Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 95 Dallas Mavericks 112

Dallas Mavericks 112 FinalRecap | Box Score 95 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, F 25 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -17
Quite simply it was Faried’s worst defensive performance yet. Faried has been great defending the post but looked lost against a player of Dirk’s caliber. Karl chose not to double Dirk early on and it probably cost the Nuggets the game. As much as I hate to admit it, this shows Faried is still a developing rookie who hasn’t yet proved he’s as consistent as we all want to believe.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 23 MIN | 1-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 4 PTS | -10
Gallo started the game very poorly, became frustrated with the officiating and shot jumpers the rest of the way until he broke his left thumb while attempting to block an Ian Mahinmi layup. It had nothing to do with new personnel coming on board or George Karl limiting his role. Gallo ran offense reasonably well but was terrible as a primary scoring option and a defender. If he wants to be great, he’ll need to play harder. Gallo likely won’t be able to use his left hand for a while and could be out a few more weeks at the least. This a really bad break for the Nuggets.
Timofey Mozgov, C 9 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -14
Mozgov played a solid first half and an absolutely hideous second half. I believe the Nuggets were better defensively with him on the floor but when he stopped scoring and Dallas’s pick and roll defense picked up in the second half, Denver’ offense was horrible. Mozgov needs to be better, but the 9 minutes he had were filled with solid production and an earnest effort towards playing solid team basketball.
Arron Afflalo, SG 35 MIN | 7-10 FG | 8-8 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 24 PTS | -9
Offensively, he was the Nuggets’ most consistent option and overall they’re best player on the floor. Afflalo also showed pretty good chemistry with Chandler but in a game in which Denver was so thoroughly embarrassed it’s impossible to say he was as good as his gaudy stats indicate. Is Afflalo just going to be a really good role player or the emotional leader he’s talked about trying to become?
Ty Lawson, PG 40 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | -13
Lawson continues to struggle against the better pick and roll defenses in the league. When he was able to get penetration, Ty couldn’t finish anything. He’s going to have a tough time without a real post presence when teams take away his initial read and contain him at the rim in transition. As a team the Nuggets just didn’t do a good job moving the ball and finding good shots, which starts with Lawson but can be also be attributed to a lack of familiarity with the new personnel.
Al Harrington, PF 26 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | -2
Harrington’s numbers always seem to paint a misleading picture of his actual on-court impact. He missed a lot of bunnies that would have bolstered his already solid stat line even more, but Harrington was a no-show on defense and displayed a frustrating tendency to shoot the Nuggets out of any sort of momentum. Still, give Harrington credit for being one of the more consistent producers of the game and leading the small-ball heavy Nuggets in rebounding.
Andre Miller, PG 5 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -1
Miller never really got going, as he unfortunately took a huge hit on the shoulder early on and sat out the rest of the way. In the 5 minutes he did play, Miller matched his points and assist totals in the more than 20 minutes he played in his previous game against the Boston Celtics. Denver has very little depth at the PG position and losing him leaves a void that’s difficult to fill.
Corey Brewer, SF 24 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -6
I liked Brewer’s intensity a lot, but getting him heavy minutes alongside Chandler and Gallo meant a super small lineup that really ended up hurting the Nuggets against the larger Mavericks. Brewer logged no rebounds and one steal in 24 minutes. I like Corey, but I fear he may be stuck in a lot of blowouts if the Nuggets don’t find a little more balance and find ways to play bigger.
Wilson Chandler, SF 28 MIN | 6-16 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -1
As I expected, Chandler looked like the freshest Nugget on the floor. He gave the Nuggets big time minutes despite clearly having no idea how to fit into George Karl’s idea of a half-court offense. Defensively is where Chandler really shined, giving the Nuggets a solid one-two punch on the perimeter alongside Afflalo. He struggled against the length and the size of the Mavericks in the post, but logged a good deal of minutes at power forward and center alongside Harrington or Faried. It’s tough to expect a lot of Chandler in that situation.
Rudy Fernandez, SG 9 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -8
Fernandez didn’t play until the second half and wouldn’t have entered the game if not for Andre Miller’s injury. The game was essentially over by the time he entered and Fernandez wasn’t able to show a lot in the emergency point guard role. It’s very tough to judge Rudy playing out of position in a couple of meaningless minutes in a blowout loss.
Kosta Koufos, C 17 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4
17 minutes is a lot for a guy who contributed absolutely nothing except 2 rebounds. There’s a lot of hilarious delusion out of Nuggets fans surrounding Koufos, who is an adequate fourth-year backup big man. Koufos produced very little for the generous amount of minutes he was given and made no impact defensively.
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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.
  • ionic66

    Losing Andre Miller leaves a void difficult to fill? This after giving him an F and refusing to write about him again? Talk about inconsistency guys.

    The biggest problem with this site is the impulsiveness. I love, LOVE having a website dedicated to the Nuggets but it seems that all too often you guys get caught up in the heat of the moment. Not to mention giving grades based off of player bias. Examples would be screaming for Karl’s head one moment then calling him a good coach later on. (Though, the Karl head hunting can get tedious) And come on guys, can Faried do no wrong? He was atrocious tonight. Any other player would have recieved a D or F, but not the Manimal who appears to be exempt from your criticisms. Too hard on Mozgov, too kush on K2. Oh, and Lawson and Nene for Gasol???? I’m glad you are analyzing, but in what possible way could that help the Nuggets?

    All that being said, I sincerly appreciate what you guys are doing, this is just a season’s worth of observations crammed into one post.

    • kt

      Couldn’t agree with this post more.

    • Charlie

      There are few options at backup PG when Miller is out. Not my opinion, just fact.

      The numbers suggest Miller’s okay for a backup for a backup point guard, but nothing more.He doesn’t buy into the team and is better off elsewhere.

      Still, losing your backup PG affects your chances to win a game in which the third stringer didn’t even suit up and Rudy was the only option left

    • Andrew

      Disagree to a certain extent on your point about inconsistency of opinions. For example, those of us who dislike Karl pretty much agree that he is a good regular season coach and a poor playoff coach, and we really do not waver on that.

    • evan

      It’s inconsistent because its based off each game. not the season of a whole.

  • ionic66

    Forgot to mention: Perimeter defense is non-existent now. Immediate fix needed.

  • Golden Fan

    First of all, you made a not-so-good article about praising Nene way over McGee. Then you said that losing Andre Miller is a big hit for the Nuggets. If losing him is really a punch in the face, then you’re wrong. If he would have served as a Fisher-like leader for the Nuggets, he would have been as valued as not given an ‘F’ in a game. Oh wait, have you forgotten about Julyan Stone??? This loss is either a curse or a blessing maybe because:
    Curse – since we just aren’t able to climb higher in the standings
    Blessing – since Karl will (finally) give Julyan Stone significant minutes (I wish he won’t let Rudy play at the point).

    • Thomas

      Agree with your comments and disagree with the Faried criticism and claim that we are in trouble without Andre.

      Karl, as usual, was completely outcoached by the opposing coach. Faried on Dirk is just plain dumb. How do you win your rebounding battle when your lockdown rebounder is trying to contest shots of a seven footer that can shoot lights out like Dirk. It was obvious that it was a waisted match-up that negated Faried’s strength and gave Dallas a huge edge.

      Small ball once again was idiotic. Is he trying to lose games on purpose?

      Hopefully Andre sits a few games so that Stone gets some back-up duty. He won’t run the offense smoothly, but his impact as a defender is a positive for the 15 minutes he is on the floor.

  • Golden Fan

    Also. If George Karl won’t play McGee in the next game (with not giving Stone a lot of minutes), I think it’s time to criticize the coach since the first half of the season. We could have used his length to contain Dirk. If not start him, why not play him as a sub instead of giving the kid a DNP-CD??
    Blessing alert: Gallo’s injury will open more minutes for Wilson Chandler. This will hopefully help the Nuggets.

    • kt

      I would have liked to see McGee in action, if only just for garbage time.

      • TheWolfman

        I was extremely annoyed that George didn’t put McGee in. The fans deserve to see what we got in return for Nene, and while seeing Chandler come out looking strong was great, his signing was only a by-product of the trade.

  • GK4Prez

    I am still not sold on who I like better at the center spot. AL started out okay, Faried seemed a bit small, and Gallo got injured, but I am still not settled on who I think it should be. I guess Gallo will be out of the running, so it comes down to buckets or the manimal.

  • Sam Adhikari

    It was an embarrassing performance on national TV. Hung in there in the first half but I never thought we could win this game.

    If this game was any indication of how we are going to play in the playoffs then I don’t even wanna watch. This is what the playoffs is going to be like. We’re likely going to face a veteran team, & the game slows down in the playoffs. You can’t outrun teams. Your halfcourt offense and defense has to be good. You need some interior scoring.

    Reasons I didn’t think we could win this game after watching the first half:

    1. Dirk has been playing like the playoffs Dirk the last 15 games. Faried and Wilson Chandler had no chance whatsoever against him. Kenyon Martin used to give Dirk a lot of fits but since he’s gone there was no one to stop him. Dirk is too good.

    To defend Dirk, you have to DENY HIM THE BALL. Faried and Wilson Chandler easily let get the ball THEN decided to defend him. Uh, that’s a recipe for disaster against such a versatile player like Dirk.

    2. We were playing out of control. I know run-and-gun fast-break offense is the focal point of this team, but with Andre Miller out, Ty didn’t do a good job of managing the game. Our half-court offense was pathetic to be honest. Too much 1 on 1 play, not enough ball movement, lack of post-scoring.

    Karl better play McGee next game. We need his size and ability to finish around the rim. Al missed about 3 layups tonight, I think.

    • Dubz

      Even though I agree that denying Dirk the ball is the way to go, it’s a lot easier said than done. That man is a true mismatch in this league. When he’s hitting shots like he was tonight, there’s little you can do to stop him. Just try to limit the other guys around him as much as possible. I thought Chandler did a good job considering it was his first game back. In fact, that’s the type of guy Chandler excels at guarding. The longer types who don’t necessarily bang with the big boys (Durant, Dirk, Aldridge, Pau, etc.) If Dirk is going to do that though, I don’t know anyone who’s going to truly stop him.

    • Mac Miller

      If you remember our first game of the season against Dallas, there was a lot of ball movement to create shots for open players like Gallo and Harrington. We can pass the ball around (with or without Miller) i think, Lawson just cracks under pressure (without Miller out there) in the half-court and gives it off quickly instead of penetrating then dishing it off.

  • Dubz

    I was worried that once Chandler came back, Karl would go even smaller with his lineups. I didn’t think he would go THAT small though. When you can’t tell who’s the SG and who’s the C, there’s obvious problems with your lineup GK. I was kind of expecting this with Chandler just coming back and having McGee available, even though we didn’t use him. I thought Karl was too quick to take Chandler off of Dirk as well, for Koufos struggled mightily. Mozgov deserved more minutes IMO because GK’s small lineups allowed Dallas to employ some crafty lineups of their own that we simply couldn’t match. When some combination of Mahimni, Dirk, and Odom are on the floor, that team can be scary and Karl’s lineups allowed Dallas to do just that. I’m afraid Karl is going to have to figure his lineups and fast or else he’s going to hurt this teams development.

  • Mac Miller

    Karl played horrible line ups. When we tried to play big, 2K was too slow to guard Dirk and Manimal is too inexperienced to guard a player like that. He’s lost whilst defending the perimeter. GK has got to use Mozgov and McGee more. If McGee is here as a “rental” to see what he can do for us then why doesn’t GK give him a shot at proving his worth. Chandler was solid and due to Gallo’s (unfortunate) injury, we’ll be seeing more solid minutes from him. Harrington is very inconsistent. He lights up the floor one night and the next he misses all his layups and tip ins. Hope his minutes reduce for McGee. Hope the team bounces back quick against Detroit.

  • http://www.swag.com Gerardo

    If George Karl is going to coach like this the rest of the season we might as well forget about playoffs. It’s time for him to be held accountable we have 3, 7 footers sitting on the bench and they only played I think a combined 20 minutes. Mahimi and wright 2 average NBA players just abused Karls small ball. I don’t i don’t know why Karl doesn’t use 2, 7 footers at a time like our first game against OKC.. that lineup with mosgov and koufous basically gave us a 16 point lead.. but anyways I think in the off season its time to end this mosgov experiment I see nothing special with him he cant catch, he can’t really defend and he only had 1 double digit rebound game all season.. McGee also should have played tonight, and I think he’s ganna keep him In his dog house bbecause he’s mad nene got traded, he needs to get over it, masai has to have a talk wit him either get with the system or get the fuck off!!! The players he didn’t want are no longer apart of this team this is the team he wanted and he still makes excuses.. I just don’t think he’s all there mentally.. its time for a change at head coach and i really hope he’s gone next season…

    • Andrew


  • Andrew

    Does anyone know why McGee, Bird and Stone were DNPs? Was it just Karl’s whim? I think somebody said Stone was in street clothes.

    I know it’s just me because I find Karl increasingly irritating, but Karl seems to be getting more stubborn. It is as though he is trying to prove a point or make a statement to his critics with his lineups and playing time. I hope Miller is ok, but it would be nice if he had to sit a few games so Stone can get some PT and experience. Also, with Gallo out again, he’ll have to insert McGee…or will he? Who knows anymore.

    Well, the good news is that Chandler looked pretty good tonight.

  • aussienuggzfan

    Faried’s defense wasn’t great by any stretch, HOWEVER more often than not faried was right in Dirks face and he hit ridiculous fadeaways.

    I think Faried is a great matchup against players like Blake Griffin, Ibaka and K Love however he tends to struggle at the moment against savier guys like dirk (most do) and antwan jamieson.

  • Andrew

    Also, did anyone else see Karl with a big, dumb grin on his face at the end of the game? I know sometimes you just have to laugh, but if Karl is never going to exhibit any tenacity or edge, how can he expect his players to have it?

  • http://www.swag.com Gerardo

    And one more thing every time he calls time out he just says to the players Run Run Run.. how in the hell is that suppose to help out the players? And time after time after time the small ball has failed Karl still used it.. like what I said earlier I just don’t think hes there mentally… Dude should just retire… And also al harrington needs to go Karl just relies on him too much…

  • Kyle Obergfell

    I am probably the only one to wonder..
    but I wonder…

    What exactly has Birdman done or not done
    to get a few minutes???

    Nowitzki was schooling everybody.. EVERYBODY..

    and you’re not going to put Birdman in to see if
    things change??

    Bird has battled his ass off every time he has been
    given a chance. Look for yourselves the last few
    times he’s played.

    I don’t get it. Makes no sense at all to me.

    And re: Miller and no options else..

    We missed Rudy Fernandez for a month..
    now he’s back. Really. I’m not kidding.
    He played tonight. I’m serious..

    • Porter

      Strongly Agree Kyle.

    • HD

      You took the words right out of my mouth

  • GK4Prez

    I am not upset with the rotation that GK uses nearly as much as I am with his system. It is a joke and the more I watch it, the more I hate it. They have no clue at all on how to recognize a mismatch on offense. They don’t even know who is going to get the shot on offense because the whole philosophy is drive and kick off of picks. I don’t even think they could run the same play twice if they had to.

    The entire system is predicated off of the defense where they get a deflection or a rebound and run. When the game slows down, they struggle and it has been a re-occurring theme for the Nuggets since GK got the gig. Pop exposed the flaw in this system years ago and now almost every team in the league uses his blue print against us.

    The defense is a major flaw from the opening tip off until the final buzzer, switch everything or double someone and don’t rotate/rotate way too late. This team defends the 3 point line like, well, like the numbers show that it does, which is like crap. Team after team puts up great percentages from behind the arc against the Nuggets defense all they have to do is make an extra pass and just like that they have an open look with no defender anywhere in sight. What makes it even more difficult to stomach is this team has the personnel to defend the perimeter. Afflalo, Brewer, Gallo, and Chandler are all decent defenders, so it has to be the system that is lacking.

    I have been a fan of the Nuggets organization for a little over 40 years now, and I have no plans on stopping anytime soon, but I cannot wait for the day that this coach is let go, retires, or whatever it is that gets him out of town.

    He doesn’t develop young players. The only reason Faried is in the rotation is because he made the most of an opportunity when other players on the team were injured. If they hadn’t been injured, he would be stuck on the pine in a suit next to JHam and Stone.

    It seems like he has stunted the growth (no pun intended) of Lawson by playing him next to Dre. Now Lawson walks the ball up the court more than he looks to run, and he rarely looks to drive anymore.

    How many more chances does the man get to do something besides make it to the playoffs and get bounced in the first round?

  • italianintellecto

    dear DBZ and GK4Prez
    i agree with u, this was a war of mismatch.
    where clearly the bad coaching, once again emerged as the first opion for a cause to blame for.

    1)faried on dirk? faried is a bad one-o-one defender, gk ofen says, but did he put him on dirk? doese it make sense?

    2)gallinari at center? does it make sense?

    3)dallas is struggling on perimeter, but not so much on paint, why do u take off all the center, wen u see they can knock 3,
    giving them an advantage ALSO in the paint? does it make sense?

    it was a gamble, clearly if dallas can make it also from the perimeter, they are like the champions.
    but with some protection of the paint perhaps it was not a blow-out.
    but this was a loss very predictable in many way. our group is too young.
    we must hope GK tried some trick to prevent the loss. and in the first half, sometimes it worked.

    so a B for GK.

    dear charlie

    faried: yep we know, a bad defender, but nonetheless it was Dirk,
    i cant believe GK’s choice to move his bad defender on the MVP, only to prove wrong the overeacting fanbase.
    it was more a war of mismatch, in fact faried was having the chance do beat him on the other side.
    but the defense of dallas in the paint is TOP 3, and GK loose the bet. so yep i agree: C-

    gallo: yep one of the worst game of gallo, and one, the accident. i agree D

    mozgov: yep normally a F guy, but today was A in the first minutes, but again, we must wait, it’s all about consistency. i agree B-

    afflalo: yep, he cant be the leader, but when there wasnt gallo, he was that man. So me must think the story repetable. i agree A–

    ty lawson: yep no excuses, he is the most inconsistent player, too bad. i agree c–

    harrington: yep our 6TH man cant miss the bunny layup. i agree B

    andre miller: nope, u are always too hard on him. he was good again. u cant grade him on the value of the fast pace of GK system
    he is always a very good mid-tempo player, but again it was a choice of GK to pick him to denver. so grade A–

    brewer: we cant stay away from the passion who bring this man, GK must evaluate better the rotation.it’s only the beginning.
    agree nonetheless grade B

    chandler: he’s back! the huge upgrade for denver, and im happy to see our dear old wilson, with his bad selection, but
    with the very heartfull defense and athletics. soo good(and bad lol) i agree A.

    rudy fernandez: the enigmatic man who cant do what in europe usually do. why he can’t make the 3?? in europe he is a leader maximo.
    he brings fast pace, great passing, geat vision court, and he makes better everyone…in usa he was blocked by the system of portland.
    but why he cant blossom in the fast tempo of GK???? he makes me mad, lol!!!
    B??? he can do way better so C.

    KK: okey it’s a D, but he is a veery good third rotation man not a starter. WHY GK so many minutes? whyyyyyyy???
    (i cant believe to respond on the overeactig fanbase! what a silly man)

    bad bad very bad responce to the management who want to see the REAL starter in MCGEE. (timo is a lost case)

    • HD

      Did you watch the very few minutes Mozgov played. Raw. His offensive game looks really good. When his jump shot is falling he is unstopable. McGee has zero offense outside of dunks. McGee may start but if mozgov doesn’t play then we have no offense out of the post position.

  • jc

    karl’s stupid lineups are really starting to make me made so he plays koufos for 17min he does basically nothing mozgov played 9 minutes got a few points but suspect on the defensive on so denver is getting killed inside with putbacks and offensive rebounds so he puts al harrington in t center instead of mcGee dirk and mahimi go off on him karl still has him play about 40 min karl is a great coach but his lineups in crunch time and in general are horrible

  • al68

    Dallas es un equipo bastante predecible, si les juegas rapido e intenso los 48 minutos no tienes NINGUNA POSIBILIDAD DE GANAR, y nosotros tenemos 10 jugadores de un nivel alto para jugar al maximo de intensidad todo el partido pero no lo hacemos. Porque?.

    1º tenemos a GK que desgraciadamente esta pasado, fue un gran entrenador pero este año ha tocado fondo no sabe rotar a los jugadores y el equipo muchas veces no sabe a lo que juega.

    2º Tenemos un base como Lawson que aunque muchos opinais lo contrario no dirije no sabe llevar el tempo del partido, sería un buen suplente para cambiar el ritmo de un partido y darle explosividad.

    3º Con las cantidad de jugadores de calidad y ninguno superestrella deberiamos de jugar muy intensos con muchisima presion sobre el balon los 48 minutos. Harrington deberia jugar un maximo de 18-20 min, ningun jugador debería pasar de los 30 min. con esta plantilla.

    Ya lo dije desde la derrota con Memphis en overtime, que tenia muy imagen y se esta corroborando.

    Disculpas por no escribir en ingles.

    • GK4Prez

      No need to apologize, I copy and paste what you type and then go to google translate to see what you have to say.

      translation =

      Dallas is a team fairly predictable, if you play fast and intense 48 minutes you have no chance of winning, and we have 10 players on a high level to play at maximum intensity throughout the match but we do not. Why?.

      GK 1, we have been unfortunately this was a great coach but this year has bottomed rotate not know the players and the team often does not know what he plays.

      2 ° We have a base like that, although many do you think Lawson would not otherwise directs knows not to take the tempo of the game would be a good substitute to change the pace of a game and give explosiveness.

      3 ° With the amount of quality players and we should either superstar to play very intense with a lot of pressure on the ball 48 minutes. Harrington should play a maximum of 18-20 min, no player should move from the 30 min. with this template.

      I said from the loss to Memphis in overtime, I had this very image and corroborating.

      Apologies for not writing in English.

      • al68

        Thank you very much!!!!!!!

  • George

    I think I’ve come to the point where I realize that we have to much depth (is that an oxymoron?). All this talent that we have has turned GK into a hockey coach. I’m sorry, but I don’t think you’re supposed to have line changes in a basketball game. All of this “depth” is doing to us is spreading the minutes out and not allowing people (our starters & key back-ups) the ability to get into a rythme. I also think this “depth has caused GK to turn into a basketball “mad scientist” with his constant experimintations with his line-ups. I understand that your starting SF is 6-10, but he’s a SF for a reason, why would you play him at CENTER?!?!? I firmly believe that they don’t practice defense anymore because if they do, and what we watched is what we get then that is 85% on the coach. With as bad as our half-court offense is, if we play one ounce of defense we can outscore almost everybody. I think the Nuggets need to play a straight 3-2 zone the rest of the way with two 7-footers playing inside. I also think that this off season (because we know it won’t happen this season) the Nuggets front office needs to package up some players and formulate a trade that will thin out our “depth” some and bring us a good piece in return. The also need to find a new head coach…someone with a clue how to play defense…now I’ll come off my soap box.

  • DH

    I hate to state the obvious, but that lineup in the late third and early fourth quarters was ridiculous. It looked like everyone was guarding someone a foot taller and we didn’t come anywhere near an offensive rebound the entire time (which was really bad, since we were missing every shot). And I kept thinking, “Wait, we do have FOUR centers 6’11” or taller and Faried sitting on the bench, right?” Then, when the Mavs went up 16 and it was way too late, Karl put Faried and KK back in.

    I assume that Karl’s reasoning for “small ball” is to be quicker, faster, and more athletic. But even that doesn’t fly anymore. If he wants a fast, chaotic lineup, he can do it without going so small. How about McGee (or Bird), Faried, Chandler, Brewer, and Lawson, as just one example? Not only could they “push the pace”, but they could rebound, block shots, and force turnovers, and they would have the size to match up defensively. I’m not trying to endorse this particular lineup, just pointing out that there’s no reason to ever go as small as he did last night. With all this depth, we can come up with lineups for almost any situation without putting ourselves at an obvious disadvantage.

    I bleed Tarheel blue, so I’d like to say George Karl is the best NBA coach ever. But, sadly, I think it’s time for him to go. I think the “mad scientist” approach might work for a team with clearly inferior talent, when you can’t win unless you do something different. But this team has plenty of talent. It just needs to be used correctly. I have no doubt that someone like Gregg Popovich (and others) would have this team right near the top of the West.

    As for having “too much depth”, I can’t buy that. Just because you have a lot of capable players, doesn’t mean that “Player A” can’t beat out “Player B” for playing time. I gave my thoughts on rotations in a previous post, but I’ll try to summarize it in a lot fewer words. George only needs to do a few things to solve his playing time issues. First, quit playing a forward (Al) at center and a PG (Andre) at shooting guard. Then you have more minutes for actual centers and wings (plus, you have better lineups). Then decide which 2 of the 4 centers need to play every game. The other 2 can see spot duty here and there. Then decide whether Brewer or Rudy should play on a particular night. There’s no need to force both of them into every game. Just doing those things will result in reasonable playing time for those who have earned it. And if one of them slumps or one of the other guys steps up, then he can adjust their playing time. It’s not a new concept. The best players play and the others try to earn PT. Depth helps motivate players with the competition for playing time, and it’s vital when there are injuries. Depth can only be a good thing, to me.

    Last thing. I couldn’t help thinking that they must pay by the shot in the Chinese pro league. Wilson was hoisting them, wasn’t he? Don’t get me wrong, I thought he was terrific and he really sparked the team. Actually, it was refreshing to see someone who was decisive on offense. But it was kind of funny that he would jack up so many shots so quickly after joining the team. Anyway, glad to have him back, especially now that Gallo is injured again.

  • Trip

    I think McGee would have been a good opposite for Wright, a tall athletic shot blocker who could have gotten rebounds. I am thinking the reason that GK didnt play him is because he is absolutely clueless to Nuggets basketball, where as Chandler at least had a taste last year and is just building back up. Though it would have been great to see McGee get in the game sometime

  • evan

    Tough loss. Taken with a grain of salt though. Dalas was on fire, they hit everything mostly tough shots, the Nuggets actually played well defensively. Also, you have to realize they had no practice time and are still adjusting to people coming back/the trade. Between those two things personel have been moving in and out of the team all year.

    Also … Also, George Karl seems VERY frustrated, he is overwhelmed with how many players he has yet no time to look at them unless its in a game situation. -The reason he didn’t play Mcgee. This was a huge game, why would he play a player that he hasn’t had any time with at all who doesn’t know the offence. (also dissagreeing with the idea that “Karl is upset about the Nene trade so he isn’t playing Mcgee out of spite.” He might not like the trade, but he is a professional and has a job to do. He isn’t going to let a little animosity get in the way of that. He is going to make the best of what he has.)

    Over these next few weeks the Nuggets are going to gel. There will be some tough, mind boggling losses, but the Nuggets will continue to win, because they have the talent, coaching and depth. They will make the play-offs in a 6 seed or higher(depending how higher teams do) and will be on fire right before the play-offs start.

    I predict a deep play-off run. This team has it in them. They’re a real tough out.

    • lollercoasters

      If by “deep playoff run” you mean, maybe win one game before getting laughed out of the first round than yes, I agree with you.

      • evan

        I think you underestimate the Nuggets as a team. Once they get to playing their best ball, witch they are far from right now, they can beat any team in the league in a series, save the bulls.

        They should come around before the playoffs though.

  • evan

    The rhetoric involved in dissing Karl is frustrating too. He has so much depth that no matter who he plays in a loss, or close game, people are going to say “should have played ____(the other guy).”

    The fact is Karl is an NBA coach, he sees way more of the players that we do, he studies what works and what doesn’t. We simply watch the games. Personally, as long as he isn’t running a 4 center line up, I agree with his on court decisions. It’s easy to make excuses of what the team “should do” and blame the coach, because your team can’t actually, lose a game.. or get beat rather.. without blaming some outlying force. It’s just easier that way, and I understand that.
    Just remember, hind sight is 20-20.

    • DH

      I respect your view on this, but I have to disagree with some things. Most importantly, a site like this is intended for people to give their opinions – both the authors and those making comments. So it’s perfectly reasonable for people to critique GK (rightly or wrongly).

      Also, it’s not hindsight when you see something as it’s happening (or even correctly anticipate something that you’re sure is about to happen) and you disagree with it. I know that’s what I base most of my comments on, and I suspect that’s what most people do.

      I know GK is an NBA coach who is around his players all the time, and we are not. But an NBA coach can make mistakes. He can let his pride or biases get in the way like anyone can. He can be stubborn to a fault. He can be too loyal to certain players. It happens. And if that’s what we think we see, we can call him on it. I don’t think it’s any secret that Karl is considered unconventional, to say the least, by those who are around the NBA game all the time. That doesn’t make them more right than we are when we see the same things. I can say with reasonable certainty, from watching a zillion or so basketball games, that GK does some things that almost no other coach would do. And some of those things drive me crazy.

      Since you mentioned that a 4-center lineup would be unacceptable to you, I’ll just say that some of what I see from George is the equivalent of a 4-center lineup to me. It just doesn’t make sense. For example, when he started using the really-small-ball lineup last night, it went well at first. I wasn’t thinking, “Good job, George.” I was thinking, “Crap – now George is going to think this will work.” Sure enough, Dallas exploded, we couldn’t score or rebound, and the game was over.

      Last thing… I may have my own list of players that I think should play. But that’s not my beef with George. It’s not about particular players. It’s about having a lineup on the floor that can match up. It’s about not forcing guys into the game just to get everyone playing time (pick a conventional rotation and stick with it, for the most part). It’s about defining players’ roles – giving them an expectation of what their minutes will be and what they should be doing on the court. And it’s about running plays/designing schemes that get the right players the right shots. And I won’t even get into defense.

      Sorry about the rant. It’s probably more about my frustration with GK than it is about your post.

      • evan

        We’re both on the extreme side of things.
        The reality probably lays in between somewhere.

        But I mean as far as small-ball goes, it doesn’t work in a lot of cases but with the nuggets, who don’t have a good big man and need to run, I think he tries to get the smaller players (who also tend to be their better players) on the court to run. -Regardless of its effectiveness I think that’s his mindset behind it. I’m not defending the line up, just the reason behind it.

        • DH

          I see what you’re saying. And as I mentioned in a previous post, I like anyone from UNC. So I wish I could be behind Karl. And I have been, up until the last month or two. I just see less and less excuses, with the talent we have, for going as small as he does as long as he does. But I can agree to disagree.

  • Brad

    For more information on Denver’s big trade check out http://www.chatsports.com/denver-nuggets/a/Breaking-Down-Denvers-Blockbuster-Trade-Plus-Wilson-Chandler-10-73-292
    Also for breaking Nuggets news, tweets from your favorite Nuggets and access to a multitude of Nuggets articles check out http://www.chatsports.com/denver-nuggets

  • Aaron

    The Reason Our Premiter Defence is So Bad is Cuz Our Big Get Posted Up Alot Cuz They Allow The Ball To Go into The Paint Without Trying To Defend it. So Then All Of Our SG’s And PG’s Think They Have To Go Double-Team Them For Some Reason, Then They Just Kick it Out To The Open Man On The Premiter. And Al Harrington Quit Trying To Double-Team Every Time Ur On Defence! it Nevers Works Cuz No1 On The Nuggets Is Any Good At Trappng Or Double-Teaming.

    Also Starting To Think Lawson is Just A “Change Up The Past Kinda Guy…Not a Up And Coming PG.

  • Trevor

    I have a crazy idea for George Karl, play your seven footers more than 9 and 17 mins. It seemed like he expected Rick Carlisle to go small and instead Carlisle kept Dirk and either Wright or Mahinmi in there the whole game which was a mismatch in the Mavs favor. Side note, Al Harrington can not make layups.

    • evan

      except our 7footers suck.

      Expect McGee to start playing A LOT more now that Karl has seen him.
      Reason he didn’t play last night again, IMO, huge game, never seen him play, didn’t know when to put him in didn’t want to risk it. Chandler is a different story, he had him last year. And also is better.

  • bosc0

    Do the Nuggets ever run set plays? Sometimes it’s very hard to tell.

    I would have thought GK should have a solid 4-5 plays drilled into each player that lead to an open look or 1on1 layup attempt.

    If he does, it doesn’t look like it.

    Watching the highlights of Dirk’s makes, there isn’t much that could have been done to stop that. He was on! Plus his shot is so arching, it’s crazy hard to block.
    Very hard to criticise those that played D on him, there was usually a hand in his face.

    Is it just me, or do teams we play shoot amazingly from deep?

    The Nuggets have an amazing roster, which is why i’m Frustrated and confused!