|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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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