desean

      He is better than mozgov and koufos with his eyes closed. It ain’t take much

  • http://espn.com Chris

    AAA is a bum and we need to get rid of him just like NENE, he lack true exsplosiveness for a two gaurd, all he will ever be is a back up, the sooner the better

    • Desean

      The guy is a top 5 wing defender in the league, um shut up

    • Ricardo

      I disagree, Afflalo was carrying their offense when Gallo was out and his production has gone down because Gallo is back, but Afflalo is a good defensive player and steps up when the team needs him to, so I don’t know why would the nuggets get rid of him. The player the nuggets needs to get rid of is Miller, who has been struggling offensively and defensively.

      • Kyle Obergfell

        Ricardo.. are you serious??
        for starters.. Nuggets were like 4-12 with Gallo..
        so even if that was true.. “carrying” might be a little generous.

        But it’s just not true. Lawson, Harrington, Miller and Brewer..
        as well as Nene.. have all been team high scorers this season.

        Affalo has had a about 10 good games, about 15 average ones,
        and the rest he sucked. His +/- is always the lowest of the
        starting five not named Mosgov.

        Last night he came alive and kicked ass in the 3rd quarter..
        but in the first half.. he sucked.

        I’m more like…. let’s see from here..
        but I’m sure not like… he’s been great all season!!
        NO. HE. HAS. NOT.

        • Kyle Obergfell

          typo …. meant 4-12 with Gallo out.

  • Ol’ Nuggets Fan

    The game is both offense AND defense. Surely, Stone will have poor offensive line but how many has Miller had this year? But, Stone will play better perimeter defense than Miller, which has been the team’s greatest weakness since January.

    What is often missed with Moz and KK is they willingly play to their offensive and defensive roles. Notice how each runs the floor and is ready to rebound or dunk a missed layup. How many times did Nene do this? Moz/KK set the best screens on the team and do block out. They contest shots. While the stats don’t show it, our defense is much better with either one in the game.

    Going forward, as noted above, at least one of Moz/KK/McG should be in the game at all times. A rebound equals an extra possession and you don’t get that with a small lineup.

    To the point of rebounds and contesting shots, I am done with Karl. He is a stubborn idiot in which his small-ball line ups will never execute these two fundamentals of the game.

  • Karl v Ujiri…

    Don’t worry Nugget fans because Coach Karl’s competitive stubbornness has been finally trumped by GM Ujiri’s organizational savvy in being the locomotive engine for the success of our team. The nitro-injected fuel is the players that Ujiri has acquired that has won over Nugget ownership as to how this team will play. No more excuses Karl…you just have been out-hustled.

  • bosc0

    Is Kenneth the happiest guy in the NBA? I’ve never seen a guy smile more on the court than the Manimal does.
    For me, it’s fantastic to see someone enjoying what they do so much.
    He is without a doubt the face of the new Nuggets!

    • Brett

      Yes. No NBA player smiles more than Faried. Also, no other NBA player jumps off the bench and bounces around on the court like Faried.

      He’s also the most excitable player on the bench. He loves seeing his teammates succeed.

  • Jim

    Chandler signed. Around 37 million. Let’s go nuggets!

  • Kyle Obergfell

    something occurred to me…
    There are now three players on the team making more than Lawson and Gallinari… (Affalo, Miller, Chandler)

    that’s jacked up.

  • Landry

    Does anyone else think that it is ridiculous that GK has to develop so much young talent? I mean after years of the Melo show we had no draft picks at all. I mean we got Ty from a trade and he still not learning. In fact our entire lineup with Gallo, Faried, Mozgov, and Afflalo still getting schooled in the art of an NBA season.

    GK only has Big Al and Andre as veteran presence so of course were going to be chaotic. Now throw in McGee and Chandler and GK might just have his work cut out for him. I feel like were over-dependent on GK’s skill for player development. I mean he has to create different expectations from every player. Still like that GK has Faried on egg shells because even going perfect Faried still is unsatisfied. I think he’s our future all-star if he can develop in the post.

    Finally, props to a worn down coach. Hope he doesn’t have to deal with another JR headache in this lockout season. I mean seriously who else has 12 players unaccustomed to their role in the system??

    Big Al, Andre 3000

    Ty, Afflalo, Brewer, Fernandez
    KK, Gallo, Chandler,
    Mozgov, McGee,
    Faried, Stone, J-Ham

    Talk about ridiculous lock out season, I’m surprised GK still has hair.

    Finally does anyone else notice Masai still feels bad about the Chauncey Billups trade? I mean he just gave Nick Young to the Clippers on a silver platter. Glad to see him help out our hometown hero. RESPECT!

    • Aaron

      Lawson is Only a “Junior”

  • dynamo.joe

    So, whats the over/under on how many games until we see Chandler at center? 2?

    • GK4Prez

      He is too big

  • GK4Prez

    I see no reason to change the Ty/Dre/Rudy/AA/AL closing lineup, it gives the Nuggets an advantage in going small. How many other teams in the league can go this small and give games away in the 4th quarter? GK should be in the running for coach of the year!!!

    • Aaron

      Ur Being Sarcastic Rite…??????

      • GK4Prez


  • Trip

    It happened again, this time they got lucky, but as soon as Pierce got his fourth foul in the third everything should have been run right at him to try to get him his fifth and then when he got his 5th everything should have been at him again, he should have been fouled out way sooner, but Gallo did not touch the ball in the fourth qtr much. What a shame, we got lucky that he was in the wrong place and happened to pick up a silly foul.

    Also all those saying George shouldnt have gont to small ball, if you watch the game Boston went small and GK had to match them. I do agree that Faried should have played considerable more minutes

  • Connor P.

    I’m done with Karl. I don’t think he is too invested in this team any more and seems to spend more time moping and holding his head in his hands than actually coaching. We need a coach who’s more driven to win.