George Karl’s 240 Minute Dilemma

Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov, Andre Miller, Corey Brewer, Rudy Fernandez, Wilson Chandler, Al Harrington, JaVale McGee, Kosta Koufos, Chris Andersen.  Those players average a combined 268 minutes per game.  In case you were wondering there are only 240 minutes in a regulation NBA game and that 268 figure is using the current rate of zero minutes a game from the two recent additions of McGee and Chandler.  Add in Chandler’s 30.6 minutes a game as a Nugget last season and McGee’s 27.4 as a Wizard this year and that number jumps up to 326 minutes a game.

Again, there are only 240 minutes available in a regulation game.  Either the Nuggets are going to have to have Buffalo Wild Wings operatives pushing their games into multiple overtimes, or there are going to be some disgruntled players.

With a completely healthy roster, George Karl is going to have a very difficult time managing everyone’s minutes.  In a normal season where only 12 players can be active one of those players listed above would not even be active.  Despite the fact they are saved making the decision of who to deactivate two or three players who are used to playing are going to have to sit.

Starting with the five starters it is obvious that Lawson, Afflalo, Gallo, Faried and Mozgov will be playing.  Karl favorites Miller and Harrington will be on the court.  Chandler will certainly play as will McGee.  At this point there is room for a backup shooting guard and it is most likely that Fernandez will get the nod over Brewer, who is more of a small forward anyway.  That would leave Brewer, Koufos and Birdman watching from the sideline.

Those three should be no surprise as Karl has shown a tendency to keep them plastered to the bench at times this season anyway.  Financially those three also make sense as the Nuggets control their rights next season (and beyond for Birdman and Koufos).  You do not need to worry about any of them asking to be traded.  If they do, none carry the gravitas to make it happen.  The sad thing is statistically Mozgov really should be fourth on the center depth chart sporting a PER well below McGee, Birdman and Koufos.

Above and beyond who is benched and who sees their minutes slashed there may be a larger issue brewing to keep an eye on.  We may very well see a serious disconnect between the front office and George Karl.

As Charlie has pointed out repeatedly it certainly appears the front office was content to trade Nene due to the sensational play of rookie Kenneth Faried.  They also will have to make a decision on JaVale McGee this summer.  They need to see him in plenty of game action.

George Karl has been adamant that the Nuggets were a contender last season and he has roundly rejected the “Denver needs a closer” argument.  In order to prove his point he wants to prove this similar version to last season’s team is a contender.  That means the short term is far more important to him than the long term.

For all of his talents, Faried makes plenty of defensive mental errors.   McGee is also well known for his defensive foibles.  The goal of the front office is going to be to get these players a lot of minutes while Karl is going to want to get his trusted veterans minutes because he is desperate for this team to prove his point about last season’s team.  Karl will be able to find plenty of excuses to limit the minutes of Faried and McGee.  If he does so, it is possible we could see some frustration with Karl from management.

It will be fascinating to see how these final 21 games play out, as well as how Karl manages the rotation in the playoffs.  Karl likes to say the first 20 games of the season are an extension of training camp.  Well, he has an extended training camp’s worth of games to figure out who should be on the court when the games become the “best of seven”.

Go ahead and leave your preferred lineup and depth chart in the comments RMC readers.

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  • Desean

    Fernandez, brewer, mozgov, bird should be the casualties. Big al and Dre also need their minutes cut slightly

  • Samc

    Brewer over Fernandez every time. See if Rudy would feel comfortable taking over millers role, and be held to a strict shooting leash

    • Max Ireland

      Rudy isn’t bad, someone just needs to remind him there are OTHER SHOTS to be taken on the floor that AREN’T THREES. He handles the ball well and passes well, he just needs to stop settling for ONLY threes

  • kt

    PG: Lawson | Miller | Stone
    SG: AAA | Chandler | Brewer
    SF : Gallo | Chandler |Brewer
    PF : Faried | Chandler | Al
    C : Koufous | JaVale | Bird | Mozgov

    From the PG position, Miller should strictly serve as a back up for Ty and only come in when #3 needs a break. Seeing them both on the court just doesn’t work.

    At SG AAA starts with either Chandler coming in to give him a break. Brewer can also come in for different looks.

    SF – Gallo with the start w/ Chandler and Brewer coming in for break time.

    PF: Faried starting with Al coming off the bench for him. Chandler can also fill in here as well.

    C: I like Koufous. He’s better than the others right now but if JaVale gets his stuff together, he should be starting easily. Mozy is clearly a tall guy that plays basketball and not a basketball player that was tall. A lot of his mistakes are such basic, simple high school plays that is absolutely cringe worthy. I like Bird coming in for 10 minutes a game or so. He can run all out, block/deflect shots and grab some boards.

    Late in the game, a line up of Ty | AAA | Gallo | Wilson | Faried should be decent. I like Al coming in for AAA when we need more scoring, which bumps Wilson to SG. Wilson is a surprisingly good post defender so here’s to hoping GK recognizes that.

    A huge line up of Ty | Chandler | Gallo | Faried | Javale would be pretty devastating too but no way in hell GK will do that when we still haven’t seen a lick of K2 and Mozy share the floor.

    • evan

      I agree with you 100%.
      Except koufus is overated. Moz is slightly better(defensively) but Im hoping mgee is better then both.
      Megee for the start, if he ends up being good.

      • damon

        Couldn’t say it hetter myself. Mcgee for the start with koufos relieving tho, moz needs to go

      • Max Ireland

        McGee is WAY better than K2 and Moz combined. He’s owned in 100% of ESPN Fantasy Leagues where K2/Moz combined ownership is .2%

        No question McGee is gonna be starting very shortly

        • Vincent

          JaValle starts in 100% of the time because he doesnt have to share minutes with 3 other centers that play at about the same level…

    • Desean

      I like it except McGee is way better than moz and koufos IMO

  • FinazzAus

    Lawson          Stone             Miller
    Afflolo           Fanandez       Hamilton
    Galli             Chandler         Brewer        
    Faired          Harrington    Andersom
    McGee         Mozgov         Koufos           

    I really really think in the off season we need to move two of our bigger name chandler/ Afflolo, chandler/gallo, McGee/Afflolo (you get the drift) for a big big name. No enough minutes lets to players playing for themselves not the team. I’ve said it before we have to many good players and not enough really really good players.

    • DeezNutz

      Who would we go get for this type package? A big name? Who would want to come to Denver? Don’t you realize that we have several players that could turn into a ‘Big Name’ player. The beauty of our team is that we’re SO young and if we get too hot in the pants for a big flashy name player we’ll be right back in the same spot we were with melo for eight years.

      • FinazzAus

        It’s not a matter of someone wanting to come here. If they are under contact they will have to come. We could get a lot of players with that package. Even put a first round pick in with one of them would get us a good name. Maybe a Danny granger, and don’t say we can’t get him because you have to try and they could be intrested in a package like that, Danny G was just an example I don’t want everyone telling me how he wouldn’t fit. And not all stars are hot in the pants. WE CAN’T STAY YOUNG FOR EVER. and if one of our players do be one a star they will skip town like melo because the FO didn’t make a move

        • Nuggets are Good

          Um Gallo/AAA is a better one two than Granger. Also their combined salaries equal Granger. How does that make sense?

        • DeezNutz

          To begin with, a Danny Grainger (or someone on his caliber) isn’t even close to a Superstar that will lead their team to the Championship… are you serious? We surrounder Melo with a great team that is at least as good as the current Pacer team and couldn’t get it done just like Grainger will never get it done there. Honestly Gallo/ AAA could turn into players equal to or better than what Grainger is (at his peak) in a year or two. And yeah we could mortgage the farm to get a player who is under contract, but have you not noticed that players have a lot of power in the decision process these days? We certainly couldn’t attract top talent to Denver (nor should we) in free agency and to pick one up for what you are talking about is the wrong way to build a champion. Look at the truly great Franchises that are always in the mix (even us with how we did it with melo) Build through the draft and with smart moves not flashy ones. (ala the Spurs or even to a lesser extent the Jazz)… so getting back to your weak point that if a player is under contract they will just have to automatically come here and play hard and love it is ridiculous at best.

  • Aaron

    #1 PG: Lawson. #2/#3 Miller/Stone. #1 SG: Afflalo. #2/#3 Fernendez/Brewer. #1 SF: Gallinari. #2 Chandler. #3 Brewer. #1 PF: Faried. #2 Harrington. #1 C: JaVale McGee. #2 Koufus.

    That Leaves Hamilton, Birdman, And Mozgov In Street Clothes Sense We Cant Activate All 15 Players. (Which I Think is Retarded And No Reason For That Rule)

    What Deep Roster Tho…Our Street Clothes Guys Would Like Mozgov And Birdman Could Be Starting Sumwhere Else, And Hamilton Might Evenness Be Starter, Probably Not But At Least A Role Player. Scared About All The Minutes For Everyone Tho. Hope Karl Knows What Hes Doing Or We Might Blow This Unbelievablely Talented DEEP Team.

  • chronosynchlastic Infundibula

    C: Javale McGee/Kosta Koufus/Chris Anderson/Timo Moz

    PF: Kenneth Faried/Al Harrington/Wilson Chandler/Chris A.

    SF: Danilo Gallinari/Wilson Chandler/Corey Brewer/Jordan H.

    SG: Arron Afflalo/Wilson Chandler/Rudy Fernandez/Jordan H.

    PG: Ty Lawson/Julyan Stone/Andre Miller

    No Miller or Ty at SG!!!!!!!! No Harrington at Center!!!

  • popex_17

    PG: Lawson 33 min/game, Miller 15 min/game – never on the floor at the same time;
    SG: AAA 30 min/game, Brewer+Chandler the rest of the 18 minutes (more for Brewer);
    SF: Gallo 32 min/game, Chandler 16 min/game;
    PF: Faried 25 min/game, Harrington+Chandler the rest of the 23 minutes (more for Harrington);
    C: McGee 25-30 minutes, Kouf/Mozgov the rest of time.

    Personal thoughts: Fernandez will be gone after this season and also it’s not that good. I have never been a fan of him, he does a lot of mistakes for his backup role while jacking up dubious shots. Brewer should be in front of him on the depth chart, but not hoist up any more threes because they are not falling.
    I would like for Miller not to play..ever again! Knowing that this is not possible, I hope that his minutes will be somewhere in the 15-20 range, max (unless he is having his once in a month good game).
    I hope there will never again be a second of a center-less team on the floor (see 4th quarter of Celtics-Nuggets). We have 3 seven footers plus a rookie guy who plays like he’s 8 feet tall. At least one of them should be on the court at all times.
    My personal closing lineup would be: Ty, AAA, Gallo, Faried/Chandler (depending on the matchup), McGee. Knowing Karl, it will never be this one.

    • Desean

      I like your closing lineup. Will depend on matchup, energy, three point shooting etc

  • James

    lawson miller
    gallonari fernandez
    farhried birdman
    mcgee PERIOD!!

  • GK4Prez

    First of all, GK cracks me up. He tells the media that he doesn’t need a closer, but throughout the airing of the association he is constantly running around telling everyone that he is still looking for a leader. My question is: What is the difference between a closer and a leader?

    I would start:
    Chandler/Afflalo/Rudy (I prefer JHam)

    I know I will take a hit on putting Chandler in at the starting 2 over Afflalo. But, Afflalo is the worst starter in the league when it comes to on/off court per 100 possessions, he is a -15.7. The next starter on this list that a player shouldn’t want to be on is the newly acquired Javale Mcgee at a -13.

    Koufos numbers are very impressive. Amongst Centers he is top 5 in Rebb at 19.6, his ts% is 61, which is also top 5 among centers, and his PER is 17.7. I know someone will say, that is decent but Javale has a PER of 19.8, which is true, but his opponent has a PER of 22.1, which means he gives up a lot more than he gets.

    Statistically the Birdman still does quite well when you look at his advanced stats. Mozgov should be the odd man out at center if a person were to go by the numbers.

    • Desean

      If you base everything on stats you’re nuts. Afflalo is a top flight wing defender and plays with intensity. His offensive game has improved dramatically as well. Koufos plays backup and garbage minutes against lesser players.

      Come on use your eyes

      • magster

        I take it you don’t the “Moneyball” approach?

    • Charles

      Some good points. on the Association, Karl says the leader wins at no expense, the closer takes the last shots… two different things. I agree w/letting Affalo being 2nd to Chandler if the latter pans out. Bring in Rudy before Miller… who almost singlehandedly lost the game to Boston… this will be fun. McGee better keep under control and be intelligent, or he will sit.

    • bayesk

      i tend to agree with both of you, as wishy-washy as that sounds; for example, according to, the three best 5-man lineups in terms of +/- include Lawson, Miller, Harrington, and two other pairs of players. Of course, this is only for a total of two and a half games worth of minutes all season, but the numbers are there. As are many others: Birdman does have pretty stellar advanced numbers, and quite a few commentators have noted that. But to Desean’s point, it always sounds like an analysis of his stats, in and of themselves, rather than an appraisal of his actual play on court. Andersen can definitely look overmatched and a step slow, and would probably best be served getting something like 8-11 minutes every other game. He looks like the odd man out among the bigs right now.
      We have pieces, and they’re mostly all viable contributors, as well as “assets” on fair deals that must look tempting to other FO’s out there. But they’re all worth playing. And any that don’t work out can be moved or not resigned, while the remaining players seem likely to play well overall, if not as consistently as we’d like.

  • chronosynchlastic Infundibula

    Unfortunately, I think George will continue to give big minutes to Miller and Harrington at the expense of Faried, McGee, and the other young centers. Small Ball!!!!

    • chronosynchlastic Infundibula

      Plus, it is very likely that McGee will be put in Karl’s doghouse. You heard it here first!

  • dynamo.joe

    Ty | Miller | Stone
    AAA | Rudy | Hamilton
    Gallo | Chandler | Brewer
    Faried | Al | Bird
    K2 | Mcgee | Moz

    Everyone gets 8 minutes in the 1st half, 2 best players at each position get to play the 2nd half.

  • Greco21

    Tough quiz. Tough to keep a team spirit and players engaged to the team. Youngsters will look at the bench after every mistake they make on the floor. Actually they are benched when they are playing well… Imagine Kenneth starting with one or two turnovers…

    Veterans will need to put their egos aside and accept that their next contract will reduce their income because they are benched.

    Again concerning Koufos. Given the minutes during February he had 8 points and 7 rebounds 2 blocks. Those minutes were not even that significant minutes but well above 10. Against Portland in 33 minutes he had 16 and 12 (pts & reb). If i were him i would look for a team that would provide consistent backup minutes. With McGee on the block and Mozzy considered as a prioririty, with GK playing small line-ups and Wilson providing versitility i would just make summer plans.

  • Owen

    We gotta make a package of some redundant players and consolidate.

  • Steve

    PG Ty/Miller/Stone/Rudy
    SG AAA/WC/JHamm/Rudy
    SF Galo/WC/BigAL/Brewer
    PF Farried/BigAL/KK.Bird
    C Magee/Bird/Moz/KK

    The starters should play all out and be subbed when they are winded. Miller MUST be limited! No more SMALL BALL. NO more 29 minutes a game. He is killing this team.

    I like Bird as the back up. Tell him to give you everything he has got for 6 minutes a stint. He brings energy to the second unit. Same with KK..offensively he is better than bird but D is no where close.

    Also limit BigAl….his advancing age and HUGE minutes is hurting the reason he is brought in. Having WC back brings another scorer so he does not have to play 30 minutes.

    PLAY BIG BALL at times. When Farried needs a rest…

    PG Ty
    SG WC
    SF Gallo
    PF Bird/KK
    C JM/Moz

    We have the biggest lineup we have had in YEARS…. Have the C and PF position be the ones rotated the most. Have them run and run, ban and bang and keep the pressure on the opposition.

    I hope to NEVER see 3 guards and 2 undersized PF playing at the same time again.

    • HD

      I agree with 100% of what you are saying

  • Desean

    I like koufos as a back up but he is becoming a little overrated on this site. If you watch wizards games and not listen to the media and watch silly YouTube videos, you’ll realize koufos has nothing on McGee defensively, plus the length and athleticism of McGee allows him to be more effective around the basket.

  • tom

    Mcgee is the best center by far and should be starting (although this might not happen for a week or so) providing He shows his potential. If we have harrington at center and Mcgee on the bench Karl will be assainated

  • Landry

    Does anyone notice that when Mozgov puts it all together he gets hurt? I mean seriously the only time I see him do fantastic, he gets hurt five minutes later. KK is much more durable.

    Crunch Time

    Chandler can take over the low post for Big Al. Sadly I know GK like small ball too much but at least Manimal plays like a 7fter

  • italianintellecto

    if it is a question of number

    the better men on the court are Gallinari(44%)-Miller(60%)-Harrington(56%)-Fernandez(34%) by FAR. +8win

    the man in struggle is lawson (61%) +4win

    the bad WAS nenè(37%) -4win and Afllalo(60%) -3win

    other neutral player

    timo(27%) kk(25%) faried(19%) +2win

    brewer (37%) +1win

    the analitics tellthis story

    we must sell nenè and afflalo (DONE)

    we must develop a new PF….wait a moment FARIED? (DONE)

    we must improve the SG…wait a moment how can we help afflalo….mmm with a solid equal player? Chandler?YEEEPP! (DONE)

    we must improve the starting pg (ya ty is still soooo enigmatic) (not done…it’s all up to ty)

    we must improve a little in the center cmon! can mcgee help us? we will see…for me it’s nearly matematical…how BAD is tIMO? ( probably DONE)

    AND we must give many many more minute to GALLO AND FERNADEZ!!!! IE the Small forward position….numbers DONT LIE!!! ( it’s to GK, but just by noe is near DONE)

    center mcgee/moz/kk
    pg miller/ty
    sf gallo/rudy
    sg chandler/aaa or aaa/chandler
    pf faried/harrington

  • stevesf47

    Honestly, id ride the hot man between Brewer and Rudy and Mozgov and KK as backups. If Mozgov plays well, KK rides the bench until Mozgov has a bad game. Then we ride KK until he slacks off. Same thing with brewer and rudy. EARN YOUR MINUTES!!!!!!

    I’d love for Dre to get his a$$ super glued to the bench but we know that won’t happen.

    • allAround

      So you think that KK has not earned his minutes ? Have you seen given more than 20 minutes to Koufos for more than 4 games? Or you have not seen Moz playing bad so as to be replaced …

      • stevesf47

        KK has had some bad games himself. Yes i think he’s more consistant than Moz but moz gives you a little more offensively than just put backs. We have a dozen guys that deserve minutes…not all can play every night. You ride the hot man. Iff KK plays hard for 15 minutes and gives you something, you stick with him game in and game out until he doesnt. At that point, you give Moz a run until he gets in trouble. These guys are young. We are only talking 15 minutes a game with the addition of chandler.

        • allAround

          I cannot see how Moz is better in offence, KK has more moves than Moz . For me that is a fact ….You see only put backs since the ball does not reaches KK .

          In any case my point was that we have seen KK producing but not geting the time he deserves …see the game with Oclahoma. On the contrary with have seen Moz always getting time and trust but not bringing numbers.

          I agree this team has tallented players that need PT, but Moz is not one of them. He is already 26 I think and still discussing for his full potential when KK that is 23 ( same birth year with Farried ) has already passed him and just needs PT….

          • stevesf47

            I like KK a little more, and yes mozgov is 25 but he’s still very raw. Moz hasn’t played nearly the amount of bball KK has.

            What i like about mozgov is he runs the floor better than KK and he can step away from the rim and shoot. KK is alot better around the basket, i know this. He is also not nearly as foul prone.

            One thing i will say about both of them, they both have terrible hands. Both of these guys fumble a ton of passes inside. SMH

            • allAround

              Yes Moz can run better the court and has shown to have better perimeter shoot ( even though I really think Koufos also has that shot but it is a matter of his adjusting to his ” new body ” untill he finds his shot since Koufos has gained a lot of strength and weight the last 2 years ).

              On the other hand Koufos has rebs and better pivot moves . And having that in mind I must say Koufos is a better Center than Moz, and do not forget they are paid for Centers.

              • HD

                This has been one of the biggest questions all year. Kouf or Moz.

                The facts:

                KK can rebound, and block consistantly//trouble finishing around the rim. Has nice jump hooks, either hand.

                Moz can Shoot the mid range shot, nice turnaround game/fade. A few nice post moves–jump hook/fade. One of the best finishers on the team.

                Both have lousy hands

                TOTAL = its a wash, you ride the hot hand.

  • allAround

    McGee a starter … I should change team this becomes a circus then

  • Fong

    I would like to add a useless fact….the Nuggets tat platoon is back!

  • allAround

    Sorry for keep posting but I am dissappointed . How can we get the worst team’s center and name it a starter to our team . I mean has McGee learned how to play to “real” teams that execute plans during the game … Anyway i ll wait and see

    • stevesf47

      Mcgee is what the DR. ordered for this team. Yes he will make alot of bonehead plays i’m sure. But it gives us a ton of cap flexibility which is always great. We also can finally counter Ibaka. You know how Ibaka blocks every gosh darn shot the nugs take inside around the rim? Mcgee can do the same thing to westy when he drives the lane along with everyone else. No more soft Nene in there letting guys blow by him.

      I’ll miss Nene inside touch. But defensively he wasn’t that good and he had some health issues as well. But cap room is fantastic for us.

      Would you have Mcgee and Chandler or Nene? This is what it came down too whether you understand that or not.

      • allAround

        I understand the money issue and the fact that McGee and Chandler over Nene .

        But do you understand what I am saying …
        I am saying McGee cannot be a starter to a team that wants to actually do smt . I mean does he know to play ” controlled ” basketball, so as to be our starter ? I cannot see him fit. I hope he does but there is a huge difference between his former team and Nugs. Nugs is not a team that everyone does what he thinks is cool ( and McGee really does that ) .

        Anyway I hope you see my point regarding him being a starter to our team ….

        Personally I was hoping to trade Miller and Nene together with Bird for something big instead of getting another 7 footer and creating less space for kk and Moz (that both need PT). But as it goes lets wait for something bigger next year .

  • Josh


    Stone can sit, Bird is done, Brewer is out with Chandler back uless he can adjust to the 2 guard.

  • matt

    pg: lawson, miller, stone
    sg: AAA, Fernandez, hamilton
    sf: Gallo, chandler, brewer
    pf: farried, kosta/birdman, harrington
    c:mcgee, kufos, birdman, mosgov

    limit miller and harringtons minutes to make room for new comers and faried.

  • ny nugs fan

    for every 1 good thing fernandez does, he quickly follows it up with 2-3 atrocious mistakes

  • magster

    My vote is to limit Al and Dre significantly in favor of getting Chandler minutes. As for how to fit McGee in…I think Bird is the odd man out, and Moz/Kouf audition with limited minutes in the first half to see who gets to play in the second half on a game by game basis to see if one is consistently better than the other.

    Or, Karl could drive the team bus into a brick wall and play whoever emerges from the wreckage uninjured.

  • Barry

    At this point, we are playing for next year, we may be able to come away with a 1st round upset in the Western Conference, depending on how we finish the season and who we get matched up with. The Nuggets need to go young the rest of the way. Starters should be Lawson, AAA, Gallo, Faried, and Mozzy. Chandler should be the 6th man and close out games instead of Mozzy.
    At this point since we are playing for the future, I would rather see Karl develop Julyan Stone and Jordan Hamilton. Dre is going to try to catch on and be a starter somewhere, (maybe Toronto, they signed AC) so why play him here, he’s not in the long term plans, realistically he’s washed up, but per usual, George Karl is the last person in the world to figure this out. Offensively, Dre can be okay, though inconsistent. The main problem with him though is defensively. He’s too old to stay with his man, although he will pick a guys pocket once in a while. But as far as team defense, he’s the reason the D breaks down during crunch time, he WILL NOT rotate.
    Stone can help the team win with his defense, would love to see him get Dre’s minutes to build his confidence on the offensive side of things

    • Barry

      Sorry, meant to say McGee instead of Mozzy

  • DH

    It’s a shame we couldn’t trade Miller, Bird, and Rudy at the deadline, preferably for draft picks. None of the three is in the long-term plans. We have four legit centers, so Bird’s an obvious candidate to go. We have too many wings, and I’ll take Brewer every time (even though I like Rudy more than most people at this site do). And Miller doesn’t want to be here. I thought we should have been able to get something for him – either from a contender who wants a solid PG option or from a team that wants the expiring contract.

    Anyway, with no Bird and no Rudy, the playing time dilemma would be greatly reduced. And count me in as someone who wants to see what Stone can do. At least he would give 100% effort all the time, from what I’ve seen. Plus, he would only play when Ty needs a breather anyway (barring an injury to Ty, which I admit is a concern).

    With that said, you might see where I’m going…

    Ty/Miller (but don’t be afraid to yank Andre for Stone)
    McGee/Koufos/Moz or Bird

    No more two-guard lineups. Miller gets 15 minutes like a normal backup PG.

    Rudy is the odd man out. Minutes should work out fine between Gallo, Afflalo, Brewer and Chandler – with Brewer getting less than the others on most nights.

    Al starts playing 20 or so minutes, not 30 to 35.

    McGee is the clear starter, when he’s up to speed on his assignments. Koufos is mostly rock-solid dependable as a backup, plus Moz is battling injuries. Moz and Bird should get some spot duty here and there, but we should establish a normal rotation of JM/KK.

    And for the love of God (as others have mentioned), let’s try having a center on the floor most, if not all, of the time.

    I’m going to go cry now, because I realize George will do almost exactly the opposite of what I would like to see (and almost everyone will end up unhappy with their minutes, rather than just a few guys who were the least deserving of minutes anyway).

  • Ernie

    We all know the Buffalo Wild Wings approach to multiple overtimes would not work because GK does not substitute after the 5 minute mark of the 4th Quarter.

    • Ernie

      Also my idea is to have different players on the back to back nights. Lawson, Gallo, McGee and Faried always play 30 minutes, AAA and Chandler 25, but the others are mixed such that our bench is always the freshest. K2, Stone, Brewer and Fernandez one night with Moz, Miller, Hamilton and Harrington the next. That way when a player plays they know they will be in for 20 minutes that night and not always look over to the bench if a mistake is made. And Faried and McGee get the experience they need while being the best options at those positions for the team.

  • Jason

    Ty (30mpg), Miller (18mpg)

    AAA (30mpg), Rudy or Brewer (14mpg), Chandler (4mpg)

    Gallo (30mpg), Chandler (18mpg)

    Faried (24mpg), Harrington (20mpg), Chandler (4mpg)

    Mozgov (18mpg), McGee (24mpg), Koufos (6mpg)

  • HermanVanNess

    Starting Lineup:

    C- McGee- This dude is talented. He was great at the Olympic trials. Probably the second best athlete at his position in the league after D. Howard. I think he’s a tad bit better than DeAndre Jordan. Maturity is an issue but, he can develop into a more athletic Tyson Chandler.

    PF- Faried- Beast. Energy. Still learning obviously. Not a great defender yet. Can get exposed by bigger 4’s (Garnett) or get beaten off the dribble (Jamison) but, I think he’ll figure it out. Lack of size will always be somewhat of an issue. But, he will play hard, rebound, block shots, and he has enough skill to develop a go to move or two on offense.

    SF- Gallo- Needs to turn that talent into consistency. Sometimes I think it’s a function of the offense that he doesn’t get enough touches but, other times he seems to drift. He seems more than capable of being a 20pt scorer in this league.

    SG- AAA- Solid defender. Starting to show a nice pull up off of screens. Mainly a catch and shoot guy. Can’t create a shot. Not a great slasher or finisher. Limited athlete.

    PG- Ty- I love Ty but, sometimes I wonder if he’s really a true lead guard or more of a change of pace guard. His confidence/aggressiveness tends to waver at times. Not a great pick and roll player because lack of height takes away his passing angles.

    I would be tempted to start Chandler at the 2 because he’s a more versatile offensive player than Afflalo. In this lineup Gallo and Ty need to realize that they need to be aggressive scorers. A lot of offense should be generated from the defense. The bigs just need to rebound block/change shots and run the floor. Things that Faried and McGee do as well as anyone at their positions.

    Top Rotation Players:

    Chandler- Versatile. Can play multiple positions and serve as our James Harden like scorer off the bench.

    Miller- He drives me crazy and he won’t be here next year but, as long as he and Ty aren’t on the floor together he should still be getting the backup minutes at the one.

    Koufos- So much better than Mozzy. He’s earned 10-12 minutes a night.

    Al- I still appreciate Al’s game. He’s different than all of our bigs. He can stretch the floor and post up a little bit. When we need offense I have no issue with him closing games as long as there is a legit center or rebounder on the floor at the same time.

    Honestly the only other player truly deserving of minutes is Brewer. He provides great energy and defense.

    Rudy can play but, he’s simply too inconsistent. If he were more consistent I wouldn’t mind having him on the floor because he can handle the ball so well. He and Gallo seem to be pretty close and he may be worth hanging on to simply for chemistry. I still feel Rudy thinks he’s a little better than he actually is and that he deserves playing time if not here then somewhere else.

    Moz/JHam/Stone/Bird: Bench. Dust off Birdman from time to time. Play Mozzy against the likes of a Bynum.

    • bayesk

      Great breakdown, couldn’t have said it better.

      In the first episode of The Association, Karl said since the Nuggets will likely never be able to follow the two- or three-superstar model, the team should pursue a ‘top 10 at every position’ philosophy. So who among the Nuggets qualifies? Gallo and Lawson? Faried? (So awesome to be able to already legitimately ask that about him.) It’s far from the best advanced stat, and could never replace watching the games, but in his small sample size, Manimal ranks second in PER at the 4, ahead of Blake and trailing only Love. Gallo’s interesting; he’s just ahead of Igoudala and Gay, both very good players. Gallo at fifth in the NBA (!) falls just short of Carmelo, but come on – at this point I think we can all say 8 >= 15, or at least Nugs post-trade >= Nugs w/Carmelo. KK ranks 18th, Nenê 21st, and Mozzy’s down near the nadir amongst the Mohammeds and Asiks. To be fair, both of those guys are backups seeing a dozen or so minutes a night on Top 4 contenders, so I’ll take that out of Mozgov, when needed. Is Koufos a Top 10 backup center? That’s assuming McGee figures out how to get out of his own way and is the starter. McGee is 8th according to PER, btw. We’ll see. I like that we can audition McGee for no risk, and gained great flexibility in the process. Enough flexibility to bring back Chandler. He’s a Top 10 bench guy, isn’t he? I’ve longed for a counter to James Harden for years; could Chandler fill that role for us? And Big Al is a legit bench scorer, near Terry, Crawford, and the like, IMHO. Is AAA a Top 10 wing/perimeter defender? Or Chandler? Is Gallo’s defense at the 3 among the ten best? Hopefully, the remainder of the season and playoffs will answer all of these questions in the affirmative, and prove just how far along the “Top 10 at every position” plan the front office has come in such a short time. Kudos to Ujiri.

  • Charles

    Did you see the pass from Gallo to Farid? Gallo can pass and dribble. Remember Magic, a 6’9″ point guard? Who would stop Gallo’s three’s if a PG? Let him try it…

  • Ernie


    The question is what should the Nuggets do this summer? As you pointed out, really no coach can handle this situation with 12 guys that deserve minutes in a game where playing 8-9 is best for everyone (enough minutes to get in a rhythmn, not too much to get overtired). Miller will leave, after that it’s unclear.

  • @natenutzclement

    Starting 5 Ty, AAA, Gallo, Faried, McGee.
    This starting unit would give us transition points as we deemed ourselves as a running team anyway(remember those days?). GK will mix and match as need with the rest of our squad. For instance if we play lethargic he can insert Brewer for energy instead of Rudy. The biggest issue I see is Miller. I give him credit for being possibly the best lob assist PG in the league but we got rid of Melo because the ball stopped. Miller does the same. He almost seems to dislike the fastbreak, constantly slowing down and initiating the offense when teamates are streaking down the court. This kind of makes Faried and McGee useless in the running offense with exception of the putback dunks. With the roster being so deep we lack minutes to develop promising rookies Stone and Hamilton barring blowouts. Coach has his work cut out for him and I’m sure half of you and some media will be calling for his head sooner than later. Can anyone remember any team or coach being in this type of situation?

  • Kyle

    PG-Ty Lawson
    SG-Arron Afflalo
    If we had that starting lineup we got so much length and athleticism. I know Fairied and Mcgee make their mistakes, but they can rebound and play hard. Off the bench we have Chandler, Harrington, Miller, Brewer, and Mozgov. Obviously, with our depth if someone doesnt step up you can throw in Koufos and get good minutes, I hate Fernandez and Birdman, we need to give Jordan Hamilton some more minutes. It’ll be interesting to see what Karl does the rest of the year.

  • ParkHillNative

    This potential trouble brewing between Karl and Ujiri is not good. At this point, I would rather see Ujiri win out, as I can’t take Karl seriously if he thinks this team is a contender, after what we’ve seen this season.

    But who are the Kroenkes more likely to side with?

  • josh

    c-javale(in good time)/moz/bird

    we need to shrink our roster and rudy just isnt as good as hamilton, keep stone to back up lawson when miller is done and brewer needs to get minutes because of his energy. Harrington is a great bench player and moz has potential although not performing that great currently only position i am not sure of is center

  • Max Ireland

    Got a few lineups in mind.

    First off, the opposite of small ball lineup – the HUGE BALL lineup

    You could also put Ty as PG and have a “zip among the trees” lineup.

    As far as actual starting, no question this is our best

    Also lets not forget that every time JHam steps into the game he usually nails a 3. That’s better than Rudy and he should be getting minutes as such. I’d love to see Rudy run point more. He’s got some flashy passing and he’d be a lot less likely to shoot if he was running point.

  • Warren

    Depth Chart

    PG: Ty Lawson – Andre Miller
    SG: Arron Afflalo – Rudy Fernandez -Jordan Hamilton
    SF: Danilo Gallinari – Wilson Chandler -Al Harrington
    PF: Kenneth Faried – Al Harrington – Kosta Koufos – Birdman
    C: JaVale McGee – Kosta Koufos – Timofey Mozgov – Birdman

    Starters & Primary Backups/Active Rotation

    PG: Ty Lawson – Andre Miller
    SG: Arron Afflalo – Rudy Fernandez
    SF: Danilo Gallinari – Wilson Chandler
    PF: Kenneth Faried – Al Harrington
    C: JaVale McGee – Kosta Koufos

  • Warren

    Starters & Primary Backups/Active Rotation (mpg at position)

    -PG: Ty Lawson (32mpg) – Andre Miller (16mpg)

    -SG: Arron Afflalo (27mpg) – Rudy Fernandez (15mpg) – Wilson Chandler (4mpg) – Jordan Hamilton (2mpg)

    -SF: Danilo Gallinari (30mpg) – Wilson Chandler (18mpg)

    -PF: Kenneth Faried (25mpg) – Al Harrington (17mpg) – Kosta Koufos (3mpg) – Chris Anderson (3mpg)

    -C: JaVale McGee (26mpg) – Kosta Koufos (10mpg) – Timofey Mozgov (6mpg) – Chris Anderson (3mpg)

  • Ontoneyo

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  • Aaron

    PG – Lawson/Miller/Stone
    SG – Afflalo/Chandler/Fernandez/Miller
    SF – Gallinari/Chandler/Brewer
    PF – Faried/Harrington/Chandler
    C -McGee/Mozgof/Koufos

    Res – Birdman/Hamilton

    I know I will get a lot of hate for having Miller playing minutes at SG but I believe at times the 2 pointguard lineup can benifit the team, as long as it’s not overused.

  • r21

    i ‘d like to see that

    PG | Lawson 35 | Miller 13
    SG | AAA 30 | Rudy 10 | Gallo 8
    SF | Gallo 25 | Chandler 23
    PF | Faried 25 | Al 15 | Chandler 8
    C | Koufos 25 | Mcgee 13 | Al 10

    If Mcgee doesnt want to be a 10-15 minute player Moz or Andersen should take his minutes.

  • Andrew

    Ha ha. You have to love the enthusiasm on this blog!

    PG – Lawson, Stone (to spell early and for D), with Miller coming in when Ty Law is having an off night.
    SG – Afflalo OR Chandler OR Brewer OR Rudy OR Hamilton, depending on matchups and who is hot.
    SF – Gallo, Chandler (even though I like Gallo a lot more than Chandler, Gallo is still hurt, so it wouldn’t be a bad thing to give Chandler a few starts early on, if nothing more than to keep him motivated) OR Brewer.
    PF: Faried, Harrington (I agree with those who have said Harrington is best off the bench and with limited minutes).
    C: Koufos (at first until McGee proves himself reliable), McGee (who should start as soon as he has proven himself at last somewhat reliable…let’s face it, as talented as he is, he makes a lot of REALLY dumb mistakes…which he may never be able to resolve), Moz, Anderson.

    I personally think Moz and Miller should be traded for an upgrade at PG and a hot shooting SG. Give Stone a chance and then draft or go get a PG by trading Moz. The Nuggs will get more for Moz than Koufos, even though he is not as good…and he is certainly expendable with McGee and Koufos on the roster. I also think we need a serious upgrade at SG. I like Afflalo, but we need a shooter and Afflalo and Rudy are too inconsistent.

    • dynamo.joe

      The problem being there are about 5-6 SG’s in the league. Good luck prying one away from their current team.

      This ‘historically deep’ draft? All front court players, so no love there either.

  • MizzouNuggets

    DH has had the best lineup and rotation that I have seen so far. It should go like this:

    PG- Lawson (28-38), Miller (Remaining minutes), Stone (Spot minutes/defensive assignments)
    SG- AAA (28-36), Chandler (8-12), Brewer/Fernandez (Rest of minutes depending on flow of the game. If we need 3’s Rudy if we need energy and defense Brewer or if hell freezes over and Karl puts in Hamilton that’s fine too)
    SF- Rooster (28-38), Chandler (8-12), Brewer (Remaining minutes)
    PF- Manimal (24-30), Harrington (18-24), Koufos (Spot minutes)
    C- Dunks McGee (20-28 until he proves he is the real deal) Koufos (10-12), Tinafey Mozzeltov (10-12) Blandersen (Spot duty and brought in for energy)

    So clearly odd men out for minutes include JHam, JStone, Birdman, and Brewer/Fernandez. At the end of this season we should let Miller, Fernandez, and Birdman go. I believe we would be built for the future if we kept our core of guys together. Lawsome, AAA, Rooster, Manimal, Dunks McGee, WC, Brewer, K2, Tinafey, Buckets, JHam, JStone. Draft another backup PG and a true shooter maybe, or a lockdown defending guard. Hopefully, Karl becomes aware of the talent we will have next year and stop trying to give Miller and Harrington so many opportunities and let the core guys who will stick around get some opportunity to flourish. Cannot wait to see the game tonight on tv as I am trapped in Missouri and get only nationally televised games. Looking forward to the rest of the season and as always, GO NUGGETS!

  • Jeff

    Mostly we are coming up with the same lineups for the rest of the season. I tend to agree with most of them but I would still give Al consistent minutes, even if that costs Chandler. Chandler has not been with the team all season. Al has been a vocal leader and put the team on his back a few times. Next season is a different story.

    In the offseason we need to shed Miller, one of the 7 footers (hopefully Mozgov in my opinion, I still value Bird’s energy), and Fernandez. If Chandler plays well and seems to fit in with his versatile SG SF PF rotating, it’s sad to say but we probably can’t keep Brewer in the rotation. I think the only position that is weak going forward is point guard. I think next year Hamilton should be Afflalo’s main backup. Not sure about Stone yet.
    What to do with Harrington is a big question. He deserves credit and playing time, but Faried is definitely the future.

  • J.J.

    I think Karl will figure the minutes out, with, IMO, Fernandez, Koufos, Birdman and Mozgov being the real minutes casualties.

    What I’m really surprised about is all of the McGee love (though I see healthy skepticism, too). Maybe you all are seeing something I don’t, but I see a great shot blocker, a decent rebounder, and not much else. He’s not terrible, but has no offense outside of dunks and put-backs, poor team and pick-and-roll defense, and a head case. And much like Nene, though we might want him to, I just don’t see him getting that much better. Not great basketball instincts, so I think what we see is what we get.

    Furthermore, while I do love Faried’s energy and some of his game (I wish everyone played that hard), he is going to be exposed badly in the playoffs, where EVERYONE is trying that hard. Plus, all those fast break dunks won’t happen, when other teams are really going all out on defense, and he has no low post game. Thus, his rebounds and scoring will be way down.

    That leaves the Nuggets in a tough spot. For all his faults, Nene was a fairly reliable post scorer in the playoffs, and even the threat of his scoring opened up the inside-outside game. He was a very good passer, and that made him valuable in that regard. The Nuggets now, assuming they make the playoffs, will have no credible low post threat, so I think scoring in the playoffs is going to be VERY difficult, leading to a short stay.

    I see what the Nuggets are doing, and part of me likes it because they are and still will be really fun to watch. I get there were money concerns, too. But I think they are less of a playoff team now. I would like to have seen the pre-trade team stay together for a year or two, to see how good they might have been before blowing it up. they showed some unbelievable flashes, but couldn’t stay focused or healthy, take your pick. I’m still excited about the team, but less so.

    My hope is that this move is maybe to stockpile guys and make a bigger move later, but I’m not holding my breath. . . . .

    • Ernie

      Moz and K2 hustle and have size, but in addition to that McGee seems to have good hands. So with McGee the 3-4 times those guys rebound and it gets knocked away or they don’t convert could mean 4-6 more points a game. Add in the blocked shots and he could make a real difference for the team if he works out.

  • Chris

    AAA needs to go the bench, he is not a starter ans the sooner we get that through are nugget brains we will be better off he can’t get his own shot when ever he wants, he has no handles, he lack explosive ability, as much as i like AAA he a backup player period.

  • Porter

    Say what you want but it was stupid to have Bird on the bench all game while Dirk killed us. Sure thing couldn’t have been worse…. no one else on the team could stop him and Bird didn’t even get a chance… dumb dumb

  • Steve

    Agree with the above…Not playing Bird and McGee…..

    Karl is coaching himself out of a job. It was a total embarrassment tonight. Bird actually plays Dirk fairly well.

    And to all that say KK is the answer…look at tonight…this is the person you wnat starting? He is fair on D bit does nothing on O and the pick and roll.

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