Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 116, Detroit Pistons 115

Detroit Pistons 115 Final

Recap | Box Score

116 Denver Nuggets
Wilson Chandler, SF 33 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | 0
Chandler hit the glass well and made a few nice plays throughout the game, but took his fair share of ill-advised shots. As he receives more playing time he should continue to improve.
Kenneth Faried, F 25 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -3
In terms of energy, heart and hustle, Faried was top notch. But he has to haul in more rebounds for his impact to truly be felt.
Timofey Mozgov, C 21 MIN | 4-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | -1
This was one of Mozgov’s better games this year. He actually looked like he belonged and refrained from making the types of “rookie” mistakes he’s become known for.
Arron Afflalo, SG 35 MIN | 8-12 FG | 5-6 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 23 PTS | +17
Afflalo was certainly a bright spot in a cloudy night. His offensive repertoire was on full display as he scored in a multitude of different ways. Though Ben Gordon went off for an unusually high amount of points, Afflalo was still contesting him on almost every shot. In the month of March, Afflalo is averaging 17 points per game and is almost up to 14 points per game on the season after starting off a step behind where he should have been. Afflalo is now earning every penny of his contract.
Ty Lawson, PG 38 MIN | 10-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 25 PTS | -5
The Nuggets must have more performances like this from Lawson. It’s that simple. He’s too talented and too quick to take the back seat he does at times. His shooting won’t always be there, but there’s no excuse for his aggressiveness not to be either.
Al Harrington, PF 24 MIN | 6-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | +4
Vintage Big Al performance. He came off the bench and did what he’s assigned to do: score and rebound.
Andre Miller, PG 20 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 0 PTS | -6
Andre Miller needs a permanent “incomplete” for this season. For every great assist he also makes a boneheaded turnover or shot attempt that kills the Nuggets momentum. Grading him is pointless as he seems to be perpetually stuck in a mode of consistent inconsistency.
Corey Brewer, SF 20 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 5 PTS | -3
Brewer played hard, as always, and reaped the benefits of a few ally oops and a steal. Nothing he does jumps out at you but his hustle goes a long ways in helping the Nuggets stay focused on the task at hand, which is huge for the team.
JaVale McGee, C 24 MIN | 7-11 FG | 1-3 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +2
In his first game as a Nugget, McGee did not disappoint. His put back dunk off Afflalo’s missed free throw was the game winner while his stat line in general was impressive. His athleticism is clearly above and beyond any other center on the Nuggets roster and his ability to finish around the rim should turn out to be valuable. But… McGee is the epitome of a project. He’s got a long ways to go before he reaches his potential and may never see this come to fruition if he doesn’t start playing with more intelligence. Straying away from jump shots and post moves he’s not equipped with will be paramount moving forward. If McGee can however get on track then his talent will surely shine.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Forest Through the Trees: Don’t be fooled, this is a game the Nuggets should have lost. It’s always great to get a win but it’s sometimes hard to appreciate it when you know you didn’t deserve it. The Nuggets were only seconds away from going 4-5 on a nine-game home-stand and being 11-17 since their 14-5 start. That’s disturbing.
  2. Same Stuff Different Year: This game was eerily similar to one from the A.I.-Melo days. That’s not a good thing. There was no defense being played, no shooting discipline and no communication. A 25-point lead turned out to mean absolutely nothing because the Nuggets have no commitment to playing at a high level all the time, instead of just on occasion. Even though the Nuggets continue to float barely above .500 they’re certainly not playing like a winning basketball team.
  3. Who Can It Be Now?: Throughout recent Nuggets history there has been a continuing theme of its opponents having career days against it. That’s nothing more than a sign of bad defense. Every now and then players “go off” but the Nuggets allow this to happen quite regularly. This time around it was Ben Gordon, who hadn’t scored over 15 points in a month yet somehow managed to net 45 on 9-9 from beyond the arc. Perimeter and one-on-one defense has killed the Nuggets all season long, and still hasn’t been addressed.
  4. Make or Break: The Nuggets had an opportunity to capitalize on a nine-game home-stand and barely succeeded in doing so. Now they head out on the road to face seven straight opponents away from the Pepsi Center. While the Nuggets have shown the ability to win on the road, the fact remains: This could very well be the deciding factor for where the Nuggets end up at season’s end.
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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • josh

    i feel like we dont know how to play a zone defense it seemed like all detroit had to do was line up on the perimeter drive a lane kick it out then swing it around and they made basically every three point shot. would like to see more high screens run by lawson with faried or mcgee running the screen for him, AAA can hit open threes pretty easily most games. Also wouldnt mind seeing hamilton get more time earlier in games especially with fernandez out

    • Kyle Obergfell

      I can’t agree with the grades … i’m sorry.
      Worst one is a C.. of course to Andre Miller.
      Brewer a C+ and Affalo A-

      After a 40 pt 1st quarter and a 25 point lead
      We out-rebounded them 47-30, had 10 more
      turnovers, outshot them 58% to 50%
      and were even at 70% from FT….
      we give up 115 points….
      in a last second win at home vs a team that’s 4-19 on the road.

      and everyone gets a game ball.

      what am I missing here.. obviously something…

  • Porter

    tsk tsk…. Anderson rides the bench while opposition have their way….. Wake up George Karl!

  • Jeremy B.

    Birdman is terrible and should ride the bench. If he had been in the game, both Gordon and Monroe would’ve been going off instead of just Gordon. With Javale, Kosta, and Timo at the center, and Al and Faried at the 4, Birdman won’t play again except in mop-up duty in a Nuggies uniform, barring injuries and that’s the way it should be.

    • Kyle Obergfell

      Jeremy.. this year especially…
      I don’t agree in the slightest.

      Birdman is George Karl’s pariah.
      Why? can you tell me?

      I can tell you. He has played great every chance he’s been
      given this year. Look at this season and tell me where he
      has hurt this team.

      I agree with Porter.. this is another mystery about
      George Karl which I don’t understand.

      McGee came through huge tonight.
      But still.. Birdman has done nothing on the court to
      justify George Karl treating him like this.
      We were 33-8 at home last year..
      and Birdman played every night.
      We are supposedly better at 15-12 home this year?

      I don’t get that either.

  • GK4Prez

    I didn’t see much need for the Birdman tonight, both centers that played, played well.

    I think Dre deserves much more than a C grade tonight. He ran the offense very well and he got tired at the end. If GK would have pulled him a minute earlier, his all around game would have been good to go. I actually felt sorry for him on the charge call when he hit the deck hard.

    Again, we have nice perimeter defenders, but they are constantly out of position because they are being asked to help double everything in the paint. Please stop doing this GK, our bigs can handle the job well enough and this will stop the other team from going off from behind the arc.

    Ty, you really need to learn how to fight through and over a p&r instead of always being lazy and going under it.

    It was nice to see Mcgee have a first game like that with his new team. Nene also had a very nice game for the Wizards, he was close to getting his career high, but came up a bit short. He still finished with a very respectable 22 and 10. It was weird watching him wear a different number and uniform.

    • Aaron

      I Totally Agree With u, I Posted The Same Thing A Few Minutes After You Did About GK Telling Our Perimeter Players To Double Team And Trap All The Time.

  • Kyle Obergfell

    “Afflalo is now earning every penny of his contract.”
    Even though Gordon got 45 and hasn’t scored over 15 in a month..
    Westbrook schooled him, Johnson schooled him, Mayo schooled him, Irving schooled him… these are all lately.

    Do you want me to go over Affalo in January?

    I hope I don’t have an agenda against Affalo..
    but I still don’t see as much in him as RBMC does.

    • evan

      Oh boy are you wrong. The nba isnt a 1 on 1 game between 5 players. Multiple switches happen and players go.in and out. Because they had alot of points doesnt mean its one players.fault. infact. I. Iso situations aaa is EXTRAEAMLY effective…. They lose this game and many others withoug.his 1v1 defence.

      • Kyle Obergfell

        you tell me I’m completely wrong..
        yet can you explain to me why
        guards are killing us on the perimeter?
        Affalo has as many minutes as anyone or more.
        Yet … absolutely nothing on him?
        40 points for what’s his name through 3 quarters.
        and all the other opposing guards I mentioned..

        seriously.. nothing sticking there at all?

        Is what you are saying is that Lawson is the
        on that sucks so bad? Or is it 100% on Miller.
        Is that it?

        Math-wise.. things are still quite a bit fuzzy..
        help me on this if you can.

        • Kyle Obergfell

          a couple more atta boys for Affalo.

          McGee bailed him out. TOTALLY.
          IF McGee doesn’t execute the
          Blackberry bold play of the night (on ESPN)
          Affalo loses the game.
          When making both would tie it.
          McGee TOTALLY bailed out FFF.

          Gordon’s 45 points were not only a career high..
          but his 9/9 3 point shooting was TIED FOR ALL TIME NBA HIGH.
          But Affalo shut down Gordon in the 4th..
          so it all equals out after he scored 40 in 3 quarters.

          Atta boy Aron!!!!

          why didn’t you give him an A+????

          • stevesf47

            This is the stat you guys need to look…

            AA was +17…by far the best on the nuggets team. Next best was Al with +4.

            What does that tell you? When he was on the floor, the team was productive. BG didnt go on his run until AA was off the court. Yes, it did carry over some late 2nd early 3rd but AA shut him down after that. He had 40 pts with 6 min left in the 3rd and only scored 5 after that.

            But the +17 shows it all. AA is earning every penny lately. He’s been a beast in there.

            • Kyle Obergfell

              Gordon’s quarter by quarter breakdown
              1- 6 pts.. Affalo in the whole time
              2- 13 points Affalo out (Miller, Lawson, Harrington, Brewer, McGee)
              8 points Affalo in
              3- 10 while Affalo was in… then Affalo was pulled after
              these four consecutive plays- missed jumper, shooting foul,
              non-shooting foul and turnover
              5 while Affalo out.. (looked to be Brewer responsible for him)
              4- 3 while Affalo in..

              Gordon got 27 points while Affalo was in..
              and 18 while he was out.
              Affalo also played a lot of minutes when Gordon was out.
              So that doesn’t count for the other players he was supposed to guard.

              Granted.. the biggest disaster happened in 2nd with Affalo out, I think Brewer and Miller were on him for 13 points in 7 minutes.. but also… he is far from innocent. Again.

              27 points plus the points from other players.

              +/- is strictly for a 5 man group.. not an individual.
              You would think it would translate quite favorably..
              but a lot of those + parts came in the first…
              when Nuggets jumped out 40-18.
              Affalo benefitted from 32 points by his teammates
              in the 1st, while he scored 8.
              +/- don’t tell the whole story. At all.

              • Ernie

                This doesn’t account for Gordon’s efficiency at different parts of the game, so it is not the whole story either.

                The issue is the wide open 3s that are being allowed, not whether one guy got hot. Detroit was 14-18 from 3. Every team seems to have it’s best night from 3. And it is because there are too many uncontested shots.

              • ionic66

                It is obvious you don’t watch the games and just come on here with stats. Stats are a good indicator but they’re not all important either. Try watching a game before jumping to conclusions.

              • ionic66

                Agreed Ernie. It’s frustrating to see it happen. Almost like a slow motion train wreck. What is the issue with perimeter rotaion this season, anyone know?

              • Kyle Obergfell

                I do both .. ok??
                you can’t watch all ten players on the floor.
                I’ve watched courtside before and still
                learned more after by the box scores.

                I saw enough that something wasn’t right.
                So I did my research..
                at least somebody does..

              • TheWolfman

                You say you don’t have an agenda against AAA, but you overweigh stats that make him look bad while discounting one that make him look good. You even referred to him as “FFF” in one of these posts. It’s pretty clear that you DO have an anti-AAA agenda.

              • GK4Prez

                Afflalo wasn’t the only guy matched up on Gordon while he was on the floor. There were times when Lawson was on him and he was still hitting everything he threw up. I do agree with you that Afflalo’s defense isn’t/hasn’t been as good as advertised in many games this year, but I think it is more of a system issue than an Afflalo issue.

            • evan

              I’ll reiterate, It’s not AAA’s fault, It’s the team’s fault. Also the fact that they play at the fastest pace in the NBA, (Meaning they also give the opponents more possessions) blows up players stats and team stats. Teams score a a lot against the Nuggets but the nuggets, %wise aren’t as bad as their points aloud ranking.

              More touches = more points. It’s their style of play this season, and that’s not one player’s fault. Accept it.

              • Kyle Obergfell

                I don’t think you get my point.
                I have not ever accused AA of being the whole problem…

                MY POINT IS…

                He is not the golden boy who does no wrong.

                COME ON>

                That’s all I’ve been trying to say.

                I’m not the one saying Anthony Miller was the only one who plays D, or Corey Brewer or Ty Lawson…

                ALL I AM SAYING IS…

                AA is very much accountable along with for this as is everyone else.

                FInd me one place where I either blamed him for everything
                or one place all year where I have sorted people out as either
                good or evil and nothing in between.

                It’s SO FRUSTRATING.. because that’s my entire point.

                I’m sick of reading how AA does not wrong.
                It’s bullshit.

      • Dubz

        While I see what you’re saying, Afflalo’s defense has been lacking to say the least. On this one, I’m sorry but you’re wrong. Afflalo’s defense on Gordon was pretty pathetic last night. He even fouled him on two jump shots, one creating an and-1 4 point play. Even Scott Hastings was criticizing Afflalo.

        • Kyle Obergfell

          THANK YOU…

          if you will see my posts as well..
          it’s been kind of a run lately.

          This series of me thinking I’m all alone here
          is not about how AA is the reason we are struggling…

          but it’s like he’s Tebow or something..
          everything else is the matter
          and he keeps getting a free pass..

          I like all the other players WAY too much
          and hopefully I’m trying to be objective.

          AA is not the golden boy I keep reading about here.
          He does hustle… sometimes… I think…

          but to say none of this is on him??
          when opponent guards light it up again and again?

          COME ON.

          • Golden Fan

            Kyle, where is that analysis/brain of yours coming from? Ben Gordon was like a video game out there. He just shot WELL and afflalo was all over his face. Are you kidding me? Are you a Piston fan. It is so stupid of you to criticize Afflalo just because Gordon exploded and tied an NBA record. Has any SMART FAN criticized the Nuggets about 1on1 defense more than 5on5 defense. I one did, it will be put on Miller or Al or Rudy but NEVER AFFLALO, GALLO, OR ANY PRAISED DEFENDER IN THE TEAM. Better be banned from the Nuggets Nation than to be a wannabe critic on our defense.

  • Aaron

    I Think I Figured Out Why Our Premiter Defense is SOOOOO Bad. Its Pretty Much GK Fault I Think. Its Because He Tought All Of Our PG’s, SG’s And SF’s And Harrington -_- To Run To Where The Ball is When ur On Defense And Leave Ur Man Wide Open For a 3 Or a Lonq 2. So That’s All The Opposing Teams Have To Do is Just Throw It Down Low Or Switch To The Others Side Of The Court. Any1 Agree Or Disagree?

    • evan

      Disagree. He taught the interior players to.do this. Pf and c. Pg and sg are suppose to closeout. You hear him saying that alot.

      Imo its as simple as the nuggets dont play a full game. There are snipits where they put it all together and dominate. Aka the first quarter of this game. The problem lies when they let the other team get rolling. Againsst falas they played real well the first half, same with okc. Nut the 2nd they got complacent and the opponate took advantage.

      This.explains.why the nuggets play to.the level of competition. If its a.tight game against a good team. They play harder the entire.game, but against bad teams they will blow a lead and or start out slow and have to come back.

      Inconsistancy. This is why i think the nggets will be good in the playoffs. Bbecause of how.important the games are, they will play a full game, and not just the first and fourth against bad teams. Or just the first half against good teams.

      • Aaron

        But That’s Why Were Getting Killed On The Perimeter. McGee And Faried Can Do Well More Then Just Make Sure The Premiter Players Get There in Time. If We Would Just Let Faried And McGee Do There Thing Then We’d Be Averaging 7-8 Blocks A Game AND We Wouldn’t Be Getting Burned So Much From 3. GK Likes To Play COMPLETELY The Opposite Of The Way The Nuggets Are Built To Play. Mike D’antoni Might Even Fit Better. GK is A BadAss Coach But Just Doesnt Work Well With The Way The Nuggets Gotta Start Playing.

        • Kyle Obergfell

          so let me get this straight.

          Put Faried and McGee on the perimeter


          put Lawson and Affalo underneath
          to guard centers and power forwards….

          should we convert Mosgov to point guard while we’re at it?
          Have Rudy do tip offs?

          • Aaron

            Sorry I Said That All Wronq. I Mean Let Mcgee And Faried Stay Down Low And Defend The Paint Like Most Centers And PF’s Do While Every1 Else Defends The Perimeter instead Of Always Trying To Help Out Down Low When We Don’t Need it. That Would Be Kinds Kewl To Have Mozgov Be PG Tho Haha.

  • Landry

    So glad we can finally get away with the 2 guard line-ups. Its gonna be awesome now that we can finally play size with GK. GK is gonna figure something out, but mostly McGee can cover for andre’s defensive lapses. It’s ridiculous how much our offense goes with miller on the court and McGee’s got the size to play two guys at the rim. I also really like this scouting report on him using clips from his wizard days.

  • Steve

    I agree with Porter above…Bird needs to play…now when is the question. He brings energy adn that is what this tema needs …like duriing the second quarter.

    Moz and Javele played great, but it would not hurt us to have a BIG lineup at times. Play Moz 15 minutes 20 Javele and Bird 13. This lets Moz bang, Javele rebound and hit the boards and Bird can give them a shot of energy.

    Brewer is the same….he is not a 20 minute guy, but one to bring in to play D and provide a spark.

    Koufus is not the answer.

    Oh…btw AAA nice offense but he is mainly the reason Gordon scored 45. He was late coming off the screens every time. There is a pattern….he offense is good, but the D is really starting to become worrisome.

    • Kyle Obergfell

      Not only that.. there is a softness with Mosgov and Koufos.
      Birdman is at least in their faces.

      Sure… McGee took care of business.

      But couldn’t the defense use an infusion of nastiness?
      Birdman, Faried and McGee are the only hopes with that.

      Why not figure out 6 damn minutes somewhere?

    • http://yahoo mile high

      Agree! The nugs need to have pride and nastiness when it comes to defending. They’ve got to start hating it when the other team scores and fight back. When is the last time you see an angry nugget, fans aside?

  • al68

    Horrible partido, como se puede dejar que te remonten 25 puntos y no veas una cara de cabreo, algun grito entre los jugadores por como se hacen las ayudas, este equipo no tiene agresividad ni ganas de mejorar parece que la actitud de los veteranos GK y Miller han hecho mella en el equipo.

    Nunca vi jugar a Faried en la universidad pero decian que eran un gran defensor, pues ahora no defiende casi nada.

    Anderson se merece algún es un jugador muy útil cuando tiene fisico y para jugar 10 min de C y PF sería perfecto.

    Partido bueno en el tiro de Lawson pero me sigue pareciendo que no dirije casi nada no cambia el ritmo de partido cuando la situacion se tuerce, y Miller que debería de hacer eso pasa de todo es indignante ver un jugador tan bueno que este haciendo tanto daño con su actitud.

    A luchar por entrar en los playoffs.

  • Greco21

    Yesterday I played an exhibition in NBA2k11. I made the Nene to McGee trade and put Danillo out of the rotation. So i had a very reallistic line-up and rotations scheme. All was missing was Farried and Knight. Not quite fair but i gave it a chance…

    After 2 quarters Ben Gordon had 27 points against the Nuggs… So, i was wondering when would this game stop being sometimes so unrealistic…

    Well… (nevermind :P)

    1. I did not like McGee performance on the defensive end although his pick n roll defense was not as bad as advertised. His defensive rebounding needs to be better too… Overall he did fit in the team and got a lot on the high post to set screens.

    2. GK risks too much with traps and double teams. He should make adjustements when traps and double teams collapse.

    3. I think that Andre Miller was not that terrible. Actually the Nuggets need a pass-first point guard of the bench. His defense though reserves an incomplete all seazon long (although he made some key steals)

  • jc

    Denver really needs to improve there perimeter D

  • Ernie

    3 thoughts on McGee:

    1) The crowd kind of ignored him when he first got into the game. He looked disappointed in that.

    2) In the first half McGee didn’t look like he was hustling. A number of times he was the last man down the court on both sides. 2nd half was better even though he scored less.

    3) Now that we have a shot blocker in there why isn’t the defense improving? Some of the Gordon 3s were contested but many of the other players had wide open 3s. Shouldn’t it be easier to defend the 3 point line when the guards have a shot blocker behind them?

    • eddie

      Not true at all. I was there and the croud erupted when he was sent in. When he scored his first point the place went nuts again. And of course the last bucket…

      • Ernie

        I’ll take your word for it. It looked awkward on TV. Much different than when the Knicks came last year.

  • http://espn.com Chris

    The nuggets are not going to truely win until George Karl is no longer the coach, agian we nee a coach that brings some toughness to the team, and with George we don’t have that, Management Get us Bill Lambeer.

    • Ernie

      Finally and idea for a coach that is realistic! Usually people just want to get rid of GK with no other plan.

  • Thomas

    The game changer, as usual, was that we had Miller on the floor (mostly paired with Lawson) in the second quarter and one of the worst teams in the league came back on the road from a 20+ point deficit.

    It’s pointless to talk about Javale or Chandler’s impact, if Faried is not playing good D or if AAA’s offensive/defensive impact is adding or subtracting to the line-ups – talking about that is to miss the forest from the trees.

    We were up by 20+ mostly on the heels of the starting unit – which had never played together. A good coach would had given them time to gel, allow them to stay longer on court and perhaps put the game out of reach by outscoring them by another 10 points. Most importantly, you would allow the players on the floor to develop some defensive cohesion – something that can only come with time.

    Instead, our “coach for the remainder of the season only” thinks this is a hockey game and allocates minutes between all players (except obviously 2 rookies), including his 2 favorite players, even though one of them is hurt and clearly does not contribute to the win column.

    Granted, we have too many players who are above average. Our FO hopefully will address that some time soon and trade 3 or so players for perhaps one that may address a specific need. But the fact of the matter is that our coach is lost and he does not provide favorable matchups for our players to take advantage of.

    I’m not very excited to watch games the remainder of the season, even though we have several players that play sound basketball and are fun to watch on an individual basis. I don’t get the sense that we have made, or will make, progress as a team.

  • kt

    The best part of the whole game was when AAA was up in Faried’s face for messing up a defensive rotation. That shows me that there is someone trying to step up and lead this team.

  • Smokin nugs

    Watching this game, I dont really feel comfortable playing the blame game. I saw defensive lapses from almost everyone… This makes me think it is a combo of things- with so many lineups, some of the mechanics of our d and rotations are being mixed up, players aren’t communicating enough, and we as a team have a terrible tendency to play down to our opponent. I’m hoping gk is finding his guys and lineups now that we pretty much know what we have moving forward. We have to ease javale into his mins at home since he is clearly still getting acclimated and won’t really have a good chance with this road trip coming up, but I thought he did fine tonight. I love having javale on the floor plus either brewer and faried. That’s one combo that works well when we have Andre on the floor. Those players can kind of make up for andres defensive invisibility and also provides a nasty oop double whammy. I’m sorry, I like the bird as much as the rest of them, but with javale he is redundant. I wouldn’t mind seeing him out there for like 5 mins a game maybe after a time out in the second half of the game- another bad habit of ours is coming out of tos with no energy.

    Man what a roller coaster of a game! Fun and frustrating to watch at the same time. Glad we have won some tight games in several different ways. Don’t think we have much of a shot at the playoffs this season, i see us as losing in 6 in the first round, but who really knows… The west is effing crazy. Plus this is a team that won’t be approaching its peak (if kept together, which is another convo entirely) for another 3 years. I’m not panicking at all.

    Go nugs!

  • pollyanna

    we shot 84% in the first quarter and got a huge lead. of course a professional basketball team (yes the pistons are still a professional team) is going to come back after that. i’m not saying we played well, but we didn’t give up. 4th quarter d was better.

    ben gordon and latrell spreeeewell are the only two dudes that have ever shot that well in a game from 3 – and gordon has done it twice (the first time was actually not against the nuggets). so…you got to disrupt that kind of rhythm shooter. they did that in the 4th.

    glass half full, but i’d rather we fight to win games than play lackadasical and win. other pluses:

    dre played with a separated shoulder. you ever play with a separated shoulder. give me a fcukin break this guy doesn’t care.

    116 points with our best pure scorer on the bench. there’s upside there, right?

    for a “IQ challenged knucklehead” everybody pegs mcgee as, that putback dunk for the win off a missed free throw showed a lot of basketball IQ and determination. he wanted it more than everybody else. i’ll take that shit two times a day.

  • http://tskitishvillainy.tumblr.com/ TskitishVillain

    I think the fact that Ben Gordon went off for 45 really threw a wrench in the system. The game plan generally from Detroit is to pound it inside with Monroe, and then let the guards take it to the rim. Defensively, the Nuggets did a good job of shutting that down. However, with Gordon absolutely going off it took a while for the Nuggets to really adjust to that.

    The part that is most inexcusable was the terrible transition defense. That was not X and O’s but just about a lack of effort and hustle. It accounted for too many easy points for a team that struggles putting up those kinds of numbers.

    Lastly, the “Manimal” really struggled tonight. His presence was mostly negligible on the offensive end. His points came mainly off dunks, which is fine but its the kind of offense that is replaceable. On the defensive end, he continuously struggled with his positioning. His shows were not aggressive enough and it felt like he did little to challenge shots at the rim.

  • magster

    So, is there any chance the Nugs can fix their problems on defense before the playoffs? I sure as heck don’t want another first round sweep, but that almost inevitable at this point.

  • mfunk

    Our perimeter defense is so bad because of the insane amount of help defense George is insisting upon this year. If you’ve watched a single game in the last month its pretty clear to see almost all of the threes being shot are wide open as a result of help defense. George sure does some stupid stuff, mainly his rotations and his sudden emphasis on help defense (the Nuggets have always played man man defense, why the sudden switch George?)

  • DH

    In case you haven’t seen it, Rudy is out for the year. He is having back surgery. Gallo is out, Miller probably should sit out a couple of games, Rudy is done for the year, and Moz has battled injuries off and on all year. Anyone still think too much depth is a problem?

  • Sam

    GK needs to be gone NOW! The guy doesn’t know how to coach defense, he never has. He sticks with his favorites which is absolutely detrimental to the team. Get a coach who knows what defense is. This team will always be able to score, now we need someone who is no nonsense and will bench a player for not playing D. FUCK!

  • Jrsmithisnumber1

    I agree nuggets have all of a sudden been playing a ton of help defense. It seems like everytime there is a post up a double team comes, and for some reason we can’t rotate back to shooters and it leads to wide open shots. It comes down to would you rather give up a contested shot in the post or a wide open 3? Why choose to give up wide open 3s? Also George doesn’t hold players accountable for defense mistakes, or lack of hustle. I’ve seen Andre Miller not even try to fight over a screen and leave a guy wide open.

  • Kyle Obergfell

    A few of you will hate me even more for bringing yet more stats.

    I will keep it simple though…

    Nuggets are dead last in the NBA at 3 point defense.
    Nuggets now only have the Sacto Kings to cushion them
    from dead last in total defense..

    I’ll let you get back to your AAA lovefest now.

    • Golden Fan

      It’s not Arron you stupid fan, it’s the perimer D’, the bad defense of Miller, and the inconsistent D’ of Al or Faried. We have been a bad defensive team lately ONLY BECAUSE OF OUR PERIMETER D’. Period. If this team has great team perimeter defense do you think Afflalo’s man will score record-like points!?!?!?!? Haven’t you remembered his defensive performance of last season and the season before that.

      Kyle, whoever you are, if you think Afflalo’s defense is bad just ask these guys who had been guarded by Arron:
      Bryant – 19 pts, 0 in 2nd half in Nuggets blowout
      Granger – 8 pts in Nuggets blowout
      Martin – below 10 pts (twice) in two close losses because of missed FTs
      Wade – 12 pts, in Nuggets’ respect win

      • Kyle Obergfell

        just up front…

        trying to insult me is a real poor way to make
        a case or get someone’s respect.
        You’re putting up a post and making time.
        I don’t follow why you act the way you act.

        Once again…
        I never said it was all on Affalo.
        I never said that ANY one person is to blame.

        What is curious to me..
        is how Affalo continues to be the one person singled out
        as some kind of perfect player..

        I’m trying to say.. the math does not add up.

        And as far as previous games..
        that’s not much of an argument either way.
        Gordon broke out for 45 .. after season long 15 range
        Are we going to go on that from now on?
        Nene’s debut for the Wizards was arguable his best
        game of the year.. but did you see him last night??

        And Affalo can, has and will have great games.

        I don’t think that a mediocre Detroit guard lighting us up for
        45 points from the perimeter and tying an all-time
        NBA record should count as a good game for anyone though.

        I’m certainly not seeing an A- for that.. not for Affalo or
        anyone playing guard on the court when those 3s were
        raining like cats and dogs.

        Again.. Nuggets are dead last in the NBA in 3 point defense.
        Second to last in total.

        I don’t know how anyone starts a game and plays
        a starters minutes and somehow becomes immune to
        that kind of disaster all around him.

        And by default.. the insinuation that AFfalo is somehow doing
        this stellar all-pro worthy job.. if that is true..
        clearly means by default that Lawson, Miller and
        all the guards that played this year aren’t fit for the NBA.

        There is a serious trend now getting close to 50 games in.

        I would be ridiculous to deny that this isn’t at least
        partially a system failure.
        I am not campaigning GK for coach of the year..
        but.. his history has shown he can be a great defensive
        coach.. Look at the finals Seattle vs Chicago..
        Gary Payton is maybe the best defensive guard in
        NBA history. GK coached that guy.

        This is game to game.. player to player.. play to play.
        Only a simpleton would conveniently attribute these big problems
        to one player.
        But at the same time.. it seems simpleton logic to totally
        assume that any one player.. who is a big part of that system..
        plays perfectly despite the NBA’s worst defense there.

        Explain the math if you can..
        I’m not getting it.

        • NuggLove

          so you’re saying that just because one made T-O-U-G-H shots will be put on the blame on the defender?? I think that’s what you want to point out. Someone is correct that you only rely on stats. I’m a bit tired of reading your other words because you just want to find a way to be against Afflalo. I am so damn tired of repeating what I said about the perimeter D’ being the blame on the Nuggets defensive woes and you blame Afflalo after a guard exploded (or should I say make tough shots). Just get your head more in the game and make sure you criticize the right player like what RMC does. Afflalo is a great defender period. Don’t deny that our perimeter D’ is mediocre at this point. And don’t even think of looking for other nerdy stats to think that Afflalo really is a stupid defender.

          • Kyle Obergfell

            some one made NBA history on that perimeter.

            How do you not get that?

            I am speechless.

            If you can’t wake up to that alarm..

            there’s nothing else I could even dream up.
            in my craziest and most sinister vile agendas
            against Aron Affalo if you think that’s my MO

            How could I possibly make anything up
            that is more dramatic as making…
            ALL TIME NBA HISTORY???

            Ordinarily dead last in the NBA at 3 pt defenses
            would seem more than enough..


            that was not Kobe Bryant, that was not Dirk Nowitzski,
            that was not LaBron James, that was not Ryan Anderson..
            that wasn't even JR Smith..

            he averages 12 ppg!!!
            Those 45 points were more than his previous 6 games combined.
            His prev season high was 25, and he's only broke the 20 point
            barrier 3 times this season.
            This guy has been a nobody forever.. he's been around longer
            than anyone on the Nuggets besides Miller and Birdman.
            And he's been mediocre the whole time.
            But against our defense, he makes ALL TIME NBA HISTORY.
            More than Reggie Miller, Steve Kerr, Larry Bird, Dale Ellis,
            Michael Adams, James Worthy..

            ALL TIME NBA RECORD.

            You may hate stats and so sorry to upset you..
            but you can talk out your ass all day and call me stupid all night.

            But at least I'm basing a point on something more
            than what ever convincing argument you think you
            are making. I can't hear you over NBA HISTORY.

            So .. I guess then…. whatever…
            Nothing is going to make sense to someone
            that doesn't care about the only universal way
            to look at production..

            I'm guessing you are a Tebow fan..
            I don't think that would be a big leap..
            intangibles.. right?

  • melly

    Nuggets should step it up on defense.. that being said, I think the Nuggets should have enough film by now to fill up a whole highlight reel for truly unbelievable last second wins. :)

  • Avarice

    I don’t know how many of you visit Denverstiffs.com, I hope the link to a fellow blog is allowed. Link is for an article about Andre Miller, and offers an interesting perspective. I still don’t like the small ball play of the Nuggets, I would rather see us play our tallest players more, but the article does a good job breaking down some group stats.


    • Kyle Obergfell

      I think everyone should read that ..
      there seems to be some confusion about +/-
      this really sheds light on ..
      I guess how that stat really doesn’t say much
      at all individually.

      I would love it if everyone read this.

      It’s more help to understand…
      things are not as simple as one guy doing a great job
      and another guy who is not.

      But I am so fed up with this defense..
      Seriously.. close to the worst in the NBA.

      On a grading curve.. with 30 teams..
      That’s so big of an F it ain’t funny..
      and with defense being 50% of the game..
      I don’t get all these As and Bs…

  • Peter

    Wow, so glad to finally see someone else notice that AAA is not the golden boy that everyone thinks he is. I think there also tends to be one huge misconseption for casual fans about defense in basketball. How many times do you hear that defense is just all about effort? And of course about being smart and positioning(Birdman going for every single pump fake, being the perfect example that even though he gets lots of blocks is in fact a terrible defender). The truth is while effort and willpower has A LOT to do with defense, it still doesn’t have nearly as much to do with it as athletic ability. Just because Aaron Afflalo tries his hardest to stop somebody and tries to block their shot and barely misses doesn’t make him a “good” defender. Someone that is taller and more athletic (Wilson Chandler, Ronnie Brewer to name a few) can play the with the same level of intensity and have an easier time blocking the shot or at least altering it(I’m talking about jump shots in this occasion). Now another thing to factor in, is how much is a guy shooting? Maybe we don’t see Tony Allen or Ronnie Brewer making a ton of stops or huge plays, but that’s because a lot of the time they are effectively shutting their guy down. Denying him the ball or forcing him to pass it because he has him locked up. If Ben Gordon is getting that many SHOTS OFF IN THE FIRST PLACE, then I don’t care “how well contested” the shots were. Now, I don’t think Aaron is a terrible defender by any means, I just think he’s overrated, Dahntay Jones was much better for us defensively, he just couldn’t shoot. And it’s not Aaron’s fault that he’s not the most athletic guy in the league, but I’m just sick and tired of this league wide misconseption that if you just hustle all the time you are a “good defender”.
    I love Manimal, he plays his heart out, but he has a long way to go. He was getting schooled by Millsap last night, and it was not due to lack of effort. The kid just is not a good defender yet. Time will tell if he can learn, he has the tools to get there. I understand a lot of fans getting upset with players that don’t seem to give it their all or seem to be lazy on defense, but the fact remains good defense is determined by results not by hustle and energy.